Don’t get too excited

Dont get too excited

Brady Fredericksen

So, what does a 70-7 win mean to you? Yes, I’m talking to you, Grand Valley State University football fan reading this column.

Does it mean the Lakers are oh-so-stereotypically back or does it mean that a flawed team took advantage of a not-so-good team?

GVSU head coach Matt Mitchell said it on Saturday and I’ll say it here: Tiffin is a program that’s working toward improvement, but they just aren’t there yet. Sure, a 70-7 win looks great in the Lanthorn, but you’re mistaken if you assume this game means everything is going to be alright.

Right now, if I had to blindly guess the team’s playoff chances, I’d say they have a 10.5 percent chance of making the postseason – and that might be high. Delta State University, last season’s Division II runner ups, lost three games and made the playoff, but two of their losses came to Valdosta State University and the University of North Alabama – a pair of teams that also made the postseason.

Right now, the team’s biggest hope is that they run the table – in turn, defeating three of the top five teams in the GLIAC – while the three teams they lost to need to make legitimate postseason runs of their own.

So basically the team’s postseason fate is in four teams’ hands.

Really though, this team isn’t bad, they’re just flawed. You shouldn’t be calling to fire Mitchell after less than two seasons, and you shouldn’t call for anyone to be benched – the biggest flaw is that this team is stricken with the disease of inconsistency.

Despite that, they’ve seen improvements on both sides of the ball. Offensively, quarterback Heath Parling has been inconsistent this season – and a six touchdown performance Saturday is the highest of highs – but he’s also had multiple interceptions in three of five games this season.

At this point, he’s a sophomore, a young quarterback taking his lumps. Last game you saw the potential, but at other times this season you’ve seen a guy who only has a few career starts.

The way this team has played in the early part of the season will not be reflective of how this team will play at the end of the season. The emergence of the running back duo of Hersey Jackson and Norman Shuford has given the offense balance, and the receivers are still dangerous on the outside.

On the other side, the team is about to get a big addition with the return of suspended defensive back Zach Breen. The senior, who was suspended five games for testing positive for a banned substance, will bring stability to a secondary that has struggled to force turnovers.

If the opposing quarterback plays well, the Lakers have lost. It’s not a coincidence, it’s a trend, and the return of Breen should help to curve that.

There’s a lot of football left to be played, and if you saw these guys practice you can tell they aren’t worried. They know they’ve lost three games – they know you’re not happy – but at this point they don’t care.

This is a team free of pressure, and they’re just playing football.

As long as they continue that trend, the other aspects should come around as well.

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