Quantcast

Mistakes plague Demons - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Mistakes plague Demons

Posted: Updated:

Courtesy: NSU Athletics

Northwestern State football coach Jay Thomas knows his Demons are on the right track to developing into the team he wants, and it's easy and extremely frustrating to pinpoint what's holding them back.

 

The Demons (3-4 overall, 0-2 in the Southland Conference) had the upper hand for much of Saturday night against a rising Southeastern Louisiana (5-2, 2-0) team, but a pivotal series of mistakes in just over three minutes midway through the third quarter opened the door for the Lions to rally with a 16-point outburst that was the turning point in their 37-22 road win.

 

Northwestern rolled up 490 offensive yards, and held SLU's explosive attack to 387 yards, nearly 100 below average. The Demons didn't come close to converting yardage into enough points, hampered by costly penalties and special teams mistakes.

 

Yet, progress after a league-opening loss at Nicholls was obvious and encouraging, said Thomas. 

 

"Our guys played their tails off, and that's what we are trying to get accomplished. We want to bring back the old style of Demon football, and play aggressively. I was really pleased with the way our offense and our defense performed.

 

"Missed opportunities were costly. We left a lot of points out there, and that made the difference. Missing the field goals (45, 44 yards) in the first half, getting a penalty when we're inches from the goalline right before halftime that made us settle for a field goal - that's 10 points through our hands right there. We were up 13-7, should have been 20-7," he said.

 

When a Demon flinched before the snap on third-and-goal inside the 1 in the final 15 seconds of the half, it was the most costly of 12 flags on NSU for 68 yards. It's the fourth time this season the Demons have drawn double-digits in penalties, which galls Thomas.

 

"Penalties, that's mental, that's a lack of discipline. We've been addressing that and evidently not well enough. This is what holds us back. We can play a lights-out great game, and I've had this conversation with our team multiple times, if we get penalties at the wrong time, it comes back to bite us.

 

"It happened last night. We had a good team on the ropes. We had a great game plan, one that was well executed. We had mistakes, but not as many as a week earlier. We are on the right path, but we have clean up the penalties. We are losing points that way and we cannot afford it," he said.

 

Special teams miscues continued to haunt Northwestern. Along with the missed placement kicks, a misdirected kickoff triggered the game-changing 92-yard kickoff return touchdown with 8:32 to go in the third quarter by SLU's Xavier Roberson, who had been held in check on his three previous chances.

 

"We have to get the ball between the posts. We missed seven kicking points last night. It's accuracy, and that was a big factor on the kickoff return also. We wanted the ball deep left, got it short and in the middle of the field," said Thomas. "That condensed our coverage, and put us at a disadvantage. Then we missed four tackles, on a great returner who was leading the nation coming in, but until that kick we had done a great job defending him.

 

"It's very little things, a fine line between success and failure, and when you're playing a good quality team, they have to be executed to a T. We will demand these things get done, or we will get somebody else in to do it," he said.

 

Sophomore Ed Eagan had the biggest game by a Demon receiver in five seasons, with 145 yards on seven catches, including the game's first score, a leaping 32-yard grab. But he couldn't catch the kickoff following Roberson's runback, with a knuckleballing bouncer skipping through his hands and off his leg out of bounds at the NSU 1. One play later, SLU tied the game at 16 on a safety.

 

"Ed had a phenomenal night making plays otherwise," said Thomas. "It was one of those balls that came off the bat kinda squirrelly, spinning the opposite way, and I really think he looked to see where the coverage was because the ball was getting to him slowly. Major league shortstops miss ground balls at times, and this happened to be a really bad time and place for us."

 

With the Demons chipping the ensuing free kick short to avoid Roberson, SLU got the ball just shy of midfield and used two pass completions for 30 yards in a drive that put the Lions on top to stay, 23-16, with 5:33 left in the third quarter.

 

"In just over three minutes, we lost everything we had built to that point. We played a tremendous first half holding Southeastern, who was averaging 36 points a game, to seven. Even after that mess in the third quarter we still had our opportunities, but just didn't get the job done down the stretch," said Thomas. "We should have had some cushion, but our mistakes and missed opportunities wiped it out."

 

Buoyed by the team's overall improvement and resiliency in the wake of a bitterly disappointing defeat a week earlier, Thomas is determined and upbeat heading into next Saturday's visit to two-time defending Southland champion and FCS runner-up Sam Houston State - upset at McNeese State on Saturday night.

 

"We've got five games to go, and we'll take them one at a time. We've got a good football team. Let's clean up the mistakes, go over to Sam Houston, and win the game. It can be done," said Thomas. "Anything can happen. We can still go 8-4 and get in the playoff hunt. I do believe we're on the right path." 

