Monmouth Drops Conference Opener
The Monmouth University football team held nationally-ranked No. 11/12 Charleston Southern to just seven first-half points, but fell to the Buccaneers, 35-7, in the Hawks’ home and Big South opener Saturday afternoon at Monmouth Stadium.
With the loss, the Hawks fall to 2-2 (0-1 Big South), while Charleston Southern improves to 2-2 (1-0 Big South).
Charleston Southern senior running back Mike Holloway scored two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving. Holloway rushed 11 times for 151 yards and pushed his total offense over 200 yards with a 63-yard scamper for a touchdown off a swing pass on his lone reception of the afternoon.
With CSU leading, 7-0, entering the 3rd quarter, Holloway took an option pitch 75 yards for a touchdown on the half’s first play from scrimmage.
Cody Williams (Springfield, MA/Central) connected with Reggie White, Jr. (Randallstown, MD/Milford Mill Academy) for a 31-yard touchdown on 4th and long to cut the deficit to 14-7 with 9:30 left in the third. But the Buccaneers scored the game’s final 21 points to close out the victory. Mike Basile (Brick, NJ/Brick Memorial) paced the defense with 10 tackles a fumble recovery and an interception.
Quotes & Notes
“The afternoon did not go as well as we hoped. You have to credit Charleston Southern, they had something to do with it. We had opportunities early in the game, but we hurt ourselves with some penalties. Against a team like that, you’re only going to get so many opportunities so you have to make sure you maximize them and make the most of them. In the second half, we came out and gave up a long score. It put us in a situation where we had to play from behind at that point. One of the things we said going in is we didn’t want to give up big plays to them, and we gave up too many big plays today.” Head Coach Kevin Callahan
“I give a lot of credit to them, but I feel like we hurt ourselves offensively. We had some good drives, where we got into the red zone, but penalties brought us back out. Charleston Southern has a great defense and they are a great team.” Quarterback Cody Williams
“It’s very hard to play against the triple option. You’re not going to get the same looks in practice that you will get on game day. It’s a lot faster. The coaches were able to put us in the right spot, but we just weren’t able to execute in the second half. We had a good game plan, we just weren’t able to execute today.” Safety Mike Basile
“We had a lot of momentum going into halftime. We were still in the game and looked forward to coming out in the second half and making plays. We cut their lead to 14-7, but penalties hurt us a lot. We stuck together and kept going, but the penalties came back to hurt us.” WR Reggie White Jr.
- Basile's INT, 7th of career, moving into a tie for 7th all-time at MU with Rob Lomoriello and Mike Pitts.
- Basile led the Hawks with 10 tackles to push his career total to 240. He jumped Vinnie Sasso (233) and Mike DiBella (237) into 8th all-time at Monmouth in career tackles.
- Darren Ambush made three receptions to move into a tie for 9thon Monmouth’s all-time receptions list with Rick Finer (89). Ambush also passed Finer (1,100) on the all-time receiving yardage leaderboard with 1,119 yards.
- Monmouth’s defense has allowed just three first quarter points all season and 20 total first half points
- The Hawks did not turn the ball over the second time this season, MU is now +4 on the season in turnover margin
- Payton Minnich recorded his first sack of the season and the third of his career.
- The Buccaneers’ triple-option attack outgained Monmouth’s rushing game by a 322-59 margin in yardage.
- The Hawks’ passing game accounted for 201 yards to the Buccaneers’ 134, but Monmouth averaged 11.8 yards per completion to CSU’s 19.1.
- Freshman tight end Jake Powell had three catches for 32 yards in his first action since a week 1 injury sidelined him
- Junior widout Vinny Grasso had a career-high four receptions for 48 yards
- Three of Matt White’s eight punts were inside CSU’s 20, with a long of 49
- Monmouth’s defense recorded five tackles for a loss, with CSU checking in with nine
- Freshman corner Wendell Allen finished with a pair of pass breakups
Monmouth will host its second home game of the 2016 season when Fordham comes to Monmouth Stadium for a 1 PM tilt. That game will air on ESPN3.
Scroll through our photo gallery above as Mark Brown from B51 Photography captured the action on the field.