|0-6 Johnson C. Smith ‘upbeat’ with Fayetteville State up next|
|Golden Bulls look to earn first win vs. 2-4 Broncos|
|Published Thursday, October 12, 2017 9:18 pm|
|Johnson C. Smith's Golden Bulls will try to break an 0-6 start Saturday against CIAA South rival Fayetteville State (2-4).|
Johnson C. Smith football is haunted by near misses.
The Golden Bulls have been competitive over the last three weeks, only to come up short in a 0-6 season. Still, coach Kermit Blount insists the first win is near – perhaps Saturday against 2-4 Fayetteville State at McGirt Field.
“The kids are still upbeat,” Blount said. “They think and feel they’re better than 0-6 and us coaches, we feel the same. Their time is coming and this is a football team that is very talented. We’ve just been trying to put it together the last six weeks and I think they made a big stride this past weekend.”
JCSU gave CIAA South powerhouse Winston-Salem State all it could handle in a 27-22 loss. The Golden Bulls rang up a season-high for points, but mistakes in scoring territory were the difference. It’s been a familiar theme for JCSU.
“We’ve been shooting ourselves in the foot [with] turnovers,” Blount said. “Offensively, the guys are really starting to understand the scheme of [offensive coordinator Steve] Shipp and what we have to put together. Defensively, we’ve played well enough the last two ball games previous to this weekend to win. We’ve had opportunities. We’ve either missed touchdown passes or fumbled the football going in. Those are the things that have haunted us over the last three weeks.”
The key going forward is ball security, where JCSU has 13 giveaways compared to six for opponents. To succeed against Fayetteville State, the Golden Bulls will have to compete at the line of scrimmage and limit mistakes.
“I think they’re just as hungry as we are,” Blount said. “They have some talented kids [in] that group and they’re going to get after us physically on defense and offensively try to run the football at us. Their special teams have been a plus for them and it’s a matter of us fighting through the adversity and continuing to play at that level I think our kids can play at.”
Saturday is another chance to get over the hump. Recent close calls aside, the Golden Bulls need to take advantages of opportunities to grab that elusive first win.
“We’ve had a chance to win ball games over the last three weekends and we’ve just not been able to close them out,” Blount said, “but I think we’re getting close and I certainly think this weekend we can start it and finish it.”
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