College Football

College game preview: Quincy University at Missouri S&T

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Nov. 11, 2017 12:01 am

QU at Missouri S&T

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Allgood-Bailey Stadium, Rolla, Mo.

Records: QU -- 3-7 (1-5 Great Lakes Valley Conference). Missouri S&T -- 6-4 (4-2 GLVC).

Radio: ESPN 1440 AM, WGEM 98.9 FM

Last meeting: Nov. 12, 2016 -- Missouri S&T 24, QU 20. Taking possession at their own 32-yard line with just 22 seconds remaining in regulation, the Hawks reached the Miners' 3-yard line in three plays with three seconds left. However, Robbie Kelley's pass intended for Eric Poindexter was tipped away on the final play of the game. Kelley threw for 411 yards in his final game at QU's quarterback, with Poindexter catching eight passes for 113 yards.

Scouting the Hawks: Having lost five games in a row and in danger of going winless on the road this season, Quincy is looking for some momentum to carry into the offseason.

A victory would guarantee that. A crisp, clean, spirited effort would as well.

"The most important thing for our guys is we need to consistently execute throughout an entire football game," QU interim head coach Gary Bass said. "Last week (in a 42-14 loss to McKendree), we executed well for three quarters. Then all of a sudden we have some turnovers that cost us at the end of the game that made it look like we were never in the contest. For three quarters, it was nip and tuck.

"It's important for our guys to continue to play with the effort and physicality we expect of them and then to finish a football game."

First and foremost in doing that is avoiding turnovers.

The Hawks have turned the ball over 22 times this season, 15 coming during the losing streak. Against McKendree, the Hawks led 14-13 at halftime, but three consecutive drives in the second half ended with interceptions. Two of those were returned for touchdowns.

The QU coaching staff intends to use multiple quarterbacks again this week. Four QBs -- sophomore starter Andrew Rund, junior safety-turned-QB Shane Barrett, redshirt freshman Trip Gibson and freshman Trey Mosley -- have played in the last three weeks and Barrett is the only one without a turnover. He's attempted only one pass and run the ball just five times, but he's scored two rushing touchdowns.

Defensively, the Hawks have allowed 42 or more points in four of the last five games and rank last in the GLVC in rushing defense, allowing 243.3 yards per game.

Scouting the Miners: The best offensive team in the GLVC is multi-dimensional. That makes putting together a game plan to stop Missouri S&T difficult.

The Miners are ranked No. 1 in total offense (454.3 yards) and total defense (296 yards) and have the No. 2 scoring offense in the GLVC (34.7 points). The Miners are the only team in the league with more than 3,000 yards passing and the only one to allow less than 1,000 yards rushing.

Sophomore running back Deshawn Jones is the only runner in the league averaging more than 100 yards rushing per game. He's at 138.8 yards with a 6.1 yards-per-carry average and a GLVC-best 11 touchdowns. Senior quarterback Tyler Swart has thrown for 2,994 yards with 22 touchdowns while completing 63.3 percent of his passes. He's also thrown 11 interceptions.

He has four rushing touchdowns.

"You're going to have to force Tyler Swart to turn the ball over," Bass said. "As Tyler Swart goes, so goes the Miners. If we can force him to get off his spot, hold the ball and get him to force some things, I think you can get him to turn the ball ove a little bit. He's a very talented quarterback, but he's a gunslinger and will try to force some things at times. If we can get him to do that and we can get some turnovers, that would be a big plus."

Defensively, the Miners lead the GLVC with 32 sacks as sophomore defensive end Tershawn Wharton has 10.5 sacks.

-- Matt Schuckman