Delaware State is moving forward with common-sense determination

Al Lavan is still trying to solve the issue of production for his frustrating young 1-6 team. The timely play hasn’t been there for Delaware State, which keeps giving up leads.

But don’t look for a lot of hand wringing from Lavan.

Delaware State must do a better job of securing the football, Lavan said, having turned it over three out of first five possessions — and five total last week. His team needs to capitalize on its ability to move the ball between the 20s, and push the ball into the endzone.

But he can’t fault them for not playing hard. That effort just isn’t turning into wins.

Take last week against Morgan State. The Hornets put up 17 unanswered points to overcome a 21-7 deficit, then collapsed in the final 20 ticks — surrendering 13 points in an eventual 34-24 loss.

“The thing we’ve been unable to improve upon consistently is an inability to make a timely play,” Lavan said, during this week’s MEAC coaches teleconference. “We’ve had an opportunity on our last drives to keep the football and didn’t convert into a first down. Then we had them backed up, and it came down to a pass. Their receiver made a play and our defensive backs didn’t. That’s what it came down to.”

[Will the expanded FCS playoff bracket benefit black college teams?]

Up next for the Hornets: South Carolina State. The Bulldogs bounced back from their season-changing loss to Bethune-Cookman to best Hampton in a defensive battle last week, but have now seen a struggling offense lose its top running back.

“I’m sure they’ve got somebody who can play tailback,” the even-handed Lavan said. “They’ll be fine.”

As for his plan for preparing this week: “We’ve got to be a better team on Saturday,” Lavan said. “The reality is you are what your record says you are. You can’t move away from the fact that we’ve only won one football game. But we have to move forward from that. You accept that reality, and get into doing something about it.”

He’s not getting any more philosophical than that.

“There’s nothing mysterious about it,” Lavan added. “We’ve got to play hard, coach better and make the plays that can be made.”

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