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Surging Davenport Looks to Mid-South Starter

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Surging Davenport Looks to Mid-South Starter

Davenport huddles up at Notre Dame.

Davenport’s win over Notre Dame was a weird one in the sense that a lot of the stats, aside from the scoreline, were very comparable. 

If you track time of possession, time on attack, meters gained, gainline percentage, turnovers, tackles made and missed, and most other metric the game would look pretty even.

But Davenport won 30-0. Panthers Head Coach Dustin Steedman thought it was a lot more competitive than that.  

“Notre Dame was definitely our best test thus far, preparing us for the high-pressure defenses to come,” said Steedman. “Their defense was suffocating at times—most of the time—and it was nice to see my guys step up and control the pace of the game and still find the ability to find the try zone with pressure in our face.” 

There were a couple of metrics that weren’t essentially event. One was scrum wins, where Davenport won all of their own scrums. And while Steedman praised his defense, there was another number he noticed.

“The one stat in the game that was most telling, outside of finding the try zone, to me, was the kicking game,” said Steedman. “I believe we were responsible for over 600 kicking meters and Notre Dame had over 300 kicking meters.”

That meant that every missed tackle by Notre Dame was more dangerous.

Regardless, it was a good result for Davenport and puts the Panthers at 4-0-1, with the only blemish on their record a 29-29 tie with Wheeling. Now comes the even sterner test. Davenport gets a couple of Mid-South Conference games in the fall to help them fit everything in around the hard Michigan weather. By playing these two home games—Life University on Saturday and Lindenwood a week later—Davenport can wait to schedule Arkansas State at home. It means most of their spring conference games are on the road, but it also means they don’t have to hope for warm weather as they get going again in the New Year.

Is this the year Davenport? Wins have been hard to come by in the Mid-South but they continue to compete in the toughest conference in the nation. They’ll find out where they stand the next two games.

“Yeah it’s going to be a tough couple of weeks, we certainly know that,” said Steedman. “My guys are up for the challenge no doubt. While I back my guys 100% I'll leave the predictions this early-on in the conference play to what happens on the field. I do know that if we can limit our penalties and turnovers, control our pace with ball in possession, and play in our opposition's territory, win or lose we will pull ourselves out of the shadows of the challenges the Mid-South poses. The whole team has put their hand up with their hard work and dedication to this season in practice and in our tests thus far. These boys have been focused and are striving to show our worth in the MId-South. We know we are the underdogs in the conference and we are happy to have the opportunity to step up to the challenge.”

Davenport kicks off the Mid-South Conference season against Life University at 1PM ET. You can watch the game here>>