Skylar Perry was ‘way off’ against Prairie View, performance led to benching
Not lost in Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s 27-17 loss at Prairie View last Thursday night was Golden Lions quarterback Skyler Perry being benched for much of the second half.
Perry had his worst game of the season, going 9-of-27 for 51 yards before he was replaced in the third quarter by backup Xzavier Vaughn.
“Offensively, we needed a shot in the arm,” said head coach Doc Gamble about the decision to sit his star quarterback. “Skylar was way off. It was something I hadn’t seen before and maybe he needed to sit and see the game from another and get settled down a little bit.”
Vaughn, who routinely gets first team work in practice, was scheduled to appear at some point during the game for few offensive series, said Gamble. But the situation dictated the redshirt freshman play extensively.
He went 3-of-8 for 115 yards to go along with one touchdown and an interception against the Panthers.
“Our talent has to play well from the start and throughout and play well in the end,” said Gamble. “We thought it was the best time to do it.”
Fred McNair talks athletic director departure
Days after Alcorn State athletic director Derek Horne abruptly announced he was leading the program amid internal and external criticism regarding the department’s handling of its athletic medical staff, head coach Fred McNair on Monday addressed what it all means for the football program.
“Our staff has done a tremendous job in holding these guys together in terms of things with the administration part (and) keeping ourselves away from that and doing the right thing with these young men and making sure they understand what to process and how things work with the administration, McNair said.
McNair, who blasted the administration for leaving the football team without an athletic trainer, indicated that he and Horne “did a great job of communicating,” and that their relationship was a business one in nature.
“As an administrator and coach, you always have to get along with your administrator. I think we did a good job of communicating in some aspects of it,” he said. “We always didn’t see eye-to-eye — that’s (in) everything. Sometimes me and my coaches don’t see eye-to-eye. At the end of the day, it’s all about business just looking at that aspect of it.”
What losing taught Vincent Dancy about how to win
Vincent Dancy hasn’t experienced a lot of success in the seven seasons he’s been part of the Mississippi Valley State coaching staff.
Saturday was a rare moment when the Delta Devils could final bask in the glory of a win after it knocked off North Carolina Central in the final seconds of regulation.
The limited highs — just four wins since Dancy was named head coach in 2018 and the crushing, seemingly perpetual defeats — has been a cruel but rewarding learning curve as a coach for the 37-year-old like he never imagined.
“When you’ve been through so much, and by so much I mean losing,” Dancy said. “Losing can take a toll on anybody. It can take a toll when you’re dealing with young men. It’s hard to explain but you learn. You prepare different.
“…You just keep preaching that message and have faith. I’m a firm believer in my faith. Trouble don’t last always.”
Halftime speech propelled Delaware State to overtime win
The impact of head coaches addressing the team with a fire and brimstone speech at halftime to inspire better performance has often been overstated and dramatized to lionize sideline leaders with little evidence of actual success.
Delaware State, however, might be the exception.
Trailing 20-7 after the first two quarters against Wagner on Saturday, Hornets coach Rod Milstead candidly petitioned to the team.
“My halftime speech was definitely uncensored, and it was directed to our coaching staff and to our players,” Milstead said Monday. “It was said with conviction and meaning, and I challenged our players that today it stops. Today we take a step. We’ve never been in this situation — it’s uncomfortable, but great reams find a way to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations.”
The Hornets rallied to take a fourth-quarter lead before eventually winning 33-27 in double overtime on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Jared Lewis to Trey Gross.
“It was very welcoming to see the players and coaches on one accord,” he said, “and understanding that regardless of our circumstances we were not going to let our circumstances define the outcome of that football game.”