ETSU in need of quick answers

BOONE, N.C. -- While media members who cover ETSU athletics are trying to figure out what a YOSEF is, the Buccaneer football team is searching for its identity as well.
   ETSU is trying to pinpoint what went wrong in a 33-14 loss to No. 5 ranked Appalachian State at Kidd Brewer Stadium Saturday afternoon.
   The Bucs now fall to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in Southern Conference play. And the way ETSU played in this game, the record could get a lot worse later in the year.
   ETSU's major problem is on offense. Right now, the Bucs are very stagnant.
   The Bucs had 255 yards of total offense, but quite a bit of those yards came on a late drive that saw ETSU score on the second-string defense.
   The first half was dismal for the Bucs, as they racked up a total of minus seven yards rushing in the first half.
   "We're facing the biggest challenge offensively that I've had since I've been the coach here," Hamilton said.
   As far as that running game goes, ETSU's Scott Carter led the Bucs with a dismal total of 22 yards. Starting tailback Corey Carter, who Hamilton has been very high on, netted 12 yards on seven carries.
   But the problem with the running game may be because of a struggling offensive line. They also might be causing problems for the quarterbacks, but we'll get to that part of the offense in a little bit.
   The offensive line is not making holes for the runners, and Hamilton knows they're not coming through right now.
   "We're struggling up front some," Hamilton said. "We're not as consistent up there as we need to be. There's got to be frustration settling in."
   As far as the quarterbacks, the sacks are piling up. That can mostly be blamed on the offensive line that's not giving the quarterbacks enough time to throw.
   The lack of running game is also making it tough on ETSU quarterback Matt Wilhjelm and backup Jatavis Sanders, who played sparingly in this contest.
   "They're having to carry a lot of weight on their shoulders in tough down and distance situations," Hamilton said.
   If the Bucs want to get things going on offense, Sanders might be their man. He went 7-of-10 for 175 yards and threw a late touchdown pass against the Mountaineers second string.
   Those numbers could be misleading because he racked up a lot of that when the game was no longer in doubt. But Sanders showed he may be ready to take over the starting job before too long.
   Wilhjelm struggled Saturday afternoon, as he finished 7-of-20 for 80 yards. He also threw two interceptions.
   Sanders played two series in the first half before being pulled by Hamilton. Right now, the head coach isn't too impressed with either quarterback.
   "Nobody has established themselves as our quarterback," Hamilton said.
   But Hamilton is just wanting both his quarterbacks to continue developing.
   "We've got two guys playing quarterback that are fighting as hard as they can to get better each snap," Hamilton said.
   About the only bright spot for the Bucs offense Saturday was wide receiver Cecil Moore. The All-American candidate caught nine passes for 136 yards.
   "If Cecil Moore is not one of the best players in the Southern Conference, I haven't seen one," Hamilton said. "I say that in the defense of a guy who is out there competing and fighting hard to try and find a way to help produce some offense."
   Moore's performance is about the only thing ETSU fans have to cheer about from Saturday's game. There are a lot of question marks on this ETSU offense and team. And there seems to be no answers.