Hornet notebook: Run game looking good but passing needs work after opening loss

Rod Milstead

DOVER — Rod Milstead was pleased with 50 percent of Delaware State University’s offense in its season opener last Saturday at Buffalo.

The run game looked good. The pass game, not so much.

The first year coach is hoping the Hornets’ passing will catch up to its rushing attack in time for Saturday’s contest at St. Francis, Pa. Kickoff is at noon for the nonconference matchup. Both teams are 0-1 on the young season.

Delaware State fell to FBS opponent Buffalo 48-10 on Saturday but out-gained the Bulls in rushing yards 199-154.

Both of DelState’s top running backs were just a few yards shy of the 100-yard mark. Brycen Alleyne had 97 yards while Mike Waters rushed for 92 yards.

Alleyne scored the Hornets’ lone touchdown of the game with a rushing touchdown.

“That’s a bright spot,” Milstead said of his two running backs. “Any time the scoreboard is not in your favor is a good time for a teaching moment and a good time for you to learn. We did do some good things in the game. I was proud of the way our running backs got a lot of positive yards and ran through tackles. They really did what we’ve seen them do all spring and throughout the summer.”

Despite having more rushing yards, the Hornets were still out-gained 354-275 in total offense.

DelState was hampered by only throwing for 76 yards. Jack McDaniles started at quarterback and completed 8-of-15 attempts while Keenan Black did not convert any of his three passing attempts.

Black also threw one interception. McDaniels had all 76 yards, most of which came on a 41-yard completion.

“We really want to get our passing game going,” Milstead said. “We had some opportunities but missed some balls.”

Bowman shines in debut

Milford High product David Bowman turned some heads in his first collegiate game.

Bowman led the Hornets in tackles with 11. Seven were solo-stops and he also had one tackle for loss. He’s playing a hybrid role on defense for DelState, a cross between a safety and a linebacker which they have named the ‘Hornet’ position.

Bowman was Delaware’s high school Defensive Player of the Year a year ago when he helped lead Milford to the DIAA Division II championship game.

“David Bowman is a special young man,” Milstead said. “We were very fortunate to get him. Some people will say he’s undersized but you can’t judge him by his stature. You judge him by his heart and what you see on film. He played lights out. For a true freshman to come in and do the things he did against an FBS opponent, the young man is pretty special. I’m so looking forward to watching him grow.”

Defensive woes

The Hornets only start two seniors on defense.

That led to some struggles against an experience FBS team like Buffalo.

Anthony Johnson, a NFL prospect, was partly held in check. He had four catches for 57 yards and a touchdown.

But the rest of the Bulls made the Hornets pay for consistent double coverage against Johnson. Buffalo caught six total touchdowns through the air.

Milstead said he’s hopeful the secondary will cut down on its errors with more playing time.

“We had some communication breakdowns on defense,” Milstead said. “We’re playing a lot of young guys this season. They’re still getting familiar with the schemes we’re running on defense.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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