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ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Southern Connecticut football notebook


The victor’s body language at the end of SCSU’s 31-24 win over Bentley last week was that of a team on the losing side.
The Owls did little cheering after the game in which they had to hang on for dear life to preserve a narrow win in their conference opener.
"That’s because we know that we’re much, much better than that," defensive back Ron Turner said.
They better hope so.
Next on the docket for SCSU is a game at CCSU. The Owls nearly defeated their in-state Division I-AA rival last year. But Southern will have to be ready on both sides of the ball this week.
Central walloped Merrimack Saturday 45-7 and a quick perusal of the Owls’ schedule left many believing that Merrimack would be their stiffest competition in the Northeast-10.
The Central game is not the most important contest on the Owls’ slate. It is more like a litmus test. About the only thing that Southern has to lose in the matchup is its pride.
A 45-7 loss would do that.
A loss against Central would not damage the Owls’ playoff aspirations too much but an embarrassing setback certainly wouldn’t help.
A loss, however, would most likely knock the Owls out of the Division-II top 25. Southern headed into this week’s action ranked 24th.
I realize that much of this sounds negative but Southern will not have a chance against the Blue Devils if it doesn’t shore up its defensive efforts. The Owls let Bentley drive the field against them several times Friday night including twice in the fourth quarter for touchdowns and watched a commanding 31-10 lead diminish.
Only a pick off by Turner in the waning seconds prevented the Falcons from tying the contest.
Sure, one could blame the offense for not scoring more, but the last time I checked 31 points was pretty good. And Southern’s defense might be a victim of its own offense which scores so quickly that the defense is back on the field in just seconds.
Still, in two games Owls’ opponents have run 201 offensive plays and that’s way too much.

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