The Mercer Bears returned to Macon after a tough loss to Memphis to take on the Jacksonville Dolphins. The Bears took home the victory in a 45-3 blowout, which marked coach Bobby Lamb’s 100th career win.
Here are the three takeaways from Mercer’s (1-1) second game of the season.
1. Mercer has a quarterback problem.
It’s a good problem to have. The team has two quarterbacks playing at a high level. Robert Riddle started the game and led a touchdown drive for the Bears. Bobby Lamb and the Bears had predetermined that Riddle would start the first two drives and then have Kaelan Riley relieve him. From that point the Bears had Riddle finish out the first half while Riley came in to start the second half. Riddle finished with 8-11 for 84 yards and a rushing touchdown while Riley was able to go 8-10 for 46 yards and a touchdown through the air. This game left us with more questions than answers at the quarterback position.
2. Skilled players for Mercer have standout performances.
Regardless of which quarterback plays, they will have a standout to throw to. Marquise Irvin lit up the Jacksonville secondary for five catches for 72 yards. Tee Mitchell gashed the Jacksonville defense from the running back position. Mitchell set the tone early by carrying the Bears on multiple first-half drives up and down the field. Mitchell finished with 12 carries for 118 yards and a touchdown. Tyray Devezin, the sophomore running back, added 100 yards on 13 carries. The team will need these guys to play at a high level again next week as they open conference play against Samford.
3. Defense wins championships.
While it may be cliche, the Bears best chance to win in the Southern Conference is through the heart of their defense. The Legion of Chaos showed up and forced Jacksonville into two turnovers. Mercer going from the high powered offense of Memphis predicated on the passing game had the ultimate switch up this week in the triple option offense of Jacksonville. The Bears allowed only 212 yards. The Jacksonville offense struggled to get past the 50 yard line for much of the night. Next week they will have to try and contain the air-raid attack of the Samford Bulldogs. That should prove to be a tough test for the Bears defense.