Fans hoping to see Isaiah Crowell in the Wildcat offense might have been a little disappointed last weekend when the Hornets failed to line up in the popular formation, but don’t fret.
It hasn’t been scrapped from the offensive playbook. The coaching staff just didn’t feel the need for it in a 49-30 win over Alcorn State.
“The other stuff was working, so there really wasn’t a need for it,” head coach Reggie Barlow said. “We’ll practice it a lot this week because I’m sure we may use some of it this weekend.”
Crowell still managed 133 yards rushing — and a career-high four touchdowns — but turnovers led to two one-play drives inside the Alcorn 5-yard line and two more turnovers by the Braves allowed the Hornets to build a comfortable lead without dipping into their bag of tricks.
And while Barlow didn’t say it, there had to be some caution on the part of the offensive staff to limit the between-the-tackles running of Crowell as the junior continues to recover from a bruised right knee suffered in the Jackson State game and reinjured in practice. Also, Malcolm Cyrus pulled himself from the lineup in the second half with a banged-up shoulder so armed with a comfortable lead and without Cyrus, the running game switched to a more vanilla look with Rodney Cross getting most of the second-half look.
A tougher test could loom on Saturday, leading Barlow to speculate on the return of the Wildcat in Houston against Texas Southern.