What a great win we had last week in Stephenville. It was a very satisfying performance. But for our Lions, I hope they didn’t get too full as there is a lot left on the buffet table. Holding a prolific team like Tarleton State like they did is the type of Championship caliber play we have all been waiting on. The thing is we did it without some key pieces so it can get even better. I have noticed a different mentality this season as compared to the 2018 version…a hunger. This teams plays hungry like they haven’t eaten in months. Last year I think we were still “fat-full” from the 2017 championship season. This group of Lions is attacking like they haven’t seen an antelope in 3 months.
Enough about last week though as we have no time to gloat and get in our own feelings about what we did. There is another team in our path that has yet to feel the agony of defeat this season. Reading over my colleague Russell’s Pre Snap Read (a must if you haven’t) shows us that this is a somewhat small team in size but they seem to make up for it in speed perhaps. Well this week they get a dose of both. Weather will probably be a factor also with a slight chill in the air. But as Russell noted, we still have to do the same type things to win and if we do, then we will get another playoff win. Protect the ball. Limit penalties. Make a few big plays while not allowing many as well. Things we proved more than capable of achieving last week at the #3 team in the nation’s home.
A Winter storm moved thru the home of the Orediggers (don’t ask me what that is) home field on Tuesday and Wednesday dropping a ton of snow. Their preparation for the game had to be disrupted which can be an advantage for us. Focus is the key. There can be all kinds of distractions with the holiday but I know when I played, spending Thanksgivings those two seasons with my teammates were the more memorable ones and I wouldn’t have traded them for anything. After all, it is about being thankful and enjoying family which is what we did and it brought us all closer together as I’m sure it does for this group of Lions as well.
Look for this group to ignore all the potential distractions. The Weather. The Holiday. The Chatter. The travel…and everything else that may come their way and focus on the task at hand. Coach Bailiff and his staff have done an amazing job. Having talent like the Lions do is great but sooner or later you meet a team just as talented like TSU last week and that’s were you will see the ultimate difference…coaching. This staff doesn’t have a fat-full hangover. They are hungry still. Sure they have all tasted success most on different levels but they still have that fire boiling deep down to accomplish that next step…a celebration in McKinney to end the season. They also know that it can only be done one game at a time. They seem meticulous and well prepared by the way these Lions are playing…especially on defense. We all know the old saying, offense wins games, but defense wins championships.