Hawks look for offensive answers
If a team can't move the ball, it can't score. If a team can't score, it's not going to win games. That is what's happening to the Dickinson State football team. After the Blue Hawks' loss to Wisconsin-Whitewater, coach Hank Biesiot is just hopin...
If a team can't move the ball, it can't score. If a team can't score, it's not going to win games.
That is what's happening to the Dickinson State football team.
After the Blue Hawks' loss to Wisconsin-Whitewater, coach Hank Biesiot is just hoping his team can put together a few solid drives when they visit Jamestown College today in the Dakota Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
After two big losses in which DSU struggled to move the ball -- the Blue Hawks had just eight first downs in a 38-3 loss against Wisconsin-Whitewater -- the team is hoping to improve offensively.
"We've got to make some strides, and fast," Biesiot said. "Sometimes when you say you've got to turn things around, it isn't going to happen with one big explosion. You've got to go for some little things and do the little things first."
As always, Biesiot's plan to get the ball moving begins on the ground.
The Blue Hawks are averaging 3.2 yards per carry as a team and aren't breaking anything big.
Backup quarterback Michael Cooper has the team's longest run from scrimmage this season -- a 15-yard scramble. Starting quarterback Cody Holland has a 14-yard run.
Senior running back James Macey has a team-leading 79 yards rushing on 26 carries and took some of the blame when asked about the team's rushing woes.
"We need to get that ball moving," Macey said. "It's not blind to see that we're a running team. I feel that my effort hasn't been as much as it should be."
DSU has gained just 440 yards on offense this season -- 234 on the ground, 206 through the air -- which is less than what it allowed against both Rocky Mountain and Whitewater.
While Macey takes the blame, Holland said he's not pleased with his performance either.
The junior transfer in his first year with the Blue Hawks, is just 15-for-41 for 203 yards passing with one touchdown -- a 28-yard scoring strike to Blaine Berg against Rocky Mountain -- and three interceptions.
"The first two games aren't the ideal way I would have liked to start off the season for myself," Holland said. "It's not what I wanted and what I thought I wanted to do. I prepared for the game well, but obviously I didn't prepare well enough."
While Biesiot's teams are built from the ground up, the coach stressed that the Blue Hawks must find some sort of passing game because of its talented receiving corps. Berg leads DSU with 89 yards receiving on five catches.
Two-time all-DAC tight end Derek Pauley has caught just two passes for 17 yards and senior Clint Grosz, a three-year starter, has one catch for no yards. Senior running back Zach Hepperle, who last year established himself as both a rushing and receiving threat, has just 51 total yards on 14 touches.
"The strength of our team is we've got four pretty good receivers. But we haven't put them to use," Biesiot said. "That's indicative of some of our struggles."
A bye week gave Macey, Holland and the rest of the Blue Hawks 13 days to lick their wounds from the 38-3 drubbing by Whitewater, and work on much-needed improvements.
Biesiot said the team went back to the drawing board over the break and worked on a few fundamental aspects he hopes can help DSU get the ball moving against the Jimmies.
"Usually when things aren't going well, it's not big things, earth-shaking things, it's doing the little things right," Biesiot said. "We've had more time to emphasize that. We've got to clean some of those little things up. That's crucial whenever you're playing."