SU Football Week 2: A Bishop Bash
Greetings from The Booth!
As we enter September and the NFL season is officially underway and we get into Week 2 of college football, The Booth is now a “No Nats Zone.” I am now out of rants and raves about the DC baseball team, who will be saddled this year with the title “Most Disappointing Team Of 2018.” ‘Nuff said…
I do want to mention the passing of Burt Reynolds, he of movies like Deliverance (one of the most disturbing movies of all time), and the iconic “The Longest Yard” from the early 70’s. He was also a fine athlete at Florida State University. My friend, Coach C, tells me that of all the rings won by legendary FSU coach Bobby Bowden, the ring he wears is the one given him by Burt Reynolds. Hopefully somewhere in Burt’s funeral procession will be the black Trans-Am from Smokey and the Bandit.
OK, on to SU football. The Hornets opened up the 2018 season last Saturday on a stifling 90-degree day in Fayetteville, NC, against the Methodist Monarchs and took care of business with a 48-33 win. The Hornets certainly didn’t fire on all cylinders, but it says a lot about the current state of the program when you don’t feel completely satisfied with a 15-point win.
One of the bright spots Saturday was the contribution of newcomers like Ethan Bigbee, who caught a TD pass, and Rashadeen Byrd, who contributed 69 yards and a TD to the Hornet running attack. And while not spectacular, QB Hayden Bauserman was solid, throwing for 283 and 3 scores. Defensively, Daquan Pridget picked off 3 passes and was named ODAC Defensive Player of the Week, and Nate Hill had a school-record 100 yard “pick 6.”
This week, SU starts a long 5-game homestand with another former USA South rival NC Wesleyan. This game for me is scary. The Bishops are much improved and have an experienced signal caller in senior Nate Gardner, who has a bevy of targets. NCW is coming off a confidence-building opening win against a highly-regarded program in Thomas More (Ky). In that 35-28 last-minute victory, the Bishops dominated early and were constantly in the Thomas More backfield, while giving Gardner all day to throw the ball, which he did to the tune of 338 yards & 4 TD passes.
Obviously, one of the big keys this week will be protecting Bauserman from a very athletic NC Wesleyan defense. This task falls on an experienced Hornet O-line, which kept Hayden’s jersey clean all day last week. On the other side of the ball, the SU pass rush will need to at least make Gardner uncomfortable.
The Hornets were a little sloppy last week, and will need to clean up things like dropped TD passes, and turnovers that put the SU defense in a tough spot. All-in-all, though, a good opening team win on the road.
I don’t see this game being anything like the 61-14 Hornet win last year in Rocky Mount. To overlook the 2018 Bishops would be a recipe for disaster. I don’t think the SU coaching staff will let that happen, and in a high-scoring affair, I see Shenandoah prevailing 47-31. See you at Shentel!
That’s it from the Booth…until next time,