Football Club falls short in final home game

Jake Alsko

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Sometimes it’s just not your day. That was the case Oct. 26 as the Oakland University Football Club was defeated by U-M Flint 34-19.

The loss came on a night where there was a mix of light hail and rain for a good amount of the game.

The Golden Grizzlies were stripped of depth, due to previous injuries and a couple more players going down Saturday. The most noticeable of which was running back/linebacker Nick Taylor, a starter who brought consistency to spots where Oakland’s depth is the thinnest.

“That was tough,” OU head coach Al Manfroni said on losing Taylor. “We only have three legitimate linebackers, and when you take him out of the equation, we’re putting in guys (who) just haven’t played that much.”

The lack of linebacker depth also compounded the difficulty Oakland had slowing down U-M Flint’s brand new read-option offense, something they hadn’t shown all season.

“It’s tough because you have to rely on linebackers to basically stop that, and make the plays when they go to make plays, and unfortunately we weren’t,” Manfroni said. “In the second half, we shut it down reasonably well. But, by that time, the damage had already been done.”

The offense didn’t fare much better, as the pressure of needing multiple scores while battling the weather conditions, as well as their own mistakes, proved to be just too disadvantageous. The Grizzlies turned the ball over four times, including once on downs.

“We were moving it, moving it and then you could see the weather kind of came in and just kind of sent us for a loop,” quarterback Brandon Tucker said.

Tucker finished the day with two rushing touchdowns, two interceptions and a fumble.

“I made a couple bad throws,” Tucker said. “And just it kills us when I do that.”

Oakland running back Marc Wise had one rushing touchdown and amassed more than 100 yards returning, a couple of which he had a chance to return for a touchdown.

Wise provided some big runs in the second half as the Grizzlies attempted to mount a comeback, using strong running and a well-placed stiff arm to break through several U-M Flint arm tackles.

The Grizzlies will be on bye this week, and it couldn’t come at a better time.

“We’re going to be ready to go,” Tucker said. “Guys will be back from injuries and stuff, so we’ll be ready to rock.”

The Football Club will cap off their historic first regular season Nov. 10 at 5 p.m., traveling to Columbus, Ohio to take on the Ohio State Football Club.