Sunday, October 12, 2014

Penalties and a tough turnover cost Terriers chances, momentum against Western Carolina

Both squads committed five penalties on Saturday afternoon at E.J. Whitmire Stadium in Cullowhee, N.C. The Catamounts' infractions actually cost them five more yards than those brought on by the visiting Terriers. However, a few penalties and the game's only turnover stand out as either big momentum changers or the marking of a turning point in Wofford's chances to win the game.

Our first sample comes fairly early on in the second quarter, when the score was still tied at 7-7.

After driving into Wofford territory, Western Carolina found themselves a bit mired at midfield when two unfruitful rushes from Detrez Newsome and the quarterback Troy Mitchell, who started despite a shoulder injury, turned a spirited first down into a bit of a crisis, a third-and-ten.

Although backup Wes Holcombe's pass on the ensuing play fell incomplete, the Terriers were flagged for roughing the passer and the Catamounts were given a renewed set of downs, which they eventually turned into an opportunity for Richard Sigmon to boot through a 33-yard field goal that put the home squad up by three at halftime.

During Wofford's ensuing drive, the Terriers appeared to still be in the game, as they converted three third-and-shorts and a fourth down, traveling all the way to the Western Carolina one-yard line in eleven plays. On the twelfth play of the drive, however, Lorenzo Long fumbled the ball away, proving to be another lost opportunity for Wofford.

Early in the third quarter, the Terriers still had a chance, as they were still only down 10-7, and an opportunity was almost realized when Troy Mitchell's pass on third-and-goal from the Wofford 6-yard line was picked off in the end zone by Brion Anderson. Although the whole play appeared to be handled cleanly by the junior cornerback from St. Augustine, Fla., the play was brought back on charges of pass interference.

These were just a few of the points in the game that seemed to do in the Terriers; of course, our offensive play as a whole and some other defensive aspects, such as our special teams coverage, contributed much to the 26-14 setback as well.

All in all, this was one of those contests that you just want to put behind you as a team and focus on moving forward.

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