STORY BY ADAM ROGAN AND AUSTIN CANNON
“Each kick is a new kick,” head coach Rick Fox said. “So I don’t see it like a (slump) … You’ve just got to come back and kick the next one.”
Lee missed two 31-yard attempts against South Dakota. He pushed one wide right and the second one was blocked. He made all three tries in the season opener against William Jewell and was 1-for-2 against North Dakota. His season long is from 34 yards out.
Lee won the starting job this year after Ben Tesson and Spencer Lee combined to make only 6 of 13 field goal attempts in 2014.
Saturday’s game was the first time Drake was shut out since the 2011 season opener when it lost 16-0 at North Dakota.
The 52-0 shellacking at the hands of South Dakota marked the most points the Bulldogs have allowed in 10 years. On Sept 1, 2005, Drake traveled to Cedar Falls to face Northern Iowa. The Panthers won 52-17, snapping a nine-game winning streak for the Bulldogs.
To put that into perspective, current first-year students were around the age of 8 or 9 that day. The No. 1 song that day, according to Billboard.com, was “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey.
If it’s any consolation for Bulldog fans, when Drake was last shut out in 2011, the Bulldogs only lost one more game on their way to the Pioneer Football League title.
Against South Dakota the Bulldogs surrendered 476 total yards, 296 of which came on the ground. Drake’s front line struggled to contain South Dakota’s quarterback Ryan Seager, who ran for 67 total yards, an average of 9.6 yards per carry.
“The main thing was just everyone having their responsibility down,” said defensive lineman Tanner Evans. “We had that breakdown a couple times on a lot of people’s roles, including myself.”
Drake’s offense, on the other hand, recorded 286 yards and turned the ball over three times.
“We (need) to have a good week of practice. We can’t dwell on the past,” wide receiver Zach Zlabis said. “We’re going to adjust to what their defense throws at us and trying to beat them with our formations.”
Drake, Marist and Morehead State are the three PFL teams sitting at 1-2 as the conference season begins this weekend.
Dayton stands at 2-0 and leads the conference, followed by Butler and Campbell at 2-1. Dayton hosts Kennesaw State while Butler and Campbell meet in Indianapolis.
Jacksonville is also 2-0, but the program is ineligible for the 2015 championship after violating PFL rules.
The PFL season arrives at 1 p.m. Saturday at Drake Stadium, where Drake will host the Stetson Hatters. The Hatters are 1-1, winning their first game 42-13 over Webber International and losing 57-14 to Mercer.
One focus for the Bulldog defense next week will be containing Stetson quarterback Ryan Tentler, another athlete who has the potential to scramble.
“We’re going to need to focus on our job and keep the guy in the pocket,” Evans said.
Drake won last year’s season finale 27-15 over Stetson. Quarterback Andy Rice had two one-yard touchdown runs.