HOUSTON — The Paul Hubbard Era at Bethany College got off to a rough start Saturday night as the Swedes gave up 37 first-half points on their way to a 51-7 loss to NCAA Division III school Houston Baptist.
The Huskies, just 2-9 last year and a team that gave up at least 70 points in each of their last three games, obviously beefed up their defense during the offseason. Bethany was held to 220 yards of total offense, 136 of that coming through the air.
Meanwhile, the Huskies had terrific balance, throwing for 280 and rushing for 250 to end the night with 530 yards.
Virgil Bridges’ 4-yard TD pass to Fred White accounted for the Swedes’ only score in the second quarter.
Houston Baptist took advantage of some shaky special teams play by the Swedes, including the giving up of a touchdown on a punt return.
“Special teams was definitely huge,” Hubbard said. “It's one of those times the offense didn't move the ball the way we wanted them to and instead of just giving the ball back they get a touchdown. It's devastating in morale and it's devastating for the momentum of the game. It is something that can be fixed and did get fixed later in the game. One thing we talked about at halftime was that it was not an effort issue. Throughout the game, even at the end when we were down big and had some younger guys in the game, it was never an effort issue. We had more of execution issues and a discipline issue, which we can correct.”
Bridges was 11 of 18 for 136 yards. Nathaniel Ocran led the ground attack with 38 yards on nine carries. Nile Daniel had three grabs for 71 yards.
The Swedes make their home debut Saturday against Langston.