ERRORS COSTLY: Dropped passes and penalties keep Trojans out of win column against Panthers on Friday
Published 3:30 am Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Last week’s game against the Georgia Panthers left a sour taste in the mouth of Trojan head coach Neal Brown.
The Trojans, 3-8 and 2-5 in the Sun Belt, had trouble with every aspect of the game in the 31-21 loss, including penalties, which they have successfully avoided most of the season.
“We have to decide what we are going to stand for in our program,” Brown said Friday afternoon. “There were some things today that we aren’t going to stand for. You’re not going to see that; we will get it cleaned up.”
In the weekly press conference on Monday, Brown backed tracked a little and mentioned that the penalties called on his team were not because of lack of heart or ill will. Instead, they came from aggressive play.
“After going back and reviewing the film, I don’t think we played the game in any ill-spirited way,” Brown said. “I don’t think we played the game the wrong way. I thought our kids were aggressive, but within the rules. That was something I was really upset about, because (playing will ill-will) was out of character for how we’ve played the whole season.”
The Trojans entered the game as one of the least penalized teams in the league. On Friday, they incurred 12 penalties for 117 yards.
“I’m not very pleased,” Brown said. “A lot of you were there after the game and I wasn’t pleased with the way we played. I thought our effort was good. Our effort gave us an opportunity to win the game. Our execution did not. We didn’t execute like we needed to in any phase.”
Amongst the costly penalties for the Trojans were a couple of personal fouls by Clark Quisenberry that sent him into the locker room. Receiver Brian Holmes also was sent to the locker room by the coaching staff after spiking the football.
Penalties weren’t the only thing that hurt the Trojans during the loss. Despite gaining 21 points on 374 yards, dropped passes plagued the offense.
“Offensively I thought Brandon Silvers played well,” Brown said. “After going back and watching the tape his numbers weren’t overly impressive, but we had nine drops on the day and we didn’t play well enough at the wide receiver position. That’s something that we’re going to concentrate on a lot this week and we’ll play better this week. I know we’ll finish on a better note at that position than we played on Saturday.”
Brown hoped to bring a quick turnaround to the program during his inaugural year as head coach. Although the Trojans have struggled putting a consistent team on the field in 2015, a win on Saturday would eclipse the Trojans overall record of 3-9 from a year ago.
“Our message to our football team is ‘we need to finish this year strong,’” Brown said. “I’m not pleased with what happened at Georgia State. I thought that was a game that we were capable of winning. I’m not saying we’re better than them by any means, but that was a game that we were capable of winning and we didn’t win it for whatever reason. We have a chance to get another conference win, and we need to finish this year on a strong note.”
The Trojans hope to sail into the off-season on a high note when they take on Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.