The search for University of Mary’s first win of the season continued Saturday as they fell to Southwest Minnesota State, 54-24 at MDU Resources Community Bowl.
The Mustangs used UMary’s offensive gameplan against them and senior quarterback Blake Gimbel was 21 of 31 for 356 yards with five passing touchdowns. Max Simmons finished with 12 carries for 119 yards and a touchdown as the junior running back averaged 9.9 yards per carry.
Here are five things we learned from UMary’s fifth straight loss of the year:
- Middle quarters aren’t kind to the Marauders —Scoring has been tough for UMary this season but putting up points in the second and third quarters has been even tougher. The Marauders are getting outscored 115-47 in the middle quarters of games this year and that’s due to mostly poor second quarters. Coming out of halftime the Marauders are making good adjustment but they have to figure out how to play up tempo for four straight quarters.
- Jason Hoekstra is holding his own — When Jordan Velarde went down during the Bemidji State game, every UMary fan and coach had their heart skip a few beats and not in a good way. The junior signal caller has now missed the last three games but backup Jason Hoekstra is holding his own. Other than Hoekstra’s four interceptions against Minot State, the freshman quarterback is playing pretty well in place of Velarde. Hoekstra finished 16 of 28 against the Mustangs with two touchdowns and one interception. Getting a clean pocket has been a challenge but Hoekstra has been doing everything possible to help UMary get its first win of the season.
- More like average “hush” — UMary hasn’t run the football particular well this season. Through five games the Marauders average yards per carry is just 2.9, however, that dipped to 1.6 against the Mustangs. UMary senior Colton Farmer was effective on the ground against SMSU as he finished with 11 carries for 47 yards and a score for an above average 4.3 yards per carry.
- Marquell Evans shines in third game — After getting three tackles in the first two games of the year, redshirt freshman defensive back Marquell Evans led the Marauders against SMSU with nine tackles (five solos). Evans showed strong awareness skills against the Mustangs and was flying around the field. Watch out for Evans to have a big second half of the season.
- Feed DeShawn — UMary doesn’t lack playmakers on the offensive side of the football. They just have to get those players looks. Sophomore wide out DeShawn Gay finally got some good looks against SMSU and caught seven balls for 107 yards and two touchdowns. His day was highlighted by his 64-yard touchdown. Gay is also looking like a gem on special teams. He’s averaging close to 25 yards per kick return and has collected more than 150 yards in his last two games. UMary head coach Craig Bagnell needs to get Gay the ball early and often moving forward.