  • College FootballMore>>

  • Cincinnati picked to win American

    Cincinnati picked to win American

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:19 AM EDT2014-07-29 13:19:15 GMT
    Cincinnati has been picked to win the American Athletic Conference, with defending champion Central Florida second.
    Cincinnati has been picked to win the American Athletic Conference, with defending champion Central Florida second.
  • Penn State hires former Cal AD to lead program

    Penn State hires former Cal AD to lead program

    Saturday, July 26 2014 3:54 PM EDT2014-07-26 19:54:18 GMT
    Penn State has hired Sandy Barbour as athletic director, a month after she stepped down as AD at the University of California-Berkeley.
    Penn State hired Sandy Barbour as athletic director, a month after she stepped down as AD at the University of California-Berkeley.
  • Browns fans flock to see Johnny Football

    Browns fans flock to see Johnny Football

    Saturday, July 26 2014 3:34 PM EDT2014-07-26 19:34:47 GMT
    With No. 2 jerseys ringing the field, Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel has begun his quest to win Cleveland's starting job.
    There were No. 2 jerseys everywhere, ringing the practice fields in various shapes, sizes and colors.
  • National SportsMore>>

  • NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:03:21 GMT
    The NCAA has agreed to settle a class-action head injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing...
    The NCAA agreed on Tuesday to help athletes with head injuries in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit that college sports' governing body touted as a major step forward but that critics say doesn't go...
  • 'Out of nowhere': Twins add undrafted 24-year-old

    'Out of nowhere': Twins add undrafted 24-year-old

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:59 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:59:39 GMT
    In one of their craziest scouting experiences, the Minnesota Twins have reached a deal with a 24-year-old pitcher who has thrown 100 mile per hour fastballs in a California summer league but has never been drafted.
    In one of their craziest scouting experiences, the Minnesota Twins have reached a deal with a 24-year-old pitcher who has thrown 100 mile per hour fastballs in a California summer league but has never been drafted.
  • ESPN suspends Smith for comments on abuse

    ESPN suspends Smith for comments on abuse

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:37 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:37:50 GMT
    ESPN says it has suspended sportscaster Stephen A. Smith for a week because of comments about domestic abuse suggesting women should make sure they don't provoke attacks.
    ESPN has suspended outspoken sportscaster Stephen A. Smith for a week because of his comments about domestic abuse suggesting women should make sure that they don't do anything to provoke an attack.
Section is sponsored by:
AUG 28 6:00pm CDT Missouri State
SEP 6 TBA at Baylor
SEP 13 TBA at Southern Baton Rouge
SEP 20 TBA at LA Tech
OCT 4 TBA at Southeastern LA Hammond
OCT 11 6:00pm CDT Incarnate Word
OCT 18 6:00pm CDT Sam Houston State
OCT 25 TBA at Central Arkansas Conway
NOV 1 6:00pm CDT McNeese State
NOV 8 TBA at Abilene Christian
NOV 15 6:00pm CDT Nicholls
NOV 22 TBA at Stephen F. Austin
  • SportsMore>>

  • Emmitt Smith to speak at kick off luncheon

    Emmitt Smith to speak at kick off luncheon

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:25 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:25:52 GMT
    http://independencebowl.org/shop/kickoff-luncheon/http://independencebowl.org/shop/kickoff-luncheon/
    Pro Football and College Football Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith will be the featured speaker for the fifth-annual Duck Commander Independence Bowl Kickoff Luncheon.The kickoff luncheon is set for Wednesday, August 13, at 11:45 a.m. at the Shreveport Convention Center. (318) 221-0712, toll free at (888) 414-BOWL
    Pro Football and College Football Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith will be the featured speaker for the fifth-annual Duck Commander Independence Bowl Kickoff Luncheon.The kickoff luncheon is set for Wednesday, August 13, at 11:45 a.m. at the Shreveport Convention Center. (318) 221-0712, toll free at (888) 414-BOWL
  • Dak-attack; Haughton grad's talent plus experience yields results

    Dak-attack; Haughton grad's talent plus experience yields results

    Dak-attack; Haughton grad's talent plus experience yields results

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:00 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:00:19 GMT
     Mississippi State may have their most complete team yet under Dan Mullen with 30 returning starters. Experience can be invaluable in the SEC, especially when it comes to the position of quarterback. And that's why Mississippi State has all the confidence in the world in Haughton native, Dak Prescott.
     Mississippi State may have their most complete team yet under Dan Mullen with 30 returning starters. Experience can be invaluable in the SEC, especially when it comes to the position of quarterback. And that's why Mississippi State has all the confidence in the world in Haughton native, Dak Prescott.
  • Springhill, LA all-star team still dishing out punishment in Florida

    Springhill, LA all-star team still dishing out punishment in Florida

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:34 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:34:17 GMT
    Team Punishment, the under-12 area all-star team from Springhill, LA, got two big wins Tuesday while facing elimination at the USSSA Elite World Series at Disney World/Kissimmee, FL.
    Team Punishment, the under-12 area all-star team from Springhill, LA, got two big wins Tuesday while facing elimination at the USSSA Elite World Series at Disney World/Kissimmee, FL.
Share Your Images
Powered by WorldNow
    Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTBS. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
    Advertising | EEO Public File | KTBS 3 Public File | KPXJ 21 Public File