With a flawless score put up by the Missouri Western Griffons over Langston University, fans may believe to think this team is near perfect.
But once that fan looks at the numbers and notices the competition was not the best, then they begin to question how good this Griffons team will really be.
The first part of the game was a slow start – not a lot of action for the offense – but the defense and special teams were making plays to keep the fans into the game. It seemed as though Western had the field goal kicker out there on the field more than the offense.
The defense made some excellent plays to keep this game a shutout from the beginning. Three interceptions and three fumble recoveries were plenty to keep the momentum going for the team, and with the help of special teams, it was only a matter of time before the offense would take off and begin to put up numbers.
Going into halftime with a strong lead was not good enough for the Griffons. In the third quarter, 21 points were added to the score to boast the differential to 40. The team was beginning to function well on all cylinders. Running the ball became the main strategy for Western. The scheme was working well, so they stuck to it throughout the quarter. The Griffons completed every one of their possessions in the quarter, where in the first half 4-7 possessions resulted in field goals.
Michael Hill had an average game. Nothing stellar took place, but he was a constant worry on this Langston University defense. Hill averaged 4.6 yards a carry, moving the ball in for three scores throughout the game showed his hard work had paid off, even though his numbers were nothing to boast about. Hill ran for under 100 yards and received another 13.
One standout player who kept popping up through the game was CB Isaac Collins, who was making plays on special teams and on the defensive side of the ball. With a blocked punt and the recovery taken all the way to the Langston seven yard line Collins was able to set the Griffons up for their first score of the game.
Early in the fourth quarter Collins was able to make a great interception in a very timely manner. It was the deepest Langston had made it into Griffon territory and while knocking on the door of the red zone, Collins was able to snag an opportunity away quickly.
For the most part, the team did look stellar to this 2-0 Langston team, but the one part of the team that looked weak to everyone was the Griffons quarterback. Travis Partridge seemed to be having problems making smart plays from the get-go of this game. Partridge seemed as though he could not throw on the run, nor could he complete a pass to a player in motion.
In the opening minutes of the third quarter, a 53 yard reception was made by Tarrell Downing. On paper the play looks like a great score, but in reality the receiver had to stop his momentum to come back for the ball, then make a great turn up the field for the score. Partridge never looked completely confident in the pocket. During scramble situations it seemed as though he was unsure of what choices to make.
Throwing for a 50 percent completion rate was not a great showing from this young quarterback against a team of Langston’s quality. With the 18 offensive plays in the third quarter, 11 rushes and seven passes were attempted. The third quarter was such a large success due mainly to the running scheme brought together by the coaches.
This Western team has the ability to have a great season, but with QB questions already being brought up by fans and players, it makes one question: What will happen? If the accuracy questions are brought to light and fixed for this Thursday’s game, then the team will have nothing to worry about except making a run for the playoffs.