Oct. 6, 2004
Quotes, Notes And Points Of Interest From WSSU's Weekly Football Press Conference
Livingstone "Blue Bears" (2-4, 2-1 CIAA)
Winston-Salem State "Rams" (1-4, 1-1 CIAA)
October 9th, 2004
Bowman-Gray Stadium In Winston-Salem, NC
Kickoff At 6:00 pm
Rams vs. Blue Bears...The matchup between the Rams and Blue Bears marks the seventh game for both teams in 2004. The Blue Bears enter the contest with a 2-1 CIAA record and a 2-4 mark overall. They are coming into the game riding a winning streak as they defeated the Golden Bulls of Johnson C. Smith University last weekend by the score of 16-10. The Rams are entering the contest sporting their worst record since 1975 as they are 1-5 overall and 1-2 in the CIAA. WSSU dropped a 21-14 decision last weekend to two-time defending CIAA Champion Fayetteville State in 2004's homecoming game at Bowman-Gray Stadium. The Rams will look to get on track versus the Blue Bears as WSSU has not lost to Livingstone College since the 1998 season (a 38-33 loss at Bowman-Gray).
The Series...The Rams will return to action this Saturday, October 9th, 2004 as they will close out the 2004 home schedule versus Livingstone College before heading out on the road for three straight road contests. WSSU has won the last five games versus the Blue Bears and has not lost to Livingstone since the 1998 season. WSSU has posted an all-time mark versus Livingstone of 30-11-1.
Fun Facts and Numbers... The largest WSSU win over Livingstone was by 56 points, a 62-6 victory that came during the 1986 season. The largest Livingstone win was by 34 points, by the score of 41-7 during the 1997 season. WSSU's longest win streak versus the Blue Bears is 19 games from the 1976 to 1994 seasons while the Blue Bears streak of wins tops out at three games, three times, most recently from 1996 to 1998. Current WSSU head coach Kermit Blount has posted a 7-3-1 record versus Livingstone College.
The Last Meeting In Brief...The last meeting between the two teams came during the 2003 season with the Rams earning the win by the score of 42-23 in Salisbury, NC on October 18th, 2003. In that contest, the Rams dismantled the Blue Bears with 228 yards of rushing offense en route to the easy victory. Jed Bines, a rookie in that contest, racked up a season-high 163 yards on 16 carries averaging over 10-yards per carry in the contest.
TV Coverage...There is no television coverage for this contest versus the Livingstone College Blue Bears. Barring a berth in the CIAA Championship game on November 6th, the Rams will not appear on television again this season.
Radio Coverage...This weekend's contest will be available to listeners in the greater Winston-Salem area on WSNC, FM 90.5 with George Croom, Al Roseboro, Ted Fichiolas and Sam Harley calling all the action as well as nationally on the internet at www.wssu.edu by clicking on the link: "Listen to WSNC."
Live Statistical Broadcast Online...Can't make it to the game, but want to keep tabs on what the Rams are doing as it happens? Then log on to the official live statistical broadcast of the game on GAMETRACKER. The contest between the Rams and the Blue Bears will mark the fifth game that takes advantage of the Rams' enhanced partnership with College Sports Online as WSSU became the 72nd (out of 102 current partners) NCAA member school to use the GAMETRACKER software that enables a live statistical broadcast of the entire game to be seen on the World Wide Web. To access the GAMETRACKER software, fans may visit the Official Website of WSSU Athletics at www.wssurams.com, accessing the football schedule page and clicking on the GAMETRACKER link to view the action.
Head Football Coach Kermit Blount:
Even having lost only one division game, how difficult will it be to get your team motivated, and keep their eyes on the big prize for the remainder of the season after dropping a big game that has so much emphasis put upon it, in homecoming?
Well I think part of the tools that we are going to use, and have used, to this point, is the fact that we are still alive in this thing. And certainly, I think that our players understand where we are. It is just a matter of us, not trying to convince them where we really are, but just understanding that we have to go out and finish what we started. And we started something on Saturday and we didn't come back and finish it, and of course we came up with a loss. And at the same time, the spirit of this football team is good and I am very confident that we will come back and do what we have to do to finish it off right.
Having the luxury of having two of the very best quarterbacks, and some of the best, if not the best, skill at the skilled positions in the conference as it pertains to quarterbacks, running backs, and wideouts, we saw what could happen if Josh was given enough time to get the ball in the air when he made that great throw to Brandon Free. How can we get Josh [McGee] the opportunity to get the ball downfield?
The first thing that we had to do, coming into Monday, was correct some things up front on our offensive line. We are playing three young kids up front there, and I won't make any excuses for them, because they still have to play. When we line them up, they have to play, so no excuses there. But the bottom line is, we have to pass protect. So now, we are probably going to have to use some max protection. Probably keep the tight end and one back, back in, or possibly two backs. We just basically have to secure our pass protection and give Josh, or Monte, whoever may be in the ball game, the opportunity to throw the ball downfield. The other part of the equation is going to have to be having us move Josh and Monte away from the pocket to take the pressure off of them, and those are the kind of adjustments that we have to make and we have started to make those adjustments, and I think that they will pay off for us.
I don't know the medical status of Josh, at this point. But it appears, after watching the last three ball games, that, diagnosing him from upstairs, that teams will bring up more men to the line to try to bring the blitz, and Josh, not being 100%, how can we counteract that?
We should have countered it last weekend when they came with the blitz, as we had it read and we had the hot routes off of it, but we just didn't get it done. We missed a couple of them with our wideouts not being able to alter their routes to the blitz that was coming, in fact we missed it twice, both on crucial situations. I think it is just a balance of being able to make the adjustments from our wideouts seeing the blitz coming and also our guys up front with our young guys. And the other thing, I think that Josh is experienced enough to put us in a better place and take advantage of that blitz. If they blitz inside, he can help us take advantage of the perimeter. If they are going to blitz on the perimeter, he can help us take advantage of the inside. I think that Josh's experience helps us in that respect. And I think that our young guys learned a valuable lesson and gained experience over the last two weeks playing against the caliber of defenses that they played against.
Now, help me out on this one coach, as I have had debate with several people over this one, as this is my last question. Why did we not punt the ball with 41 seconds on the clock, and we were down 21-14 and were on fourth down deep in our territory. My prognosis was that we would punt the ball and hope for a turnover, instead of possibly giving the ball over on downs. Why did we go for it?
Every time you lose a ball game, every single decision you make is questioned, but I am not ever concerned with that. I thought that we made the best decision for the situation that we were in. Knowing the game of football, and knowing Kenny Phillips (Fayetteville State head coach) very well, and although we didn't convert that fourth down, and at that point, I thought that we had no choice but to go for it. It was a crucial play, and with 40 seconds left, we had to go for it, because the likelihood of us getting a turnover on a punt, were slim to none. I knew that Kenny [Phillips] wouldn't field the punt, he was just going to let the ball roll and the clock run and I knew that if we didn't get the 4th down, that he would kneel on it and not try to score again. I felt that we had to give our team the opportunity to get some points from it by going for it on 4th down by at least trying to put it up. Because with 41 seconds left, that was all that we could do.