Coming off a fresh loss against Dayton in a nail bitter, the Sycamores have been playing with a chip on their shoulders after two very close games to start off the season. Saturday will also mark Youth Sports Day. Any child with their Youth team uniform will receive free admission while the adults accompanying them will be able to purchase a ticket for $5.
Unfortunately, the trees loss their home opener, but there are a lot of positives that come from these losses. In both the games the Sycamores lost from an unsuccessful game winning drive. Secondly, in the Dayton game the Sycamores rushed for 358 yards that game and had two backs rush for over 100 yards.
Peterson Kerlegrand ended the contest with 194 yards and two touchdowns on the day. Throughout all this offensive efficiency the Sycamores still could not edge out the win. Ryan Boyle threw for 147 yards on 13-28 passing with one touchdown and two interceptions. It also was not a very good day for the Sycamore defense either, being that they gave up 42 points. This a trend that the Sycamores will need to fix as the season progresses. The offense is putting up great production in huge part due to the Senior offensive line. On the other hand, 251 yards through the air and almost 150 on the ground is unacceptable for the ISU defense.
Moreover, the effort created by the offense will slowly demoralize as the season goes on if the defense cannot step up sooner. For example, ISU was in the driver’s seat for the majority of the first half until Dayton went on a 21-point clinic in the second quarter. Another major key that Sycamores have to improve upon will be Passing accuracy ball security. They had three turnovers with two picks and one fumble.
Although they were putting points yard and on board, it is only optimal to minimize the turnovers as much as possible. Especially with the defense not living up to their potential quite yet, the offense has to be almost perfect so they can actually close out some games.
In brighter news, Jerry Nunez has toppled the school record for most made PAT’s with 87. He surpasses a Sycamore legend by the name of Scott Bridges who set the record in 1985. That, however, is not to take away from Clayton Glasco’s 13 tackles and Jonas Griffith’s 11 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and a sack.
Those two balled out on Saturday so they will need to translate that into the rest of the squad reciprocating the same production.
The Sycamores will be matching up against Eastern Kentucky at home this Saturday. In previous years Eastern Kentucky vs ISU has always been a thrilling matchup for both sides of the field. This will give the Sycamores a great opportunity to show some different defensive fronts to confuse the opposing offense and help put some players in better positions to make plays. Overall the trees have a lot of potential for major growth through the course of this season.