Football season off to 0-3 start, but supporters remain hopeful about NCAA success

Football team
The football team is off to a 0-3 start, but hopes remain high among supporters that the team will be able to adjust to the higher level of competition in the NCAA. (Photo by Sports Information)

By Matthew Wellman

It’s no secret that the SNU football team has had some problems with its first few games. They lost by 42 points to Henderson State in week one and then followed with a 37-15 loss at the hands of East Central University.

With losses like that, it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint things that are going wrong. There are usually numerous things that you could attribute the troubles too. The offense has not been as strong this year as it has been in past seasons.

Matt Shellenberger, who does the radio play-by-play for the Crimson Storm, said, “Any time you lose a quarterback like Brady Wardlaw you’re going to have to adjust. Dylan Terry has been good in his two starts but him and the offensive line are still working out some kinks. I think in a few games those issues will be fixed.”

Shellenberger is right about the offensive line needing some help. They have given up 10.5 sacks in only two games. In their game against ECU, they also had -70 rushing yards.

One of the contributing factors is the switch to NCAA.

“When you play teams that are more solid, they make you pay for your mistakes. We’ve made the mistakes and we’ve paid for them,” junior defensive back Stan West said. “The competition is stronger. That being said, our problems are coming from within. If we shore up some of the mistakes that we’ve had, we can compete with and beat any team we face.”

Shellenberger also showed the same confidence.

“Obviously anytime you move from an already competitive level of football, to an even more competitive one, there is going to be a change,” Shellenberger said. “So yes, and that’s not an excuse, that’s just a fact. It is going to take some time for the team to adjust but over time I feel they will be highly competitive on this level.”

Better competition can cause mistakes like penalties, mental mistakes and also physical blunders. That is true for any sport. When your opponent is stronger than anything a team has ever faced, they have to dig deeper than they ever have to find ways to beat them.

The early struggles were expected with the new schedule. Tougher teams, tougher travelling schedules and tougher conditions will prove to be the ultimate test for the Crimson Storm. With time and hard work, however, supporters believe that they will be able to overcome any obstacle that stands in their way.

The football team will play its first home game (out of only two) against Harding University on Saturday, September 22. The tailgating party is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.