So we’re a day late on our weekly wrap-up; give us a little grace please. Our favorite HBCU played on Sunday evening and that threw the schedule off. With that being said, let’s get to it.
No Apologies Needed
The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats used a strong defensive effort to grind out a 12-9 victory over Tennessee State in Sunday night’s season opener. While it would have been nice to score more than one offensive touchdown and to put a few more points on the scoreboard, the Wildcats need not apologize for defeating a quality opponent from an automatic qualifier league on their home field. Any win against a team the caliber of Tennessee State is a great win; the score not withstanding.
Brian Jenkins is now 4-1 in “revenge games” with the University of Miami being the only team the Wildcats have succumb to in consecutive tries in the Jenkins’ era.
The Passing Game Still Needs Work
You can make an argument that based on pure talent and athleticism; BCU has the deepest and most gifted receiving corp in the conference. However, if you make that argument please do not attempt to use statistics to support your claim. The Wildcats only gained 98 yards of offense through the air against TSU. Ironically it was QB Jackie Wilson’s 6 yard TD pass to Jordan Murphy that proved to be the game winner on Sunday.
Bethune-Cookman has now played 25 games since last passing for 300 or more yards as a team. Conversely, the Wildcat offense has thrown for less than 100 yards 5 times in that same span. The Beach Cats must develop a consistent passing attack as the season progresses if they hope to have any chance of reaching their ultimate goal. The ability is certainly there; now it’s time to translate that ability into on-the-field production.
Multiple QBs the New Normal
Seniors Brodrick Waters and Jackie Wilson alternated series at quarterback throughout the TSU contest with Waters receiving the starting nod. Both players showed flashes of their potential at times but it seemed the offense as a whole lacked a consistent rhythm or flow. The biggest part of that was the TSU defense no doubt. Let’s face it, that’s an athletic and talented bunch who returned all 11 starters from the OVC’s top defense in 2012. Couple that with the fact that this was just the first game of the season and midseason precision was highly unlikely. There was something left to be desired from a playcalling standpoint and we understand that 3 offensive linemen were making their first starts in a BCU uniform. But maybe, just maybe the three-way split of quarterbacks receiving even number snaps during practice and the revolving door on gameday had something to do with the lackluster offensive performance in week one.
With that being said, we fully suspect multiple QBs will be the norm for this team unless one guy clearly seperates himself from the pack. Oh by the way, Quentin Williams, who led the team in passing yards and passing touchdowns a year ago, did not see the field on Sunday but he will certainly factor into the quarterback discussion at some point during the season.
The most impressive unit on the field was by far the BCU defense who delivered a more than solid performance on Sunday. Jarkevis Fields and LeBrandon Richardson each had 10 tackles and Tevin Toney was a disruptive force upfront. The Wildcats kept TSU out of the endzone and limited the Tigers to 3 field goals and just 248 yards of total offense. It was an all-around great performance by the defensive unit. ALL HAIL Defensive Cats!!!!