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>>

  • Winston, FSU hold off Oklahoma St 37-31 in opener

    Winston, FSU hold off Oklahoma St 37-31 in opener

    Sunday, August 31 2014 1:40 AM EDT2014-08-31 05:40:38 GMT
    Jameis Winston threw for 370 yards and scored on a sparkling 28-yard run, and No. 1 Florida State opened defense of its national title with a 37-31 victory Saturday night over Oklahoma State on the same field where...
    Jameis Winston and No. 1 Florida State might have to play better for a return trip to the stadium where the next national title will be decided.
  • Todd Gurley leads Georgia past Clemson 45-21

    Todd Gurley leads Georgia past Clemson 45-21

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:10 PM EDT2014-08-31 03:10:56 GMT
    Todd Gurley ran for 198 yards and three touchdowns, returned a kickoff 100 yards for another score, and No. 12 Georgia gained some early style points in the national race with a 45-21 victory over No. 16 Clemson on...
    Todd Gurley felt strong and healthy.
  • Marshall, Johnson, No. 6 Auburn top Arkansas 45-21

    Marshall, Johnson, No. 6 Auburn top Arkansas 45-21

    Saturday, August 30 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-08-31 02:30:50 GMT
    Jeremy Johnson passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and Nick Marshall returned from suspension with a 19-yard scoring run to lift No. 6 Auburn to a 45-21 opening victory over Arkansas on Saturday.
    The Auburn offense didn't slow down a bit, even with Nick Marshall a spectator for half the game.
  • FootballMore>>

  • Winston, FSU hold off Oklahoma St 37-31 in opener

    Winston, FSU hold off Oklahoma St 37-31 in opener

    Sunday, August 31 2014 1:43 AM EDT2014-08-31 05:43:27 GMT
    Jameis Winston threw for 370 yards and scored on a sparkling 28-yard run, and No. 1 Florida State opened defense of its national title with a 37-31 victory Saturday night over Oklahoma State on the same field where...
    Jameis Winston and No. 1 Florida State might have to play better for a return trip to the stadium where the next national title will be decided.
  • Todd Gurley leads Georgia past Clemson 45-21

    Todd Gurley leads Georgia past Clemson 45-21

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:10 PM EDT2014-08-31 03:10:56 GMT
    Todd Gurley ran for 198 yards and three touchdowns, returned a kickoff 100 yards for another score, and No. 12 Georgia gained some early style points in the national race with a 45-21 victory over No. 16 Clemson on...
    Todd Gurley felt strong and healthy.
  • Marshall, Johnson, No. 6 Auburn top Arkansas 45-21

    Marshall, Johnson, No. 6 Auburn top Arkansas 45-21

    Saturday, August 30 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-08-31 02:30:50 GMT
    Jeremy Johnson passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and Nick Marshall returned from suspension with a 19-yard scoring run to lift No. 6 Auburn to a 45-21 opening victory over Arkansas on Saturday.
    The Auburn offense didn't slow down a bit, even with Nick Marshall a spectator for half the game.
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>>

  • Hilliard leads LSU comeback win over Badgers

    Hilliard leads LSU comeback win over Badgers

    Hilliard leads LSU comeback win over Badgers

    Sunday, August 31 2014 1:59 AM EDT2014-08-31 05:59:50 GMT
    Kenny Hilliard scored on a 28-yard touchdown run to cap a fourth-quarter rally for No. 13 LSU in a 28-24 win over No. 14 Wisconsin at NRG Stadium on Saturday night.
    Kenny Hilliard scored on a 28-yard touchdown run to cap a fourth-quarter rally for No. 13 LSU in a 28-24 win over No. 14 Wisconsin at NRG Stadium on Saturday night.

  • Texas wins Strong debut 38-7 over North Texas

    Texas wins Strong debut 38-7 over North Texas

    Texas wins Strong debut 38-7 over North Texas

    Sunday, August 31 2014 1:55 AM EDT2014-08-31 05:55:03 GMT
    David Ash passed for one touchdown and ran for another and Texas started the Charlie Strong era with an overpowering 38-7 win over North Texas in the season-opener for both teams on Saturday night.
    David Ash passed for one touchdown and ran for another and Texas started the Charlie Strong era with an overpowering 38-7 win over North Texas in the season-opener for both teams on Saturday night.

  • Lamar beats Grambling State 42-27

    Lamar beats Grambling State 42-27

    Lamar beats Grambling State 42-27

    Sunday, August 31 2014 1:51 AM EDT2014-08-31 05:51:43 GMT
    Caleb Berry threw for 389 yards and five touchdowns, leading Lamar to a 42-27 win over Grambling State on Saturday night.
    Caleb Berry threw for 389 yards and five touchdowns, leading Lamar to a 42-27 win over Grambling State on Saturday night.

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