The Wildcats never gave themselves a chance.
Saturday’s 37-13 loss to UC Davis was the latest in a series of misfires for winless Weber State.
The stats tell the story of the Wildcats’ 0-5 start:
• Weber’s State’s average deficit before scoring this year is 22.2 points — essentially spotting its opponents a three-touchdown lead each game.
• The Wildcats are still scoreless in first quarters this season.
• Their only touchdown in 150 minutes of first-half play this season came in the 149th minute, after spotting a previously 1-3 Davis team a season-worst 31-point advantage on Saturday.
It’s like playing on a 150-yard field and only making opponents go 50.
Weber State interim coach Jody Sears said he was surprised by yet another slow start on Saturday.
“Our lack of execution and our lack or playmaking ability, as coaches, we’ve got to look at ourselves first and see if we can make things simpler for them so they can be in position to make plays,” Sears said.
The string of bad first halves continues to affect the Wildcats’ morale.
“Mentally it does. That’s what I told them at halftime, what I told them at the end of the game — the only way we can get through this, we’ve just got to fight our way out of it,” Sears said. “There are no magic calls or blitzes or trick plays. It just goes back to fundamentals. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board. We’ve got to go back to fundamental football, which obviously we haven’t been doing a good enough job as coaches. I think we’re doing a really good job of putting them in position to make plays, but it goes back to we’ve got to do a better job of coaching fundamentals.”
Senior running back C.J. Tuckett echoed the coach.
“We’ve just got to trust our fundamentals and come out with excitement — make plays,” Tuckett said. “That’s what it comes down to. We’re not making enough plays, too many mistakes, errors. You make too many mistakes, you can’t win.
Saturday, those mistakes took the form of five turnovers. The three interceptions and two fumbles forced by Davis played a major role in Weber State’s 24-point loss despite the Wildcats outgaining the Aggies in total offense (360-342), having more first downs (23-18) and more passing yards (268-190).
“It’s tough to start out 0-5. I’ve never started out 0-5 ever,” Tuckett said. “We’ve got to move ourselves forward.”
Tony Epperson only punted three times Saturday but averaged 51.3 yards per kick, with a long punt of 64 yards and two that pinned UC Davis inside its own 20.
The safety/punter from Park City has been a bright spot for Weber State this season as he leads the team with 39 tackles and leads the nation in punting with 48.0 yards per punt.
Junior wide receiver Chase Nakamura suffered a broken left arm during Saturday’s game.
The 6-foot-3 native of Wailuku, Hawaii, caught four passes for 28 yards in the loss to UC Davis and had nine catches for 107 yards on the season prior to the injury.
Friday night lights
Weber State will play on a Friday for the first time in its 50-year history of Division I football this week against Cal Poly.
The Wildcats have a 5-2 all-time record on Thursdays but have never played under Friday night lights until now.
Weber State’s regularly scheduled Football Friday community pep rally at the Junction has been moved up to a noon start to accommodate the game. Other Football Fridays this season are scheduled for 6 p.m. on Nov. 2 and Nov. 9 prior to Saturday home games at Stewart Stadium.
Roy Burton covers Weber State sports for the Standard-Examiner. Follow @RoyBurton on Twitter, read more about the Wildcats at blogs.standard.net/wsu-sports-blog or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.