Game Story

ARTICLES

UCM offense proves too much

By Brett McMillan

Type: Game Story
Publication: Truman State Index
Date Published: Thursday, September 29, 2011

 

For the third time in four weeks, Truman football faced a top 20 ranked team and for the
third time in four weeks the result was the same — a Bulldog loss.

The ‘Dogs’ 54-30 loss to No. 20 University of Central Missouri on Saturday makes
Truman 1-3 overall this season with an identical MIAA record.

“[UCM offensive coordinator] Jim Svobota is, right now, one of the better offensive coaches, play callers that I’ve personally done battle with in the 30 plus years in the business,” head coach Gregg Nesbitt said.

Saturday is the first game since week one in which Truman never led. The Mules won the opening coin toss and, after receiving the kickoff, drove 72 yards in the game’s opening drive to take a 7-0 lead.

Central’s MIAA No. 1 ranked passing offense threw for 353 yards against the Bulldogs. UCM senior quarterback Tommy Corwin saw the majority of the Mules’ snaps, going 32-for-41 with four touchdowns and 360 yards.

Truman was able to disrupt the passing attack once when junior defensive back Kyle Whitcher returned the game’s lone turnover — a Corwin interception — for 48 yards ending a UCM drive early in the third quarter.

Corwin, who is averaging 329 passing yards per game is now second in the MIAA in passing efficiency with a rating of 162.4. He and Washburn senior quarterback Dane Simoneau are tied for the league lead in touchdown passes with 14.

“He is in his sixth year,” Nesbitt said. “He is a medical hardship. Even though he hasn’t played a lot of game experience he has got a lot of collegiate experience and he has been under three different, really fine offensive coordinators.

“Bulldog senior quarterback J.B. Clark was 20-for-39 with 304 yards and two touchdowns. Saturday marked two milestones for Clark. He eclipsed 300 yards passing for the first time since joining the Bulldogs and also did not throw any interceptions. Before Saturday, Clark had been averaging 2.3 interceptions a game this season.

“J.B. has been there for us the whole season,” freshman wide receiver Kurt Loyd said. “People have been doubting him, but I don’t. We’ve had his back he has had our backs. He looked great. He just keeps getting better and better.

“Sophomore Dallas Grier was one of the beneficiaries of Clark’s performance, catching eight balls for 95 yards Saturday, leaving him second only to Lloyd who was the ‘Dogs leading receiver on the day.

Loyd had 113 yards on four catches. He fell six yards short of tying senior wide receiver Anthony Brown’s single game season high for receiving yards, which he set last week against Pittsburg State.

UCM junior wide receiver Jamar Howard led all receivers in catches and yards. He had nine receptions for 129 yards. Howard is the MIAA’s leading receiver, averaging 132.5 yards per game. Saturday’s performance brought him to 530 receiving yards this season.

Saturday was UCM’s Family Day and the crowd was more than 10,000, according to the official UCM athletics website.

“Last year, we played well at Pitt [St.] on the road,” Nesbitt said. “We had a come from behind [win] at Emporia State, so there wasn’t any significant difference. I didn’t anticipate [the atmosphere] being a major problem, but it was, because we practiced well last week. Kids prepared well. They were mentally prepared and we just didn’t get out of the gate in the first quarter.”