While the Rams’ home opener on Saturday at Farrington Field did not result in a victory, head coach Joe Prud’homme was excited about the improvements he saw in his team.
The Rams lost to Millsaps 29-13 before a crowd of 4,518, according to ramsports.net, and afterward Prud’homme praised his team for playing with a more mature mindset and making fewer penalties and basic mistakes.
“I thought the defense made plays when they needed to,” Prud’homme said, “and I thought the special teams were better. Yeah, we had the one bad snap, but I saw improvement and that’s what we’re looking for.”
Also, Prud’homme said, the offense moved the ball better and the defense stuck to their assignments better.
The Rams racked up 16 first downs and 212 total offensive yards, all but nine of which were passing, according to ramsports.net. The Majors had 354 total offensive yards.
The Rams’ first score came in the third quarter as Bryce Nye hit a 30-yard field goal that had been set up by a 78-yard Donovan Davidson kickoff return, according to ramsports.net. Later in the quarter, quarterback Kane Hardin hit Erik Richards for a 24-yard touchdown pass.
Hardin had another impressive game, completing 18 of 33 passes for 183 yards; he had one interception, according to ramsports.net.
Here are five things the Rams did well:
- Playing with more maturity.
“I thought we were much more mature in this game,” Prud’homme said. “We didn’t make the big plays to kill ourselves. We did allow some big plays that hurt us.”
- Running the ball.
“We thought our persistence in the run game, running the ball on offense was good,” Prud’homme said.
Running back Erik Richards agreed, saying that the run game was much better than during last week’s McPherson game.
“We were moving the ball up the middle and that’s a big part of the offense that we need,” Richards said.
The team just needs to start doing the basics well early on in the game, Hardin said.
“In the second half, once we got settled in we did some good things,” he said. “We just have to execute some fundamental things, but we did that in the second half.”
- Throwing the ball.
The offense overall did a better job moving the ball down the field this week, Richards said.
“I think we came together better as an offense,” Richards said. “We got the ball rolling a little more. Our drives didn’t end with three outs every time like they did last week. I guess overall we just moved the ball down the field a little better.”
- Playing with more confidence.
Prud’homme has wanted the team to stay calm and collected on the field since he first started recruiting, he said.
“They looked calmer to me,” Prud’homme said. “We’re just working on, ‘Hey, it’s not the end of the world. We’re building something here so that’s kind of what that’s all about.’”
The Rams travel to Las Vegas, New Mexico next week to play the New Mexico Highlands University Cowboys at noon on Saturday, Sept. 16. The game will be shown at portal.stretchinternet.com/nmhu, which can be accessed through the season schedule at ramsports.net.