Friday, October 29, 2010

DSU's miscues birth 31-7 loss to North Alabama

CLEVELAND — If there is an example that defense wins championships, Thursday night's showdown between Delta State and North Alabama was a prime example.
UNA's No. 1 rated defense grounded the GSC's top rated offense to claim to a 31-7 victory over the Statesmen (6-3, 5-2 GSC) in front of announced crowd of 5,123 on regional television.
"I think they came in here on a mission and we didn't match it," said DSU coach Ron Roberts.
The Lions' victory ended their two-game losing skid and gave them new life in the playoff hunt. UNA (7-2, 4-2 GSC) and DSU are now two of six GSC teams with a shot at winning the conference. Valdosta State and West Alabama currently lead the pack with a 4-1 conference record.
The defending GSC champion Lions came into Thursday night's GSC-TV Live Game of the Week allowing just over seven points per game. And they kept that average after allowing just one DSU touchdown, which came in the third quarter on a 27-yard pass from Micah Davis to L.J. Castille.
Throughout most of the game, everything that could go wrong for the Statesmen went horribly wrong. DSU was unable to convert a fake field goal in the first quarter; Matt Snyder missed two field goals of less than 30 yards; punter Tyler Caldwell mishandled a punt which led to a UNA touchdown; and Davis threw three interceptions, including two in the fourth quarter.
"We made a lot of mistakes.....We did a lot of things that you can't do to win football games, especially against a good one," said Roberts.
After losing their last two games mostly due to their struggling offense, UNA's offensive playmakers finally came to life and powered the Lions to the victory over the Statesmen.
DSU's secondary was unable to put a stop to the Lions' quick passes, as UNA quarterback Lee Chapple finished 19-of-28 for 220 yards and a touchdown. UNA running back Wes Holland also found his rhythm, rushing for 131 yards and two touchdowns on only 12 carries. Chris Coffey added a 4-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter to give the Lions a 21-7 lead.
For the Statesmen, their only bright spot of the night was senior All-American running back Trevar Deed, who had 103 rushing yards to go with six catches for 51 yards.
Despite Davis' three INT's, the transfer quarterback did connect with 10 different receivers, with four of them catching six passes each.
DSU's defensive unit has now given up double-digit points in every game this season. Opposing teams have scored at least 20 points in each game.
The Statesmen have two games remaining, starting with Ouachita Baptist on Nov. 6. Then they travel to Lambuth on Nov. 13 to end the regular season.
Those next two games are crucial, said Roberts.
"We're in a do or die situation," Roberts said. "You go ahead and lay an egg next week and we're out of this thing — We're sitting at home."

NOTES: Micah Davis finished 31-of-55 for 278 yards and a touchdown to go with three interceptions. UNA outgained DSU 426 to 379. Bill Franks, L.J. Castille, Maurice Moore and Trevar Deed all had six catches each for DSU.

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