The Truman State University Bulldogs dropped Saturday’s home opener to the Missouri University of Science and Technology by a score of 27-11. Despite the loss, inclement weather and unexpected turbulence made the evening one to remember.
Fans and players had to endure an almost three-hour weather delay because of thunderstorms in the stadium’s vicinity. Midway through the game, another unexpected circumstance occurred when the stadium lights suddenly blacked out, delaying the game for yet another 15 minutes.
Defensive Coordinator Kellen Nesbitt said it was crucial for the defense to limit the Miners duo of quarterback Tyler Swart and lead receiver Braxton Graham.
Bulldog Defense vs Miners Offensive Duo
|Average Passing Yards per game||Passing Yards Saturday|
|Missouri S&T||315.7 yards||218 yards|
Redshirt junior linebacker Justin Mikeworth led the Bulldogs with a game-high 16 tackles, followed by 9 take-downs from sophomore linebacker Bryan Edwards. Mikeworth finished with a career-high 22 total tackles, including solos and assists, which is two away from the current school record.
“Personal accomplishments don’t really mean anything in college football,” Mikeworth said. “In high school you wanted to see your name in the paper and be that guy, but in college you just want to win. [Football] is one of the greatest team sports out there, and if we lose, it doesn’t matter how well you played — you’re still going to feel horrible.”
Mikeworth said despite his disappointment, he attributes his personal record breaking performance to the theme of the night — military appreciation.
In addition to being a three-year starting linebacker, Mikeworth serves as an ROTC cadet. He said he feels blessed to be a part of both the football team and ROTC as a well-rounded college experience.
Mikeworth said this game meant playing for something bigger than himself and his team. He said he was ready to give everything he had to show appreciation for those who have served and currently serve this country. He plans to serve as an officer in the army after graduation.
In spite of the unexpected 0-3 start to the season, Mikeworth said he thinks the team will continue to move forward and bring everything they have into next week’s game. He said Lt. Colonel Utt gave the Bulldogs’s weekly pregame speech the Friday night about never giving up — with the speech in mind Mikeworth said the team isn’t going to give up, but will take their failures and use them as motivation to propel them forward for Saturday’s game against Lincoln.
Despite Truman’s defensive efforts, the Miners’ offensive performance led them to victory while the ‘Dogs couldn’t quite connect offensively.
Barr didn’t enter the game until the third quarter, but said he still thinks he and his offense need to execute better on the field to lighten the defense’s load. He said the offense will work more in practice to fix their execution. He said he plans on starting and playing Saturday.
Bulldogs Offensive Woes
- Week 1 at Michigan Tech: 209 yards
- Week 2 at Morningside: 442 yards
- Week 3 vs Missouri S&T: 236 yards
The Bulldogs take on Lincoln University of Missouri at 2 p.m. Saturday in Jefferson City, Missouri.