By Tommy Liljedahl
Despite a disappointing 0-5 start, the CCSU football team remains optimistic during a much needed bye week.
“Obviously, this is not the start we wanted,” said Head Coach Jeff Mcinerey. “But we knew this team was going to take some time to take shape, especially with the new quarterbacks.”
Andrew Clements, junior, and Nick Sangiacomo, freshman, have been splitting snaps at QB for the Blue Devils, both experiencing some successes along with failures. While Sangiacomo threw three touchdowns in a 34-21 loss to Sacred Heart last week, he also threw three interceptions, including a late one that was returned for a touchdown, breaking the game wide open. Since a solid performance in the home opener, Clements has experienced struggles of his own, throwing three picks in a 43-10 loss at New Hampshire on Sept 15.
Clements will start in CCSU’s homecoming game versus Duquesne this upcoming Saturday, Oct 13.
“They’re both talented kids, no doubt,” McInerney said. “The ups and downs are to be expected, they just need to keep improving and get hot. There are a lot of other issues we need to work on.”
These issues include giving up big plays, as well as a mediocre third down offense and defense. However, they managed to hold Sacred Heart to 3 of 11 on third down, while converting 9 of 20 on third down. They also held Sacred Heart to only 261 yards on offense. Thwarted by a missed extra point, a blocked punt, and three turnovers, CCSU was left with a lot to build on heading into their bye week.
“This team is getting better and will win games,” McInerney said confidently. “A defeated team doesn’t practice this hard. The bye week has already given us a chance to regroup and improve.”
Lorenzo Baker, senior captain and outside linebacker, echoed the coach’s sentiments.
“Character is what you are, record is what people think you are. We’ve been working as hard as ever, and a few plays could have had our games going either way,” said Baker.
As a senior, Baker hopes to make the most of his final six games here at CCSU, and expects the younger players to follow his lead.
As grim as their record looks, CCSU has faced a brutal schedule which has included Stony Brook, who beat Army; New Hampshire, who holds the longest run in the FCS Top 25 poll; and Lehigh, ranked 11th in the FCS.
The schedule is no excuse, however, according to Coach McInerney.
“It’s on me, the players have practiced and played extremely hard and will continue to compete with integrity. I have to do a better job,” McInerney said.
McInerney expressed gratitude towards the student body and their willingness to come out and support the Blue Devils.
“I really appreciate the crowds and support we’ve been getting, and hope we can provide the fans with our first win in the homecoming game against Duquesne,” said McInerney. “Sometimes you have to fail your way to success.”