BELTON — Whether it was the scheme or the offense’s inability to execute it, one of the most glaring aspects of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s victory last week was the Crusaders’ struggles against Sul Ross State’s pressure.
With the Lobos gambling in single coverage, the second-ranked Crusaders (4-0) were tackled behind the line of scrimmage 12 times during a 40-18 victory in which the offense was either feast or famine.
“Sul Ross brought pressure and went man-to-man, and we couldn’t capitalize,” UMHB coach Pete Fredenburg said. “If the other team is going to play point-out man-to-man, in order for your offense to be successful you have to hit some long balls and challenge the defense. We didn’t.”
Fearing that opponents will see the film and employ a similar plan, Fredenburg wants his offensive coaches to give quarterbacks Zach Anderson and Brian Gallagher “the tools” to beat the pressure heading into Saturday night’s home game against Trinity (3-1).
Anderson was 11-of-16 for 160 yards, a touchdown and an interception in his second start but was pulled at halftime and again in the fourth quarter. Gallagher was just 7-of-19 for 41 yards and totaled minus-11 yards on the ground, compared to 121 for Anderson.
As of Monday, Anderson was still listed as the starter on the two-deep chart.
The victory over Sul Ross State was the 150th in the 16-year history of the UMHB program.
Of those wins, 80 came at home, 70 were on the road, 129 came during the regular season and 21 were in the NCAA Division III playoffs.
Around the ASC
UMHB stands as the only unbeaten team left in the ASC after East Texas Baptist’s 45-25 loss to Willamette (Ore.).
Sul Ross State (0-4) and Mississippi College (0-3) are the conference’s only winless squads.
This week, the Crusaders have the league’s only non-conference game as Hardin-Simmons, Louisiana College, Howard Payne and MC open conference play. After that, ETBU will be the only team yet to play a conference game.