2009 Coach's Corner #5 - A Letter From The Desk Of Coach Priore
Oct. 2, 2009
Stony Brook, N.Y. - After Saturday's game against a very good Massachusetts team, we are seeing the positive strides that we have been looking for in our building process towards scholarship football and our ability to compete against the top-level FCS programs.
Even though we were short-handed by not having our top two running backs and several starters on defense due to injury, we played as fine a first half versus that level of competition since I have been at Stony Brook. We executed the game plan from a special teams perspective, did not allow them big plays and controlled their return units. We were also able to work the clock correctly that enabled us to shrink the game for our defense. We played the run very well in the first half; we knew they were capable of big plays, and we felt good going into halftime down 24-17. We played much better on the offensive line this week than we did the first three weeks, and that was against a defense that had superior personnel than we had seen in our first three games. Our defensive line also played better this week from the standpoint of stopping the run. We certainly played a much more physical game; we set the tone on the first couple of series of the game.
That said we are not satisfied with the outcome of the game. We had an opportunity at halftime to sit down and reflect on the success we had and try and move that forward to understanding that you have to play a complete game. And we did not do that. We took the opening kickoff out to the 20 but we had a holding penalty and now we are back on the 10-yard line. We picked up a first down, but we lost the field position battle and UMass came back and hit us with a quick score.
We did some things in the second half that were good on both sides of the ball, but I think they wore us physically down. At this stage they are the better football team. We did have them concerned at halftime and they certainly changed their thought process going into the second half. I am satisfied with the progression of our program, but not satisfied with the loss.
As we prepare for Presbyterian this week we have an opportunity to play six of our next seven games in the Big South Conference so this is a great time for us to regroup and put things in perspective. We are probably not very far off from being a 3-1 team and we have to look at the positive parts of that. We have gotten a little bit better each week as a program, so I think that we are set for league play.
It is homecoming this week and we know that we always have a great crowd in LaValle Stadium for that game that supports us and we are looking forward to playing the game this week. I would like to encourage everyone to come out for this special day and support our program as we start conference play. We hope to see everyone in LaValle Stadium on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.
As always, wear RED and Go Seawolves!