“Steven hasn’t thrown the ball the way he’s capable of throwing the ball,” said third-year coach Charlie Weatherbie, who formerly coached at Navy.
The Indians (0-2), who have appealed the NCAA’s placement of their nickname on its banned-from-postseason list, play the No. 7 Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0 SEC) at 1 p.m. Saturday in Sanford Stadium.
Jyles is averaging 225 all-purpose yards per game (389 passing, 61 rushing total), but he isn’t getting the ball to junior wide receiver Drouzon Quillen enough to suit Weatherbie. Quillen has seven catches for 106 yards this season.
“People haven’t taken him away,” Weatherbie said. “We just can’t get the ball to him. We’ve been overthrowing him.”
That fact plus ankle injuries to running backs Mason Denham and Calvin Dawson (both are questionable for Saturday’s game) have contributed to Louisiana-Monroe’s six-quarter scoreless streak.
“If we can throw and catch the football and get a running back healthy, we’ve got a chance to hopefully score a point or two,” Weatherbie said.
The good news for the Indians is that none of their players lost family members to Hurricane Katrina. Monroe, La., is four hours north of New Orleans.
“All of our families are accounted for,” Weatherbie said. “Now a few of them don’t have houses, but they’re accounted for. We’ve got a quite a few people that lost everything that this community is supporting right now.”