October 2, 2003

Football Focuses on Erasing Mistakes

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Missed passes, missed assignments and missed executions were the topic of discussion after Saturday’s loss to Yale. Last night, however, the topic of discussion seemed to center around just the opposite.

“You kind of expect that in a Tuesday practice, which is the real first practice of the week, you’re going to have some miscues,” said head coach Tim Pendergast, “because you’re facing a new offense, a new defense, et cetra. By Wednesday you hope that the transitions been made, and this week it was.

“We made some mistakes yesterday that we didn’t make today, and tomorrow we hope to wrap it up and make fewer than we did today.”

To quarterback Mick Razzano, cutting down on the mistakes means treating each practice as something more.

“We’ve focused in on treating every practice and every session of practice as just like it’s a game, so we get that game mentality, so we don’t have breakdowns like we did last weekend,” he said.

Part of the motivation to focus comes from last weekend’s struggle in New Haven.

“The one thing we realized is that Yale’s a good team, they’re a real good team. They’re one of the best in the Ivy league. We lost 21-7, and it was us — it wasn’t them — it was us,” said Razzano. “We failed to execute, we failed to make the big plays. We know that we’re a good team, and we know that we’re capable of beating the best teams in the Ivy League.”

Junior defensive back Kyle Thomas echoed Razzano’s statements, noting that fixing the smaller mistakes would take care of the bigger picture.

“There’s no real big thing that we need to improve as far as I can tell,” said Thomas. “As far as watching the defense, myself included, it’s just little things we need to fix as far as linemen and assignments.”

When asked if that has been happening in practice this week, Thomas was quick to answer.

“Definitely,” he said. “We’ve really broken down all the details, and are just really concentrating on doing the little things right this week.”

While the team’s focus may be back on the right track, one thing that hasn’t changed is the starting running back. Despite being pushed by sophomore Josh Johnston, junior Marcus Blanks will be the first option for the ball this Saturday.

“Marcus is the starting running back,” said Pendergast. “We feel very fortunate to have both Marcus and Josh, and now that, progressively, [sophomore] Andre Hardaway is nursing his way back to health, we feel real good about having Andre join the party as well.”

Regardless of who the starting running back is, the team has just one thing on its mind right now — its next home win.

“That’s one of our goals, to win at home,” said Razzano. “We haven’t been winning at home in the past years like we should, and home turf, home crowd, it’s one of our goals and one thing we want to do. The best way to start it is, in October since we have four in a row, is this Saturday.”

Archived article by Matt Janiga