Dropped passes, no pressure: loss


In last Saturday’s conference loss to New Mexico State, the Aggies did everything they needed to win, while the Huskies had another inconsistent performance.

The story again for the offense was lack of execution. Dropped passes, untimely turnovers and a few key penalties spelled defeat for NIU. The Huskies were out offensed by 140 yards, 530 to 390.

The rushing game accounted for 272 of those yards mainly on LeShon Johnson’s 36 carries. In fact the offense only attempted to pass 22 times, while choosing to run the ball 48 times.

“Twenty-two is pretty normal from a passing game standpoint,” said head coach Charlie Sadler. “We threw the ball and completed our fair share, but our receivers have to hold on to the ball.”

Sadler pointed out three dropped passes, including one which could have easily been called pass interference on the Aggies. Scott Crabtree also overthrew some of his receivers and had three passes blocked, which helped to keep him to just 11 completions and 118 yards for the game.

The guest QB, Johnson, certainly didn’t help improve the passing game. His first career passing attempt resulted in a turnover which kept the Huskies from scoring and tying the game at 14 in the second quarter.

Although Johnson did rack up enough yards to go from one endzone to the other twice, he failed to cross the goal line and that is what the Aggies had focused on.

“LeShon got over 200 yards rushing, but we still won the game,” commented Aggie cornerback Don Stowers.

The defense just couldn’t seem to get it together to contain NMSU’s passing game. Not only did Cody Ledbetter complete 69 percent of his passes, but the Huskie defensive line failed to record any sacks. Both of Ledbetter’s touchdown passes were for over 40 yards to David Osborne (8 catches for 188 yards).

While The Huskies did manage to deflect two of Ledbetter’s passes, the defensive backs can only take credit for one. Safety Eric Lacy turned a potential touchdown away, but the other pass block came from defensive lineman Hollis Thomas. Safety Sam Denson recorded the only Huskie interception.

“It’s easy to blame the defensive backs whenever you see a completed pass, but defense consists of 11 guys,” said Sadler. “We did not have the pass rush that we needed.”