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EKU Offense not getting the job done
The Colonels’ offensive playmakers know they simply aren’t getting the job done.
That’s no secret.
And the statistics paint a remarkably stark picture of just how ineffective the EKU offense has been through the first three games of the season.
The Colonels (1-2) rank near the bottom of the Ohio Valley Conference in all four major offensive categories (seventh in scoring offense and rushing offense; eighth in total offense and passing offense).
They’ve generated just 251 yards a game, which is 107th out of 121 Football Championship Subdivision teams, and they are averaging just 16.3 points a game (98th in the nation).
“Our defense does a really good job,” EKU receiver Tyrone Goard said. “We know the defense has our back. It’s our turn to help out the defense so they don’t have to work so hard.”
The EKU defense has been stellar, no doubt.
But in every game this season, the offense’s inability to consistently move the ball, eat up the clock and pick up first downs has taken its toll.
Ultimately, the defense has run out of gas at the end.
“We went 90 plays on defense (last week against Chattanooga),” EKU coach Dean Hood said. “That’s a lot of plays. When you are not keeping the ball, it puts a lot of stress on your defense, especially the longer the game goes.”
Kansas State scored its only touchdown on its final possession and was able to rally for a 10-7 win.
Last week, Chattanooga out-scored the Colonels 13-0 in the second half during a 23-14 win at Roy Kidd Stadium.
And even in the 28-24 win over Missouri State, EKU allowed 17 fourth-quarter points and had to hold on for much more difficult than necessary victory.
“If we go three-and-out every single time, it’s only a matter of time before the defense gets tired,” EKU tight end Matt Lengel said.
In all three games, EKU’s opponents have dominated time of possession.
On average, the Colonels have had the ball for only 24:59 a game so far this season. That ranks 117th among all FCS teams in the nation.
EKU also ranks 92nd in the country in third-down conversion percentage (14-of-47, 29 percent).
“(Chattanooga and Kansas State) both have pretty good defenses,” Hood said. “But, we can do better as coaches and the kids can do better.”
Against Chattanooga, the Colonels had only one drive of more than six plays and never got into the red zone.
And so far this year, 34 percent of EKU’s drives have been limited to three plays and a punt (14 of 41).
“If we started scoring more, the defense wouldn’t be so tired,” Goard said. “Three-and-out in 30 seconds gets kind of old after a while.”
The Colonels will look to get their offense on track Saturday when they open OVC play at Austin Peay.
By Nathan Hutchinson, Richmond Register