Last Modified: Sunday, October 21, 2012 6:42 PM
HUNTSVILLE, Texas — The worst-known formula for coming back in a football game is never actually maintaining possession of the ball.
Not surprisingly, it proved unsuccessful for McNeese State in a 45-10 blowout loss at Sam Houston State that puts the Cowboys (4-3, 1-3 Southland) on the path to a third consecutive season without a playoff berth.
It was the Cowboys’ most lopsided SLC loss since 2005, when they lost 49-7 at Texas State.
“We got behind, and you can’t get behind against this team,” said McNeese head coach Matt Viator. “Once we got behind, we didn’t have enough in the tank. We’ll have to try to come back and do better next week as coaches and players. I’m going to be coaching like we’re undefeated, because that’s what you do.”
A third quarter in which McNeese held the ball for five plays and 1:14 set the tone for a once-close game that got out of hand as the Bearkats asserted their superiority over the Cowboys in every aspect of football. The Bearkats finished the game with 38 unanswered points.
“They did a good job of controlling the clock and a good job of converting third down all night,” Viator said. “It just seemed like we couldn’t get off the field all night.”
Sam Houston State (5-2, 3-1) exposed the fraudulence of the nation’s No. 3-ranked rushing defense with 348 yards on 50 attempts.Richard Sincere, last year’s Southland Offensive Player of the Year, exploded for 132 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries out of the wildcat. Sincere had not displayed that form all season, entering the game with no touchdowns and an average of 39 yards per game.
Running back Tim Flanders, the reigning conference player of the year, added 93 yards and a touchdown on 17 rushes.
The Bearkats were 7 of 15 on third down and 3 of 3 on fourth down as the Cowboys defense repeatedly failed to get off the field.
“It’s real tiring,” said cornerback Guy Morgan, who forced and recovered a fumble in the second quarter. “You get real mad at yourself, because it’s third-and-long and you know they’re passing. We practiced it all week and they still completed it. We needed to play assignment football. We didn’t and that’s what killed us.”
For the second consecutive week, a freak play proved to be the most backbreaking for the Cowboys.
Facing third-and-11 from the McNeese 32, Sam Houston quarterback Brian Bell appeared dead to rights on a McNeese blitz. But Bell was able to complete an underhanded toss to wide receiver Trey Diller, who made a one-handed catch for a 12-yard gain.
Two plays later, Flanders scored from 12 yards out to put the Bearkats up 21-10 with 2:12 left in the first half
.“We can’t catch a break,” Morgan said. “We make great plays, but we seem to make them at the wrong time. A little too early or a little too late. We’ve just got to make more plays on offense and defense.”
McNeese quarterback Cody Stroud said the message at halftime was positive.“Halftime, we felt we still had a chance,” Stroud said. “Everybody was motivated. We felt we could get it done.”
Unfortunately, the Cowboys offense never had a chance to make anything of that message. Sam Houston converted three third downs on the opening drive of the third quarter, which was finished off on a 1-yard sneak by Bell to make the score 28-10.
Matters got worse when Diontae Spencer fumbled the ensuing kickoff, although television replays seemed to show he was down before the ball popped out.
The Bearkats were held to a field goal on that possession, but a three-and-out by McNeese gave the ball right back after 15 seconds.
“You can’t keep your defense out on the field that long,” said Stroud, who finished 10 of 26 for 119 yards. “We have to find ways to sustain drives to keep them off the field.”Sincere put the game out of reach on a 65-yard touchdown run with 13:26 left.
McNeese gained 41 yards in the second half. The low point, if one could be determined, came when Stroud was sacked on three consecutive plays in the fourth quarter.
Posted By: jim butch On: 10/22/2012
Title: cut salary of all msu amateur coaches
cut the salary of all mcneese fball coaches who are not ready for prime time.........bring back bob keasler and let these amateurs go back to sulphur high and jennings high where they really belong.......too much good ole boy politics running mcneese athletics football program......whole bunch is over paid and belongs at high school in AAA district