Mistakes only slightly dampen GVSU’s undefeated record

Courtesy Photo / GVSU Athletics
Matt Mitchell

Courtesy Photo / GVSU Athletics Matt Mitchell

Cody Eding

For the third week in a row, Mitchell’s comments revolved more around what his team needed to improve upon than anything else. But, all things considered, an obvious statement still made the best point.

“Well, we’re 3-0,” he said.

The Lakers (3-0, 2-0 GLIAC) limped away from their third dramatic victory of the season Saturday night, this time by a 38-31 margin against the University of Indianapolis on another last-minute leaping touchdown grab by junior wide receiver Jovonne Augustus.

While GVSU has been forced to come from behind in all three games this season, Saturday’s performance may have been the most satisfying. Although far from a perfect showing, the Lakers’ potent offense was finally supported by a competent defense. Despite giving up 31 points, the defense surrendered only 255 yards of total offense on 67 plays – an average of 3.8 yards per play.

“I feel like we performed a lot better this week on defense,” said junior safety Zach Breen, who totaled 11 tackles Saturday. “I just think we have so much talent out there on defense. We have so much potential. Just not every guy is locked in every play. We need to have 11 guys locked in every single play that we’re out there on defense.”

After managing only two sacks during the first two games, the Lakers downed Indianapolis quarterback Rob Doyle three times and intercepted him twice.

“The defense played with a little more enthusiasm,” Mitchell said. “We got more penetration.”

The offense continued to shine, tallying 38 points and 379 yards of total offense on 61 plays. Senior quarterback Kyle McMahon’s 239 passing yards brought his season total to 774 yards – surpassing his former career high of 634 yards set last year at Eastern Michigan University.

He continues to use his mobility well, and his second rushing touchdown Saturday was aided by an impressive pump-fake and pirouette that froze the Indianapolis defender.

GVSU’s rushing attack was not featured as it was against Hillsdale, but the talented core of Lakers receivers proved its worth. Junior Greg Gay had five receptions for 80 yards, while senior Ryan Bass and junior tight end Tony Carreri had 3 catches each. Augustus is becoming an often-used asset in the red zone.

“Jovonne’s proven himself time-and-time again that he can make a play on the ball in key situations,” McMahon said. “We feel confident in him, so we’re going to keep calling his number as long as we need to.”

Saturday’s Achilles heel for the Lakers was the poor play of the special teams, a problem that has plagued the team for much of the season. GVSU missed an extra point attempt for the third game in a row, and three penalties on the punt return team extended Indianapolis drives.

Although the Lakers should be happy with the victory and an undefeated record, the team hopes to show improvement in several areas moving forward.

“I’m hoping at some point we continue to understand that a couple errors here and there throughout the course of the game can cost you a game,” Mitchell said. “And that’s what the deal was tonight. We had times to put the thing away and we didn’t.”

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