By Paul Haynes
I love the attitude of our football team. Our guys are excited every day to go to practice and get into the preparation to play someone else. We are at that point where we are very excited to play another opponent.
We have been working very hard to get ready for Ohio University. The Bobcats are breaking in some young players, including guys at quarterback and running back, but when you have the same guy at the helm for as long a time as coach Solich has been there, you know he is going to put his footprint on the program. That means facing tough kids who are going to play hard. We are going to get a tough, physical game and we know it. They may have some different players, but they are who they are, and that won’t change.
While we’ve been getting ready for Ohio, this is also the first game of the year. And in the first game of the year you tend to focus a little bit more on yourself and your own mindset. That’s even more important this year considering the opener is a league game, and in a league game you can’t afford those first-game blunders. You can’t make mental mistakes. You can’t turn the ball over. Those are the things that tend to happen a little bit more in the first game. So, you have to try to slow the game down and play within yourself.
There’s still a lot to do before Saturday’s game. There is the Friday night preparation. I start to gauge where our team’s mindset is by seeing how much they are talking, how much they are communicating. The more the the players are talking and the less the coaches are talking, to me that’s a good way to know they are prepared and ready.
With it being a night game, we’ll do more on Saturday morning with some walkthroughs and get a feel for how they are acting, their communication, what they are talking about and what they know.
When we get to the game, we are really looking forward to seeing what we know is going to be a big and excited crowd at Dix Stadium. It’s going to be nice weather. We have all day to get riled up and get going. We need an electric crowd. With the situation that happened last week, hopefully we can have people come and show respect for this football team as we move forward, showing how proud they are of them for moving forward. If we can pack that place and have an exciting atmosphere for our guys to play in front of the fans, I know they are going to play hard.
It’s a league game, so it should be exciting for the fans. It should be a great atmosphere. We need the fans to be loud and rowdy. I said this in the freshman pep rally, that we need them to “act a fool.”
That’s what we need. We need our fans to “act a fool.”