Experience and Confidence

By: Wayne Gilmore, Team Kong Editor
Sep 11, 2013

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As promised, last Saturday was a tremendous atmosphere for small college football.  The ‘Gorilla Walk’ crowd was easily the largest I have ever seen.  Gorilla fans were definitely hungry to get the 2013 season underway.

Once in the stadium, the intro video was outstanding, as expected.  When the game kicked off, the offense was methodical and diverse on the first drive, on the second drive, and really during the entire first half. 

While our offense was using up the clock, and piling up yardage, the Gorillas defense was dominant.  NSU punted on every possession in the first half, and seven times in the game.  PSU was able to rotate several players, especially on the defensive line.

Make no mistake, NSU is not going to win very many games in the MIAA, and this game probably is not a very good measuring stick for the 2013 campaign, but there was one thing I took away from Saturday.  Anthony Abenoja is much improved.

Two weeks ago, one of my two keys to a successful campaign was going to be the real threat of Anthony to run the football.  His eighty-six  yards on Saturday were pretty effective.  Abenoja probably will not rush for 1000 yards, but if he can rush for 500 this offense is going to be really fun to watch.

If you listened to Anthony’s interview with Tom VanHoy last week, he admitted last year, as a sophomore, he did not feel like it was his team.  From that interview, and from watching him on Saturday it was evident this year is different.  His experience has given him confidence, and his confidence has helped him become a team leader.

Anthony is an extremely talented football player.   Remember, as a sophomore broke the single game record for completions (26) and passing yards (378) in his first career start.  His 2330 passing yards in 2012 was the third best in Pitt State history but his 230 yard per game average in 2012 is the best in Pitt State history.   He can flat throw the football.  Add in the confidence and leadership we saw Saturday and our offense is in really good hands this season.

Notes:  This weekend’s opponent Central Oklahoma is really bad on defense.  Quite possibly the worst in the MIAA.  However on offense, they have K-State transfer WR Marquez Clark (#11) who is “John Brown-like”.  Very fast.  Very talented.  And of course, Joshua Birmingham (#21) who is regarded as one of the top running backs in d2.  He was a first team All- MIAA in 2012 and rushed 19 for 121 against the Gorillas last year.   While their offensive line is not great, their talented skilled layers will be a nice test for our experienced defense.

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