Sign of things to come?

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IUP's 21-14 loss to Clarion Saturday was its second consecutive defeat at home. The next two games for the Crimson Hawks is not going to get any easier for them.

The Hawks will travel to both Gannon and juggernaut Cal U. IUP's two-game skid could very easily turn into a four-game nightmare.

IUP isn't doing itself any favors by not handing some of the reigns over to quarterback Bo Napoleon.

Napoleon had another modest game. He completed 16 of 29 passes for 169 yards and threw two touchdowns, but the coaching clearly want the running game to win the game for the Hawks. The only problem is, everyone else knows it, too.

It's nothing wrong with using the running game to set up the pass and when you have a bruising back like Harvie Tuck, that is an ideal strategy. But the point is to do until the defese starts focusing on the run, stack nine or 10 men in the box, and beat the defense with the passing game.

Watching the game against Clarion, however, the IUP coaches forgot about the passing part.

By the time the coaches put the game into Napoleon's hands, it was too little, too late.

The Hawks were down two scores with little time left in the game

IUP was forced to switch to a no-huddle attack, which surprisingly worked. Maybe the coaching staff should take not of this.

When Napoleon is given a chance to make consecutive throws and get into a rhythm, he seems to have some success. I'm not saying that he should be throwing the ball 40 or 50 times, but the coaching staff can not continue to play scared with the passing game. It worked against a bad defense against Edinboro, but teams will eventually figure out that Tuck is the go-to guy and shut him down.

Case in point was when had to convert a fourth-and-literally inches. With Tuck and Darryl Herod in the backfield, this should have been a given, but Tuck was stopped short. One word: inexcusable.

If not, expect more of the same from IUP, losing.

By the way, the IUP defense really let the team down against Clarion in the fourth quarter. The unit had a very good outing for three quarters with the standout performer being Mike Gee with six tackles and two sacks of Indiana native Ben Fiscus.

But when IUP needed stops the most, it folded like a bad poker hand.

Three plays after the Clarion defense stuffed Tuck on fourth down, the IUP defense parted like the Red Sea and let Alfonso Hoggard run 69 yards for the final nail in IUP's coffin.

After this stretch of games, IUP's season could very easily be buried right along with it.

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This page contains a single entry by Mr. Vaughn Michael Johnson published on October 17, 2010 11:45 PM.

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