News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

Sports

October 2, 2013

Red-zone success takes constant tinkering

TERRE HAUTE — If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Indiana State’s red zone offense “ain’t” broke, in fact, the Sycamores are ranked 10th in the Football Championship Subdivision in red-zone offense scoring percentage.

Still, last Saturday’s 38-37 loss to Tennessee Tech stung a bit more considering that the Sycamores had chances they didn’t cash in against the Golden Eagles in scoring range.

ISU was in the red zone six times. It scored touchdowns on three occasions, settled for a field goal twice and didn’t score at all on another red-zone possession.

Given that ISU’s red zone scoring percentage is at .933 for the season, there’s no reason to panic, but given that ISU less than the margin of a field goal away from being 2-2 instead of 1-3, converting red-zone opportunities into touchdowns is paramount for the Sycamores as they embark on Missouri Valley Football Conference play on Saturday against Youngstown State in the annual Homecoming contest.

“We have to take advantage of our opportunities. We were good in the red zone prior to this game, but we have to score touchdowns,” ISU coach Mike Sanford said.

To note that execution is the key to success in the red zone is not exactly revelatory, but it’s still something that is constantly worked on by ISU’s coaches. So how does a team make itself better?

Half the battle is recognizing that it’s a different game inside the 20. ISU’s spread offense, for example, is hemmed in by the short field. Precision — particularly in throws and pass routes — become paramount as the defense can more easily defend the limited space.

“Once you get down in the red zone, the field is short. Defensive backs aren’t afraid to get beat deep. You have to react a bit quicker and be on top of your game. Everything’s quicker,” ISU quarterback Mike Perish said.

Sanford noted that it’s a week-to-week process to maintain red zone success. Every team defends a short field a bit different. Film study will usually reveal, as it has regarding Youngstown State for Sanford and his staff, what can be attempted to exploit a weakness.

While the passing game changes one thing doesn’t when it comes to moving the ball anywhere on the field.

“You have to run the football well in the red zone. When we ran well in the red zone, we scored. When we didn’t, we didn’t score,” Sanford said.

ISU’s red zone scoring percentage is in the top 10 nationally, but it is possible that the Tennessee Tech game was more indicative of things to come than the Sycamores would like to admit. ISU ranks 103rd in third down conversions (.304), and obviously, converting third downs or avoiding third down altogether are important to red zone success too.

As long as ISU’s offense is productive — it had 554 total yards in the loss last Saturday — it will have chances to score. The Sycamores just want to make sure those chances are cashed in.

“It’s all about attitude. It’s an attitude we have to have that we don’t accept anything less than a touchdown. When you have that attitude, it gives you that extra step to make a play,” Perish said.

“We did a lot of good things [against Tennessee Tech]. We moved the ball, we made a lot of big plays, but what we’re focused on is that we had a few mistakes that really hurt us. It kept the game closer and we ended up losing the game for us. We want to be more consistent,” he added.

n Assessing the nonconference season — ISU played four nonconference games and all four were different in their way. ISU suffered an ugly blowout loss, triumphed in a blowout win, and had two close losses, though the tenor of each setback was different.

ISU will play its next eight games against Missouri Valley Football Conference competition, starting with YSU. Despite a 1-3 record, the Sycamores feel they’re better than they were when they began their season journey at Indiana on Aug. 29.

“We showed a lot of progress. You can see it from the Indiana game to now. We’ve improved a lot and we’re still improving,” Perish said.

At various stages of the nonconference season, injuries took away six Sycamores who started against the Hoosiers in the season opener, five of those players from the defensive side.

The upshot is that a lot of ISU’s young players got to prove themselves.

“We’ve got a ton of experience for our young players. With the injuries we’ve had, we’ve moved young guys into playing roles and the experience has helped them,” Sanford said.

n Injury report — ISU’s defense continued to suffer more injury blows. Safety Phil Wilson and linebacker Jordan Jackson, both of whom played in place of other injured ISU starters, are doubtful on Saturday, according to Sanford.

Sanford said wide receiver Demory Lawshe, who suffered a concussion on a controversial second quarter hit on Saturday, has cleared his concussion test and should be done with his four-day waiting period by Saturday’s game.

It is hoped that the beleaguered secondary will get a boost if starting safety Donovan Layne makes his long-awaited return from an ankle sprain. Other stricken Sycamores could return as well.

“Donovan Layne is the best he’s been. A guy who’s been getting ready to play, but hasn’t is Chris O’Leary. Mark Sewall played, but wasn’t 100 percent, but he’s getting better and better,” Sanford said.



 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
Local Interest
SPT 071914 DEFENDING CHAMP.jpg

Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterOuch: Defending Men's City Chamion Tom Jones reacts to a missed putt on the 6th hole at Rea Park Saturday morning. Jones is seeking his 9th Men's title.

High School
College
  • ISU basketball trio earn national academic honors

    A trio of Indiana State basketball student-athletes have been named to the 2013-14 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court as announced by the national organization. Honored from Indiana State were Lucas Eitel, Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell.

    July 23, 2014

  • Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville

    Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Truebytower.jpg Memorable experience in Morocco for ISU soccer team could help team's growth

    Coming off the best season in its history, the Indiana State women’s soccer team figures to have the experience to do even better in the upcoming fall season.
    Or maybe that’s #TheExperience.

    July 23, 2014 11 Photos

  • Metro: Former Miss Softball joins Purdue staff

    Terre Haute North graduate Megan Ciolli Bartlett, the state’s 2001 Miss Softball and a two-time All-American at Notre Dame, is joining the Purdue coaching staff.

    July 21, 2014

  • Metro: ISU graduate Johnson sixth in shot at Monaco

    Indiana State graduate Felisha Johnson competed in her first International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League track and field meeting Friday, placing sixth in a shot put competition that featured six of the top seven throwers in the world for 2014.

    July 18, 2014

Sports Columns
SPT072114sprints crowd.jpg

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Records: Near perfect weather contributed to record attendance at racetracks around the state, including the Action Track, seen here.

Pro Sports
SPT 072314 PHEGLEY LINE.jpg

It was the Knights' day: Charlotte's Josh Phegley, center, high fives teammates and coaching staff after the Knights defeated the Indianapolis Indians 8-4 on Wednesday in Indianapolis.

Terre Haute Rex
Colts
Auto Racing
AP Auto Racing News
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
NDN Video
Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News