After a game in which the Hornets were held to 93 passing yards vs. Alcorn State, Alabama State coach Reggie Barlow admitted his team needed a better effort this week at Texas Southern.
“The protection wasn’t good,” he observed. “We just didn’t protect as good as we had (in past games) and (quarterback Daniel) Duhart missed on a couple of throws that was not typical of him.”
Speaking of Duhart, the Hornets have struggled all year to find explosive plays in the passing game, but Barlow was quick to point out that any problem with down-the-field throws was likely the fault of the head coach, who had to dial back his quarterbacks this spring after they showed a tendency to look downfield for the big play instead of finding the most open receiver.
“At one point this spring and in (preseason) camp, we were challenging people on the post routes to (DeMario) Bell,” Barlow said. “And somewhere in the middle of all that, we started looking for that and had these underneath routes open and by the time we came back to (the underneath routes) they weren’t open. So I was like, let’s change that so we can read it down here (underneath) because I didn’t think they could read all three (options).
“The post becomes a peek and that (option) would come from the coaches upstairs (in the press box). Next time, we run (that play) we’ll let him read from the post on down.
“(Duhart) and (backup) Arsenio (Favor) had both started locking in on the post routes and the dig routes were wide open so that’s possibly on me, having that thought process.”
Barlow promised that, too, would change with the natural evolution of an offense over the course of the season. As teams try to find ways to slow down the potent Hornet offense, they’re likely to crowd the box to slow the running game and leave the outside receivers in man-to-man coverage, creating the opportunity for more big plays.
“We’ll call more of it,” Barlow promised. “It’ll come. We haven’t had aggressive safeties like we’ll sometimes play. That has a little something to do with it as well.”