By Todd Hummel
For The Daily Item
LEWISBURG -- Sacred Heart's offense entered Saturday night's game with some pretty impressive numbers, averaging 306 yards per game on the ground and 467 yards of total offense per contest.
The Pioneers didn't come close to matching those numbers against the Bison defense. However, Sacred Heart showed why its defense might be just as good.
The Pioneers sacked Bucknell quarterbacks seven times and forced six turnovers as they remained undefeated with a 16-0 victory over the Bison at Christy Mathewson Memorial Stadium.
"(Sacred Heart) tries to outnumber you at the line of scrimmage and play a lot of man-to-man (in the secondary)," Bucknell coach Joe Susan said. "We didn't do a good job of getting off the jams (by the defensive backs) off the line of scrimmage. That slows everything down and it allowed them to get pressure."
Bucknell (1-2) played without starting quarterback Brandon Wesley, who missed the game with a lower leg injury. It's first time Wesley hadn't started a game at quarterback for the Bison since the first game of his true freshman year.
Without their leader, the Bison offense struggled with just 29 yards on 26 plays in the first half. Once the Bison got on track, the turnover problems cropped up again. Bucknell actually outgained Sacred Heart in the second half, but turned the ball over five times after halftime. The end result was the first time the Bison were shut out in 77 games, since a 31-0 loss to Lafayette back on Sept. 9, 2006.
"We knew (Brandon) wasn't going to play (at the start of the week) with a lower leg injury. It's not debilitating, but it's painful," Susan said. "We're not sure he's going to be back for next week's game (at Lafayette)."