FORT VALLEY -- There have been way too many penalties.
The defense has been solid, yet still seems to surrender a few big plays.
Special teams havent been much of a boost.
And Fort Valley State has made the wins closer than they probably should have been while leaving chances to win two other games on the field.
But the Wildcats will take a one-game lead in the SIACs East Division on the road Saturday to take on Kentucky State.
FVSU (2-3, 2-1) is coming off a 21-13 home loss to Tuskegee, the Wildcats committing 17 penalties for 183 yards and leaving chances to win on both sides of the ball.
The execution was good, FVSU head coach Donald Pittman said. The student-athletes, they played hard and were on point. Tuskegee knew they were in a game.
But FVSU, which travels to No. 15 Washburn (Kansas) next week, all but beat itself with the penalties, killing drives on offense and extending drives on defense.
That will clearly be a work in progress throughout the season and continuing on the trip to Frankfort, Ky. The ride to about 30 miles northwest of Lexington, Ky. has usually been a good one for the Wildcats, who lead the series 19-7. Theyre the Thorobreds homecoming opponents this season.
Theyre better than theyve been in the past, Pittman said. Theyve won some games this year, and theyre playing well.
Kentucky State has beaten Kentucky Wesleyan (42-6), Central State (38-17) and Alderson-Broaddus (49-20) while losing to Virginia State (41-0) and Stillman (26-21).
Running back Jacquise Lockett and return specialist Jakar Turner are the reigning conference players of the week on offense and special teams.
Lockett carried 17 times for 135 yards and three touchdowns in Kentucky States win over Alderson-Broaddus, and he tops the conference with 130 rushing yards per game.
Turner returned a kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown.
The Thorobreds lead the SIAC with 30 points a game, and are ahead of the Wildcats in total offense (325.8-319.8) and just behind them in total defense (309-315.8).
FVSUs defense is facing the SIACs No. 2 rush offense (197.2 yards) and the highest-scoring rush offense (15 touchdowns).
Theres more familiarity in this meeting than usual.
Kentucky State interim head coach Josh Dean and defensive line coach Frank Turner have coached at FVSU under Pittman.
They know us well and we know them well, Pittman said. I know they want to beat us in a real bad way.