Rumbling, bumbling, STUMBLING


Junior running back Giresse Forchu pushed through the Central Missouri defense on his way to the end zone in the first quarter of the Lions’ 34-31 overtime loss on Oct. 4, 2014, at Fred G. Hughes Stadium. Forchu rushed for 89 yards and scored three times on only 15 carries. He leads the Lions with eight touchdowns overall, good enough to put him in second place in the conference.

Ian Taylor, Sports Editor

Southern (2-3, 2-3 MIAA) looks to get back on track following the Homecoming overtime loss as the team travels to Edmond, Okla., to face the Bronchos of Central Oklahoma (4-1, 4-1 MIAA), a team the Lions have beaten twice in the last two seasons.

The Bronchos come in with an impressive record under head coach Nick Bobeck, who returned to his alma mater after a junior college national championship with Navarro Junior College in 2012, guiding UCO to an 8-17 record thus far into his third season at the helm.

“UCO is vastly improving. They are a much better football team than they have been,” said head coach Daryl Daye. “But going back to your own evaluation of your team … we have to continue to develop and grow closer as a team.”

Central Oklahoma comes as somewhat of a surprise to the MIAA this season after finishing the 2013 campaign with a subpar 2-8 record overall. But with the resurgence of talent in the “little SEC,” the Lions know that any and every opponent has to garner their full attention.

“Coach Bobeck has taken that thing and built it from the ground up,” said Daye. “They are playing with a lot of confidence and you can see they are beginning to believe.”

Entering this weekend, the Bronchos show signs of consistency. Ranking mid-pack in multiple statistical categories within the conference, the two numbers of consequence are time of possession (31:40 per game) and rushing defense (196 yards per game).

Time of possession is important because Central Oklahoma is ranked forth, a single spot behind Southern (33:29 per game), and rushing defense because that is the Lions’ domain (268 per game).

The numbers on paper seem to lead to one place: a battle in the trenches.

Last weekend was another difficult loss for the Lions as they squandered a 31-16 fourth quarter lead to the Mules of Central Missouri.

The loss bumped Southern under the .500 mark and out of the postseason hunt, but with six games still on the schedule, the Lions are far from finished.

“We don’t overlook any teams, we treat every team equal,” said senior safety Gaige Washington. “We go out there and we just play hard … we take these first five games as learning lessons and we are taking every game from now on to better ourselves.”

The Lions look to set the season back on the winning track as they take the field at Wantland Stadium in Edmond at 2:07 p.m. in the first step toward a possible third winning season under Daye.