Three point stance: GVSU hits the road for Walsh
GV will play in first road game of the year this Saturday
GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Marty Carter (21) carries the ball up field. The Lakers defeat the Wildcats of Northern Michigan with a final score of 50-24 on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 in Allendale.
One: Taking down the Cavaliers
Walsh has had many struggles offensively this season. The Cavaliers have yet to score over 20 points this year, and lost all three of its games by 10 points or more. The Walsh offense is only averaging 11.3 points-per-game this year, compared to the Lakers’ 50.
Additionally, the Lakers’ offense averages nearly three times the amount of total offensive yardage as the Cavaliers’ offense (618 yards-per-game to 218). Simply put, the Cavaliers have a tall task in front of them this Saturday, home crowd or not.
The Lakers had a school record 741 yards of offense in their last game against Northern Michigan. The Cavaliers had 655 total offensive yards on the season.
GVSU coach Matt Mitchell said one thing the Cavaliers have going for them is their defense, which is overshadowed by the poor output of their offense.
“When I watched the tape of the entire football team, I do think they have some athletes on the defensive side of the ball,” Mitchell said. “The biggest problem with their defense is they’ve been on the field a lot. They started the season playing two straight road games.”
Turnovers killed the Cavaliers in their most recent game, a 27-17 loss to Saginaw Valley State. They had two lost fumbles—one of which was returned for a touchdown—and an interception. The defense only gave up 17 points, but the offense only converted 3-of-14 third downs and mustered just 219 yards on offense.
Walsh is led by sophomore quarterback Reid Worstell (294 yards, one touchdown, five interceptions). The Cavaliers’ starting running back, senior Aaron Male, has only 134 yards and one touchdown so far this season. The Lakers’ starting defense, which has only given up points in one game so far this year, is chomping at the bit to take on a Walsh team that hasn’t found an identity offensively.
“That’s something the (coaches) have stressed in practice every day, is creating turnovers,” said GVSU defensive end Sydney Omameh. “That’s something we’re going into the game trying to accomplish. We go into every game expecting to do everything we can to get pressure on the quarterback, which leads to bad throws, which leads to interceptions.”
The Laker defense should have plenty of opportunities against Worstell and the struggling Cavalier offense. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Prediction: GVSU 63, Walsh 7.
Two: Martayveus the magnificent
Martayveus Carter broke GVSU’s single-game rushing record in the 50-24 win over Northern Michigan with 298 yards on just 20 carries. Carter is averaging 13.1 yards-per-carry and leading a rushing attack that averages 357 yards a game.
Carter was named GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week in back to back weeks, and one thing gets lost in translation when talking about the sophomore running back: Carter has only three starts to his name as the No. 1 guy.
Though glimpses of his ability were seen in his 231-yard performance against Colorado State-Pueblo in last year’s playoff run, this type of rushing output wasn’t expected from a team that, at times, struggled to run the ball last season.
“It’s impossible to coach some of the things he does when he gets out in the open field,” Mitchell said. “He’s off to a great start, I think he’s the type of person who has a very positive outlook, has a lot of bounce in his step when he’s very excited. It’s really critical that he continues that same outlook that he has as we start moving forward.
“He’s going to have to be able to compartmentalize some of the publicity he’s starting to get.”
Three: Walton out
Starting cornerback Tre Walton will not play this Saturday due to an injury suffered during the win over Northern Michigan. Mitchell says Walton is “day-to-day” with the injury, which isn’t considered serious. Sophomore cornerback Jacob Studdard, who has received significant time as a backup this season, will replace him in the lineup.
Mitchell has been impressed with Studdard thus far and was especially pleased with his performance in the opener against Tiffin. Expect to see freshmen Kalen Dunham and Jailyn Harden get some playing time as well.