Utica College has lost three straight games after starting the 2009 season 2-0. The biggest part of the problem for Utica was being able to close out games after giving up leads and losing by three points in weeks 3 and 4 against RPI and Ithaca in the last minutes of the games. This week, Springfield College simply outplayed Utica and gave them their first blowout loss of the season with a 46-13 final score.
Lack Of A Running Game
Freshman quarterback Andrew Benkwitt continues to be productive behind center with another great game (23-43, 269 yds., 2 TD, 1 Int.). The issue isn't that the passing offense isn't producing, the issue is that Utica has not had a ground attack since the first two weeks of the season. In the second straight week, Zachary Jones has rushed poorly, with 41 yards on 18 carries (1.8 YPC). I'm not trying to call the kid out, I'm sure he's working hard and has a lot of heart, but as a team leader, sometimes you need to put in even more than just heart.
Time To Regroup
After the game, head coach Blaise Faggiano told the UC Press:
As a whole we had a very difficult game today and unfortunately I thought we took a step back. Now we need to regroup and get the guys refocused for next week. Believe it or not five weeks are down and we have five very important more games to go.
Next weekend, the Pioneers take on first year program Anna Maria College (0-4) in Paxton, MA. This game may be just what the Pioneers need in order to get their offense back on track, continue to work on their defensive schemes and build up the confidence that they had at the start of the season. It's still early and there's plenty of football left in the Empire 8. Fear the moose.
Thanks to prowdad for the photo of the Utica College Pioneers Offense.