By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
Jacksonville State kept the Colonels’ receivers from making big plays and moving the chains on Saturday.
EKU completed only seven passes in the 68-10 loss — and just two of those were to wideouts for a total of 15 yards.
Tight end/fullback Ike Ariguzo had two catches for 42 yards, while fullback Dana DePassio (23 yards, first college catch), running back Caleb Watkins (14 yards) and running back J.J. Jude (eight yards) each had one catch.
Watkins’ catch came on a fourth-down pass on a fake punt from kicker Jordan Berry.
Ja’Tyuan Landing had a 9-yard catch in the fourth quarter and Jaucady Rutledge had a 6-yard catch in the third quarter.
“A lot of overthrows. We just didn’t make plays in the passing game,” Hood said. “They did a good job.”
In the first half, junior quarterback Jared McClain was just 2-of-12 for 42 yards with an interception.
In the second quarter, McClain was 0-for-5.
McClain finished 4-of-15 for 56 yards, while Kyle Romano was 2-of-7 for 32 yards and Berry was 1-of-1.
The Colonels finished with 102 yards passing, their third-lowest total of the season.
Block shifts momentum
The Gamecocks had just a 3-0 lead mid-way through the first quarter when they came up with a big play on special teams.
Ben Endress blocked Berry’s punt attempt, giving JSU the ball on the EKU 15-yard line. Two plays later, Troymaine Pope scored on a 6-yard run.
The Gamecocks the Colonels 31-3 the rest of the first half and took a 40-3 lead into halftime.
“We were just terrible,” Hood said. “We got a punt blocked against a two-man rush with full shield. That kind of tells what today was like.”
Following Pope’s touchdown, EKU’s Devin Borders blocked the extra point. It was the fourth kick block of the season for the redshirt freshman.
Losing big, winning big
The Colonels haven’t been involved in many close games so far this season.
Only one of their nine games has been decided by two touchdowns or less — a 24-10 win over Austin Peay.
The rest of been lopsided, both wins and losses.
In their six wins, the Colonels have out-scored their opponents 231-50, with an average margin of victory of 29.5 points a game.
In their four losses, the Colonels have been out-scored 205-56, with an average margin of defeat of 37.2 points.
In those losses, EKU has allowed at least 42 points in every game, while only scoring more than 10 points once.