Finding the positive with a record of 1-6 (0-4) and coming off of a nightmarish 54-0 loss is not an easy task. However, the University of South Dakota football players have no choice but to continue to buckle up their chinstraps and continue fighting.
Head Coach Joe Glenn says traveling to Sioux Falls was a good experience but going through a loss like that is never easy on anyone.
“The venue was fantastic, the atmosphere was great and the lead-up to the game was sensational,” Glenn said. “But getting to the point, we obviously didn’t get our part done.”
USD ran into an angry reigning FCS championship team that had just lost the prior week. To say it in short: The actual game was a disaster. The team fell down quickly and never managed to make any attempt at a comeback. The final stats make even an average fan want to cringe and the team’s longest drive was a measly 20 yards.
Senior wide receiver Will Powell said he is hoping the rest of his team keeps their heads up.
“We have to stay positive, there isn’t another choice,” Powell said. “We’ll have to bounce back and stay confident in ourselves.”
Every team needs to give some time for a new coach, who is trying to change the culture and set a new foundation. Coach Glenn acknowledges the bumps in the road he has faced this season.
“There are 38 guys from last year’s roster not on the team anymore,” Glenn said. “We’re playing some young kids this season and each kid on this roster is doing everything humanly possible to get better.”
The team now will put its focus towards an Indiana State team that is responsible for North Dakota State’s only loss this season. Indiana State 6-2 (4-0) features a defense that Coach Glenn described as “top-notch” and a run game heavily reliant on junior Shakir Bell.
Senior middle linebacker Tim Marlette said the team will put an emphasis on stopping their strong run game.
“We’ll cover up our gaps on defense and play fast,” Marlette said. “(Bell) is really good, so we’ll have our work cut out for us.”
On the season, Bell has 1,156 yards and nine touchdowns, good enough for 144.5 yards per game. USD will have to face him and the rest of the offense this Saturday, Oct. 27.
At this point the team is just hoping players don’t lose their confidence and have faith in what is going on. Glenn doesn’t think a change in scheme is necessary and has faith in the system that is being preached.
“Our first three conference games were lost by seven or less,” Glenn said. “We just have some young guys who are probably being rushed into playing time at the moment.”
Glenn also said despite the current record his team has, he is very proud of the effort his guys are giving.
“Our kids are getting up at seven in the morning to study film and lifting weights three to four times a week,” Glenn said. “The players are doing everything to get better and everything I’ve asked of them.”
The team will follow up the Indiana State game and hit the road November 4th to take on a 4-3 Youngstown State team.