UNA offense sputters in 5-0 loss to VSUPublished 8:00am Friday, October 15, 2010
Many records were set Thursday night, but none of them were in the favor of the University of North Alabama as No. 19 Valdosta State upset the third-ranked Lions 5-0.
The Blazers held the Lions to aUNA record low 101 yards of total offense was the lowest scoring victory for Valdosta State and handed the Lions their first shut-out loss since 2001 and the first home shut-out loss since 1997.
“Their defense out played our offense,” said UNA coach Terry Bowden. “They physically whipped our offense.”
The Blazers scored at 7:42 of the first quarter when UNA fumbled deep in its own territory and quarterback Lee Chapple fell on the ball in the end zone for a safety.
While the Lion offense performed poorly, the defense played strong. Leading 2-0 in the first quarter Valdosta drove the UNA 3-yard line, but the Lions stopped them on four plays for a turnover on downs.
The Blazers had eight drives in the first half, with three starting inside the UNA 40-yard line, but the Lions them away on each of the drives to prevent VSU from adding to its lead.
The Lion offense sputtered in the first half, recording -11 yards in the first quarter and 35 yards in the second quarter. UNA’s offensive woes continued in the second half.
With offense stalling and the defense holding strong, UNA was put in tough field position all night. The Lions had 13 drives with an average starting position of their own 21-yard line.
“We got bad field position most of the game,” Bowden said. “We couldn’t get out of it.”
Being pinned deep for most of the night gave Valdosta an opportunity to score several times.
Valdosta State had 14 drives with an average starting position of its own 40-yard line. Despite their good fortunes, the Blazers could not capitalize. Their only second-half score was a 36-yard field goal by Daniel Anderson with 6:41 remaining in the game.
While Valdosta State was held to 262 total yards of offense, it was the first team to rush for more than 100 yards against the Lions this season. The Blazers had 125 rushing yards on 48 carries.
Following the field goal, UNA had a chance to win the game. The Lions drove to the Blazer 31-yard line, but Valdosta intercepted a Chapple pass to end the threat.
“We had a chance to drive down and win the game, but we didn’t,” Bowden said. “I’ve got to get on the film and see if we can put together first downs and put points on the board.”
UNA had six first downs, which is the fifth-lowest amount VSU has allowed in its program’s history and the 101 total yards the Blazers surrendered was the 10th-lowest total in team history.
“(The offense) has to be good before it can be great,” Bowden said. “We have to decide what we can do well.”