The outlook was encouraging at the start of the football season for Orange Coast College. The Pirates returned quarterback Matt Sauk as well as seven starters on defense.
But the defense and the offense struggled in a 47-18 loss to Pasadena to open the season. Both units played better the next week, but OCC still lost to Cerritos, 28-14.
"We started to show some good signs, especially the defense in the second half against Cerritos," Coach Bill Workman said.
Now after a bye week, Orange Coast is at Mt. San Antonio at 4 p.m. today in a Mission Conference game.
Sauk has been solid so far, completing 26 of 52 for 440 yards. He has two touchdowns and two interceptions. It's the running game that has yet to come around. OCC is averaging 96 yards a game, 10th best in the 14-team conference. William League has 130 yards in 30 carries.
Mt. San Antonio (2-0) is ranked eighth in the Southland Poll and is coming off a 23-2 victory over Southwestern.
In other Mission Conference games:
Golden West (2-1) at El Camino (2-0), 7 p.m.--El Camino is the top-ranked team in Southern California and fourth in the nation by the J.C. Grid-Wire. Golden West will need a superior effort from its defense because El Camino is averaging 396 yards a game.
Rancho Santiago (1-1) at Long Beach (3-0), 7 p.m.--Rancho Santiago's defense faces its toughest assignment so far, stopping Long Beach quarterback Neo Aoga. Aoga, a sophomore, is 45 of 85 for a conference-best 879 yards. He also has 12 touchdowns and one interception. Long Beach is ranked 10th in the nation by the J.C. Grid-Wire.
Palomar (1-1) at Saddleback (1-1) , 7 p.m.--Saddleback's defense limited Cerritos to 205 yards in total offense in a 12-6 victory last week. But Palomar comes in averaging 438 yards a game. Saddleback's Justin Vedder has thrown for 424 yards and a touchdown. This is the first home game for Bill Cunerty as Saddleback's head coach.
Pasadena (1-1) vs. Fullerton (0-2), CS Fullerton, 7 p.m.--Fullerton's Mike Jacot is third in the conference in rushing with 251 yards in 47 carries. He has scored two touchdowns. This is the Hornets' home opener.