A new college football season offers new hope – and an opportunity for renewed jitters.
Big things are expected from Braden Foley, the talented sophomore quarterback at Puget Sound.
But given the reins Saturday in the Loggers’ season-opening game at Sewanee – the University of the South – Foley and the offense squandered red-zone opportunities.
The defense did not hold up its end, either, in the Tigers’ 30-7 victory over UPS at Harris Stadium in Lebanon, Tenn.
UOS racked up 463 rushing yards in its triple-option attack, and held the ball for almost 36 minutes.
“I did not anticipate their front … manhandling us,” UPS coach Jeff Thomas said.
Foley threw four interceptions – three coming inside the Tigers’ 20-yard line. But the other one was the turning point of the game.
Trailing 10-7 midway through the second quarter, the Loggers had just crossed midfield when Foley decided to take a chance on a big-play pass intended for preseason NCAA Division III All-American receiver Adam Kniffin down the sideline.
Foley’s pass was underthrown, however, and UOS safety De’Nard Ford stepped in front for an interception.
“Going to Kniffin was not a bad read,” Thomas said. “The execution of the throw was not good.”
The Tigers went 85 yards in 12 plays, and took a 17-7 lead on Jase Brooks’ 2-yard touchdown scamper with 2:52 to go – his second score of the quarter.
The Loggers held a 7-0 lead 51/2 minutes into the game on Foley’s 32-yard TD strike to Kniffin, who finished with six catches for 91 yards. After that, UOS reeled off 30 consecutive points.
“You can’t block the way they do in a traditional offense … so the way in which we lost can be easily fixed,” Thomas said. “We are going to be much better than what we showed, and our quarterback will play much, much better, too.”