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Ashland Looks To Stop 0-3 Skid

Story By: Jeff Alan



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  Original Published: 9/27/2013

Last season with Taylor Housewright a three year starter at quarterback, the Ashland University offense made it look easy at times on their way to an undefeated regular season and GLIAC championship. This season it's been anything but easy. The Eagles have started the season at 0-3 with losses to Indianapolis 10-9, Wayne State 34-22 and Ferris State 34-7.  AU hopes to stop that skid Saturday evening when 1-1 Northern Michigan comes to Jack Miller Stadium.  Part of the problem has been a lack of offense. AU has been taking their lumps on offense with two true freshman quarterbacks who are trying to get up to speed with the college game in Austin Bruns from Coldwater, Ohio and Tra'von Chapman a tranfer from Pittsburgh. A season ago with veteran players Ashland was able to convert 54% of their 3rd down plays. This season through three games the team has converted only 21% which puts added pressure on the defense. Coach Lee Owens in his tenth season at AU, says the team has tried to slow the game down on offense for their two freshman signal callers, but that limits what you can do and opposing teams are exploting that giving different looks on defense. Owens adds that it's one thing to do things in practice, it's another come game day and game speed. Owens says when you don't move the chains, it puts more pressure on the defense. He notes the Eagles have a good defense this year, but not the veteran filled squad of a season ago.  The defense will be tested again this week with the Wildcats coming at them out of the spread offense.  Through two games, NMU quarterback Cody Scepaniak has thrown for 618 yards on 45-73 passing, he even leads the team in rushing with 194 yards on 37 carries with three rushing touchdowns.  For AU, the Eagles will try to go more to their running game where Anthony Taylor has been a bright spot running for 414 yards on 58 carries through three games. Kickoff at Jack Miller Stadium-Fred Martinelli Field will be at 7:05pm Saturday evening. You can see the game live Saturday night beginning at 7pm on WMFD TV Mansfield.

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