2009 Coach's Corner #9 - A Letter From The Desk Of Coach Priore
Oct. 29, 2009
Stony Brook, N.Y. - Saturday's game against Coastal Carolina University was one that showed our character as a football program as well as our ability to handle adversity in a number of ways. First, we needed to manage the weather conditions of the day and second win the kicking game and field position battle; we were able to control the ball going against the wind and not allow our opponent to have success when the wind was in their favor. We did a good job of managing those situations.
Secondly, anytime you are up 10-0 and seemingly controlling the game, often a team will relinquish the "killer" instinct and allow the opponent back into the game. That scenario happened to us and in a matter of 3-4 minutes it became a 10-10 game. As a coach, I looked to the leadership of our senior class to see if their poise would will us to victory. It was a credit to our team and coaching staff that we did not get rattled; we made a big stop to hold CCU to a field goal and then took our next possession and put a touchdown on the board on a nice drive that had a lot of different people contribute.
Having the wind in the fourth quarter really paid dividends for us. With the wind at our backs we were able to put that final scoring drive together as well as punt with the wind and pin them deep in their own territory for their final possession. Our defense then held them on their first two plays before recovering a fumble that sealed the win for us. It was a fairly complete game on our part. The offense put points on the board in the fourth quarter when we needed it, we had a great defensive effort that held Coastal to under 200 yards of offense and our special teams came up with a blocked punt that led to our first touchdown and two tipped field goal attempts that caused both to be missed.
Once again we face a huge challenge in Gardner-Webb this weekend. They are undefeated in the league (2-0), have a good overall won-loss record (5-2) and return nearly all of their starters from a year ago that gives them veteran leadership. We have not seen their style of offense this year; they come out and throw the ball on pretty much every play and mix in the run on a limited basis to keep you off balance and have tremendous talent at wide receiver. They are very stout defensively; the guys up front are very big and physical, their linebackers run very well and they have the last two Defensive Player of the Year award winners in the Big South back. They are very well coached defensive team.
They came into our place last year and came back and won the game in the fourth quarter. That game was a missed opportunity on our part and we remember and understand that. I expect that this will be a hard fought Big South game between a pair of teams that have yet to lose a conference game. If we go down there and take care of business we will come back home on Saturday night with a victory and strengthen our position in the conference.
I thank you for your support of our program and, as always, we look forward to seeing you at the game with us on the road this week. Remember to "Get Your RED On," and Go, Seawolves!