Discover more from Blue & Gold Media at Mississippi College
Key Factors in Choctaw Loss to West Florida
The Choctaws’ win streak ended Saturday in a 45-17 loss at West Florida.
Mississippi College football’s three-game winning streak ended Saturday at the hands of the ninth-ranked West Florida Argonauts. After a game in which the Choctaws were outgained 491-348 and gave up the ball twice, they will need to bounce back in a big way if they want to upset Delta State in the Heritage Bell Classic on October 29. Here are three things they should look to improve upon if they want to pick up the big win.
The Choctaw offense managed only 17 points against a West Florida defense that allowed an average of 22.9 points per game this season, good for fourth in the Gulf South Conference. They also turned the ball over twice, including John Henry White’s first interception of the season. This was their first time doing so since their last loss, at McNeese State. Their 17 points are also the least since that contest, a 32-17 loss.
The run game was not nearly as dominant as it had been in recent weeks, as the Choctaws did not have a single runner go for 100 yards. They racked up just 211 yards on the ground, their least since their conference opening loss to North Greenville.
On the season, the Choctaws are undefeated in games where they have scored 20 points or more, however, they are winless in games where they have failed to reach that mark. This is due in part to the ball control aspect of their offense, which relies on the offense maintaining possession of the ball to keep the opposing offense off the field. While the Choctaws still won this category 31:12-28:48, the two turnovers let much of that time go to waste.
Defense continues to struggle
For the second week in a row, the defense allowed 40 points or more. This season has been a struggle for the unit, as they have only allowed 28 points or less twice, and struggled to create turnovers with just three interceptions on the season, the least in the Gulf South Conference. They are also second worst in the league with only five sacks on the season.
In total, they allow 31.6 points per game, good for fifth in the GSC.
UWF quarterback Peewee Jarrett threw for three touchdowns while throwing for just 10-18 and 137 yards. However, the place where the Argos did their real damage was on the ground.
Ra’vion Hargrove picked up 139 yards on just ten carries with a long of 45 yards, Shomari Mason picked up 137 yards on 15 carries, and while C.J. Wilson picked up just 33 yards on his seven carries he scored all three of the Argos’ rushing touchdowns.
The Choctaws were only able to get one tackle for loss on the day by Nate Thurman and did not force a single turnover.
In total, the Argos picked up 491 total yards on the day, and only punted twice. They scored on every other drive on the day except for their final one, where they ran out the clock.
Next for the Choctaws is their anticipated rivalry matchup against undefeated Delta State. Ranked eighth in the nation the Statesmen are one of the hottest teams in the country and led by Quarterback Patrick Shegog they are averaging 43.3 points per game, good for second in the conference. Their 501.8 yards per game are the most in the conference.
Following a disappointing 5-6 season in 2021, the Statesmen have been perfect thus far in 2022, sitting at 8-0.
This will be a big game for both teams, regardless of records as this is one of the most intense rivalries in the Gulf South. If the Choctaws want to come away with the win they are going to have to clean up many of the things that have plagued this team throughout the year.
Turnovers have been the main thing that has killed this triple-option offense throughout the season and must be limited against the league's second-best defense in terms of yards allowed, sacks, and interceptions. The Choctaws have to maintain possession of the ball, allowing their defense to rest and try to score well over that 20-point mark.
The defense has struggled to make tackles on first contact all season as well and must do so against the stout DSU offense. The Choctaws have not won either of the games in which they’ve allowed 40 points this season. If they keep the Statesmen below that mark it will likely mean both sides of the ball have done their job and should give the Choctaws a chance in this game.
Thanks for reading Blue & Gold Media | The Student Voice of Mississippi College! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.