The beginning of a new season is supposed to be a fresh start for any sports team. Unfortunately, it was more of the same for Kelly Bates and SFU football in the beginning of their new campaign. The Clan lost 47–3 to the Idaho State University Bengals. The team is 0–1 to start the 2016 season.
“I think we showed that we are a very young team, especially on offence,” said head coach Kelly Bates to The Peak. “We fought hard to the end of the game, but eventually, our defence just gave way to injuries and the pounding in what was evident, which was they had a very large offensive line and defensive line.”
“Our run game isn’t where it needs to be, and a lot of that was execution.”
The team’s youth was evident in the penalties taken. Perhaps the most crushing one was the delay of game taken early in the second quarter. The score was still 7–0, and a touchdown there could have tied it up and made for an interesting game. Instead, SFU left points on the board and the Bengals scored 19 more points in the half.
Injuries and the running game also were issues during the game. Running back Ante Litre, receiver Tom Franklin, and defensive lineman Kyle Wilson all went down with injuries during the game and the team is waiting on reports from the team doctor according to Bates. The running game was stagnant, to say the least, as the team finished with -22 yards rushing, actually losing more yards running the ball than they gained.
“Our run game isn’t where it needs to be, and a lot of that was execution,” explained Bates. “I know the guys saw on film that if we carry out our jobs the way we know we can from a technique perspective, there were more yards out there.”
Positives from this game include the play of Miles Richardson. The new starting quarterback looked calm under centre in his first game with the team.
“He’s very good with his ball placement, when he goes through his progression of reads and decides to put it out there he puts it in a good spot most of the time,” said Bates. “[. . .] The other [thing] that was promising with Miles was his ability to make plays with his feet. His accuracy in throwing when he was on the run was pretty good. It’s still a learning process for him, [and] it’s a learning process for everyone.”
The other was the play of the defence. Despite giving up 47 points, their play impressed Bates and his coaching staff.
“I was very proud of the defence and the way they stuck in there, the way they played. They made some big plays, four turnovers is huge, [and] the sacks that we had. Our defence gives us tremendous hope going forward. Now our offence has got [to] start to pick it up.”
SFU’s first home game is September 17 against Humboldt State at Swangard Stadium. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.