UF Football is now 4-4
By Kevin Schrock
Things seemed to go from bad to worse on Saturday when the Oilers traveled to Grand Valley to take on the Lakers (#12) in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference matchup. The Oilers, who were 0-2 against top 25 teams coming in, dropped that record to 0-3 after suffering a 52-7 thumping in their worst loss of the year. Findlay’s only touchdown came on an Anthony Federico touchdown reception in the third quarter when the game was already out of hand.
The Oilers had gotten used to playing close games, each of their last three being decided by a margin of three points or less, and their worst loss coming in only a 40-28 game against then #13 Ashland back in week 4.
The Findlay offense, which has been rock-solid up to this point in the season, went ice-cold to start the game. They strung together five straight three-and-outs which accounted for all of their first quarter possession time.
“We couldn’t get things going early and that was unfamiliar territory for us,” said coach Rob Keys. “When we came out with five straight three and outs that made things even harder for us on defense and it would have made it harder for any defense.”
Meanwhile the Lakers were not wasting anytime on the offensive side of the ball. They rallied for a pair of touchdowns in each of the first two quarters.
Going into the half down by 28 was unfamiliar territory for the Oilers and against as good of a team as Grand Valley is, the situation was bleak. However, the coaching staff mentioned one thing before they left.
“The last thing we said at halftime was that we had a weakness in our punt defense that left the door open for the punter to run,” said Coach Keys. “When they ended up scoring on the fake punt on the first possession of the half it made it that much more frustrating.”
What made it more frustrating for the squad yet was that Gervais connected with Federico on the very next drive, which would have given the Oilers some momentum starting the half. That would be the first and last time Findlay would score.
“The credit goes to the Grand Valley defense though,” added Keys. “They’re one of the best defenses we’ve seen.”
The Lakers would end the game holding the Oilers to 250 yards while putting up an incredible 648 yards of offense for themselves. 383 of those yards came through the air. They averaged 9.5 yards a play.
“This loss was a combination of everybody,” said Keys. “Grand Valley is a very good team and when we play poorly against a team like that this is the result you get.”
The Oilers have three games left in the 2015 season, and despite recent losses, the “win the day” attitude hasn’t changed. According to Keys, they are going to focus on the next day of practice and prepare for Wayne State next Saturday the same as they would for any other game.
“We can’t look at the season like there are three weeks left,” said Keys. “Our attitude hasn’t changed all season and it can’t change now.”
Findlay takes on Wayne State in Detroit on Saturday, Oct. 31, looking to improve on their 4-4 mark.