The East Central Tigers have lost three straight heading into Saturday's homecoming GAC contest with Southern Nazarene.
Needless to say, Tim McCarty's East Central University team needs a "W."
You know what that means. It's healing time for the Tigers, and a winless Southern Nazarene squad coming into Norris Field would seem like an effective antibiotic to what ails ECU at this point in the season.
Poor tackling and poor linebacking play did away with any chance the Tigers might have had of springing an upset last week against powerful (ranked No. 8) Henderson State in Arkadelphia.
The untimely loss of speedy wide receiver George Robbins with a season-ending broken leg, was a huge blow to the Tigers offense, as well.
The Reddies, behind quarterback Kevin Rodgers, chopped the Tiger defense into small pieces in a 63-31 beatdown.
As bad as the final score was, the Tigers had their moments, and at times, appeared to be getting back in the game. Problem was, Rogers completed 42 of his 50 passes, mostly short, underneath the coverage, passes, that frustrated the ECU linebackers all day.
“We stalled out at critical times in the game,” coach Tim McCarty said.
The Henderson receivers took the short passes and turned too many of them into long gains. With Rodgers throwing for just under 600 yards (595), that kept the Tiger defense on the field way too long, which exposed its inexperienced linebackers.
The main contributor to their third loss, though, appeared to be a talented team in a talented program, playing on a slick field only the home team can seem to master, adding to its undefeated record.
The Reddies haven't lost a football game since the 2011 season.
To add to the woes of ECU, Robbins went down with a season-ending broken leg while J.J. Snell was running for a 59 -yard touchdown with a Spencer Bond short pass.