Blue Devils Loss in Back-to-Back Games

Andrew Decapua, Contributer

The Central Connecticut State football program suffered back-to-back blowout losses to Southeastern Louisiana University and the University of Miami.

The loss to Southeastern Louisiana came on the Blue Devils home turf, Arute Field, on Saturday, Sept. 18, and finished with a final score of 56-10. SLU outgained CCSU in total yards, 571-290.

SLU put up a touchdown on their first drive of the game. The CCSU offense answered right back on their opening drive with a 33-yard field goal from junior kicker Joe Zoppi. This made it a 7-3 game halfway through the first quarter.

The CCSU defense gave up five consecutive touchdowns before their offense could get their own. The Blue Devils’ only touchdown came in the third quarter on a short pass from sophomore quarterback Romelo Williams to junior running back Keonte Lucas, who ran it in for the touchdown.

Southeastern Louisiana’s senior quarterback Cole Kelly torched the Blue Devils’ defense for 444-yards passing with four touchdown passes. The Lions had a pair of wide receivers gain over 100-yards receiving. Senior, Austin Mitchell, had 116-yards, and junior CJ Turner had 119-yards.

Head coach Ryan McCarthy anticipated SLU’s strengths and weaknesses before the game.

“Well, we didn’t see anything we weren’t prepared for, they came out, and they threw the football,” McCarthy said. “We knew what their strength was. It was the quarterback and the guys on the perimeter.”

The Blue Devils appeared to be getting better in some areas of the game, but every time they seemed to make progress, they would do something that set them back.

“It felt like there was an improvement, but all of a sudden, we would take a step back,” McCarthy said. “I don’t care who you play. Whether it’s Miami, Southeastern Louisiana, or Wagner, you can’t shoot yourself in the foot you got to play clean football.”

A week later, the Blue Devils traveled to Miami to face the Hurricanes on Saturday, Sept. 25. As good as Southeastern Louisiana is, the CCSU coaching staff knows that the competition level will increase when facing off against a Power Five conference team like the University of Miami.

“The competition level is going to increase exponentially next week,” McCarthy said. “We got to do a lot of things between now and then to give them any type of fight.”

The Blue Devils were shut out in Miami with a final score of 69-0. CCSU’s offense put up its worst showing of the season, only managing 198-yards of total offense. Miami’s 789-yards of total offense is a new school record for the storied program.

Miami scored on its first seven drives with a total of nine touchdowns and two field goals. Miami’s freshman quarterback, Tyler Van Dyke, made his first career start and led the team in passing, going 10-11 for 270-yards with two touchdown passes.

Junior running back Cam’Ron Harris led the Hurricanes by rushing with 100-yards on ten carries, while freshman, Brashard Smith, led the team in receiving yards with five receptions for 91-yards.

This marks the second time CCSU had played an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) foe and first since 2017 when the Blue Devils lost to Syracuse University. According to a report from APNews, the University of Miami paid Central $650,000 for the match-up.

The Blue Devils will have plenty of time to think about their next game as they enter their bye week and await an upcoming match-up against Ivy League opponent Columbia. The home-game will be on Saturday, Oct. 9, during homecoming weekend.