Down 40–0 after one quarter Saturday night wasn’t the start the SFU football team was looking for. And when it was all said and done, the 68–7 loss to the Texas A&M Kingsville Javelinas — a deficit of 61 points — was likely “the second most lopsided in SFU team history,” according to The Province’s Howard Tsumura.
“We played a team that was very well-prepared, they were very big, very athletic,” head coach Kelly Bates told The Peak. “They were very successful on every drive, we don’t have the ability to sustain any drives, we don’t help our defence, and they had some big plays.”
It didn’t take long for the Javelinas to get up on the board — just 22 seconds. On their very first opportunity of the night, Kingsville quarterback Myles Carr threw for an 80-yard completion, giving the team their first touchdown of the night, the first of 10.
SFU’s first drive of the night looked as if it might be successful, with quarterback Miles Richardson opening his night with throwing for two consecutive first downs — an 11-yard pass and a 19-yard pass. For good measure, the Javelinas took a roughing the passer penalty and gave SFU 15 more yards.
But the fun ended there. The drive ended with a turnover on downs when an attempt to go for it on the fourth down with nine yards failed. Naturally, Kingsville took advantage of this, putting up another touchdown in their returning drive.
In the remaining three quarters, SFU fared better. The Clan managed their only points of the game in the second quarter when a blocked punt was returned for a touchdown by linebacker Trevor Kemp. SFU tied the Javelinas 7–7 in the second quarter, and lost the third and fourth quarters 14–0 and 7–0, respectively.
“I think we need to learn from what happened last week and understand that [. . .] we have to show up and be ready to play.”
“It’s not easy to be down as much as we were, as early as we were, to understand that there’s still three quarters of play left, and those three quarters aren’t just going to magically disappear,” said Bates. “To embrace that and to understand that this is an opportunity to build some character and reveal some character — well, that’s the positives.
“I thought our kids played hard, I thought they learned from it, I thought they got a good lesson in terms of seeing how they have to play if they want to play at the next level, and we can only get better from that.”
SFU are now 0–2, and have yet to begin conference play. Last week, they could excuse the fact that they lost 47–3 to their Division I opponent (which, even then, was in the FCS, which is a lower tier than you would see on TV in bowl games). This week, however, they lost worse to a Division II team that, despite beating a Division I FCS team the previous week, hasn’t won a conference game since 2012.
In two games, SFU has only scored 10 points.
The Clan has a tough challenge this Saturday at the home opener against Humboldt State. Last year, Humboldt State handed SFU their worst loss with a 57–0 defeat on the road. If SFU has one thing going for them, they are a much better team at home than on the road. Last season, SFU lost on average by 29.4 points per game on the road, while they lost by an average of only 6.5 points per game at home.
“I think we need to learn from what happened last week and understand that regardless of how fast the team starts, we have to show up and be ready to play on the first snap — there’s no easing into the game of football, so I hope that we learn that lesson,” said Bates.
Last season, SFU didn’t win a game, but were for the most part competitive (at home, at least). This season, they’ll need to be more competitive before they can win.
Kickoff is at 6 p.m. Saturday at Swangard Stadium. The Clan will be playing Humboldt State.