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Charleston Southern Runs Over Monmouth in Hawks Home Opener

(Photo via Monmouth Athletics)

(Photo via Monmouth Athletics)

 

Despite trailing just 7-0 at the half, Monmouth University’s football team ended up being blown out by Charleston Southern 35-7.

Monmouth would’ve liked to have won their home opener, but the defending Big South champs had other plans. CSU dominated the second half, generating several big plays while stifling MU’s offense.

Both teams now sit at 2-2 after this game.

CSU completely outplayed Monmouth at the line of scrimmage in this game. They amassed a whopping 322 rushing yards on just 42 carries, which results in a completely ridiculous 7.7 yards per carry. Mike Holloway was the big star of this game, managing 151 yards on the ground on just 11 carries, including a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second half. He later added a 63-yard touchdown on a screen pass late in the fourth quarter. MU’s defense just could not stop the run as they were man-handled by the Bucs offensive line.

Monmouth was successful in slowing down the SMU’s passing game. The Bucs’ two quarterbacks, Shane Bucenell and Robert Mitchell, combined for just 134 yards passing, completing seven of their 15 attempts. They also managed a pair of touchdowns to just one interception, but one of those touchdowns was the screen to Holloway.

Monmouth’s offense struggled in this game as well. They had several untimely penalties. They couldn’t establish the run at all, especially once they got down in the second half. Lavon Chaney has had an impressive season so far, but he was held to just 38 yards on his 14 carries.

Quarterback Cody Williams did his best to put points on the board, but he got no help from his offensive line. He constantly faced pressure from CMU’s defensive front and his receivers didn’t do much to get open. The only receiver who stepped up for him was Reggie White Jr. He made some fantastic catches, including his 31-yard touchdown on 4th and 14 with 9:30 remaining in the third quarter. His touchdown was the only score of the game for the Hawks.

Some quotes from the coach and players:

“The afternoon did not go as well as we hoped. You have to credit Charleston Southern; they had something to do with it. We had opportunities early in the game, but we hurt ourselves with some penalties. Against a team like that, you’re only going to get so many opportunities so you have to make sure you maximize them and make the most of them. In the second half, we came out and gave up a long score. It put us in a situation where we had to play from behind at that point. One of the things we said going in is we didn’t want to give up big plays to them, and we gave up too many big plays today. Another area where we knew we had to do a great job was our special teams. We allowed them to have two very big returns that created great field position for them. We didn’t do enough to beat a team like Charleston Southern today and there are a lot of things we need to improve upon, get better at, and starting tomorrow we’re going to get to work on that.” – Head Coach Kevin Callahan
“I give a lot of credit to them, but I feel like we hurt ourselves offensively. We had some good drives, where we got into the red zone, but penalties brought us back out. Charleston Southern has a great defense and they are a great team.” – Quarterback Cody Williams

“When it comes down to playing triple option, everyone’s got to do their job. One missed assignment shouldn’t be a reason for our defensive play. It happens. It’s just part of football. We were a first half team tonight. Everyone got their assignments in the first half, second half comes around and people are missing tackles and not playing to their responsibilities and things like that.” – Linebacker Payton Minnich

“It’s very hard to play against the triple option. You’re not going to get the same looks in practice that you will get on game day. It’s a lot faster. The coaches were able to put us in the right spot, but we just weren’t able to execute in the second half. We had a good game plan, we just weren’t able to execute today.” – Safety Mike Basile
“We had a lot of momentum going into halftime. We were still in the game and looked forward to coming out in the second half and making plays. We cut their lead to 14-7, but penalties hurt us a lot. We stuck together and kept going, but the penalties came back to hurt us.” – Receiver Reggie White Jr.

Up Next:

Monmouth University will be at home again against Fordham on Saturday, October 1 at 1 p.m. The game will air on ESPN3.

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