Cowboys looking for answers after loss

By Jim Gazzolo | Special to the Leesville Leader

Understanding there is no quick fix, the Cowboys went back to work Monday after finding out how the other half lives over the weekend.

There was a lot to dissect after McNeese State’s season-opening loss at Montana State last Saturday.

The Cowboys showed lots of promise but also lots of areas in need of improvement during the 40-17 defeat at the hands of the fourth-ranked team in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Mainly, the offense needs to find a rhythm as it stumbled at times, going just 2 of 10 on third-down chances and suffering four turnovers.

“Poor execution,” said head coach Gary Goff. “They made the big plays and we didn’t.”

The Cowboys misfired on some chances that could have either led to big plays or first downs, especially early.

“Too many plays on offense that got away from us,” said quarterback Kade Knox. “We shot ourselves in the toes. There were plays there to be made and we didn’t make enough of them.”

But there was also hope. McNeese scored on a 75-yard touchdown run by D’Angelo Durham and a 66-yard pass and catch from Kadum to Josh Matthews.

However, those two plays accounted to 47 percent of McNeese’s offense.

“There are a few things we have to clean up,” said Knox. “Their defense did a good job but we have to be able to make the plays in the moment.”

Kadum got the start over fellow FBS transfer Cam Ransom, who gained 31 yards on one run but was sacked twice. Kadum, who finished 12 of 21 for 126 yards the one TD and two interceptions, was sacked four times himself.

“Missing the big plays and not making others, we got to make those plays to beat the good teams,” said Goff. “We got a chance to be a very good football team. Right now we are our own worst enemies.”

According to the head coach, Kadum did a good job in parts of the game.

“He managed the game pretty well,” Goff said. “He had good poise we just have some things we have to fix. Missed simple assignments, simple things we can correct.”

After a long trip to Bozeman, Montana, McNeese will return to the road Saturday but much closer to home. The Cowboys will against Rice in their FBS game this season.

Rice is coming off a 66-14 defeat at the hands of No. 14 USC last week. The Trojans scored three times off interceptions.

Kickoff for the first meeting between programs is set for 6:30 p.m. inside Rice Stadium.

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