Head football coach Joe Prud’homme and the Rams are hoping to build off last week’s close game against Langston University.
The Rams (1-4 overall and 1-2 in conference play) are heading into their fourth Sooner Athletic Conference game Saturday, when they play Oklahoma Panhandle State University at 2 p.m. at Farrington Field.
Prud’homme wrote in an e-mail that the team is doing everything that they can in order to prepare for the Aggies.
“We are working on getting everybody blocked and accounted for in their scheme,” Prud’homme wrote. “We are building on the positives and correcting mistakes.”
The Rams lost to Langston 55-31 last Saturday. The Aggies (2-1 in conference, 2-4 overall) are coming off two losses in a row; last week they lost 62-7 to Grambling State University, according to opsuaggies.com.
Prud’homme wrote that a few adjustments needed to be made on the defense for the game this week.
“We need to communicate better with each other on the field, make the calls, and then execute,” he said.
Prud’homme wrote that with the season’s halfway mark coming up, there are still some issues that need to be fixed.
“We have improved overall, but we took a few steps back against Langston,” he wrote. “We need to mature and develop consistency, that is our biggest challenge so far.”
Quarterback Justin Arth, a sophomore business administration major, wrote in an e-mail that the team is taking this week’s matchup just as serious as any other game they have played.
“We are taking our preparation for Oklahoma Panhandle just like we would any other week,” Arth wrote. “We are watching film of their games, having meetings to go over the game plan, and going out to practice and working to improve each day to beat Oklahoma Panhandle.”
Arth wrote that the team has been good about getting themselves out of tough situations this season.
“I think as a team we are doing a great job with continuing to fight and get ourselves out of those early holes we’ve gotten ourselves into,” he wrote. “As an offense, our tempo’s been great, and we’ve made a lot of good plays to keep drives alive and scoring big plays.”
Arth wrote that the key to winning the game this week is for the players to put themselves in uncomfortable situations and have the confidence to win.
“We just need to start fast and not let off the gas pedal,” he wrote. “We will have to take some risks on offense this week based on how Panhandle plays defensively but we have the guys to make those plays.”
Arth wrote that if the Rams come out strong, they will be successful.
“If we start fast, we will surprise a lot of people on Saturday,” he wrote.
Jimmy Christopher, the on-air announcer, wrote in an e-mail that the conference is extremely competitive this year and the following games could go either way.
“The Sooner Athletic Conference is a tough conference and is pretty much wide-open at this point,” Christopher wrote. ”I really can’t predict who the Rams will beat or lose to. The direction of the season hangs in the balance for both teams with this Saturday’s game against Panhandle State.”
Christopher wrote there are several players who have been key players this season and some who still haven’t reached their peak.
“You have quarterback Donovan Isom who still hasn’t reached his full talent level because of injury,” Christopher wrote. “Speedy wide-receiver La’Mant Monroe, running back Jemarcus Jones, defensive backs Jaylen King and Chance Carroll. Return man Diamond Williams and defensive linemen Chijoke Iwuagu and Matthew Shelby.”
Christopher also wrote that there were some aspects of the game where the Rams could improve.
“Of course, everything can be improved,” he wrote. “The biggest things are the defense allowing big plays, costly turnovers by the offense, and the amount of penalties on both sides of the ball.”
Arth wrote that the absolute key to winning this week is having a good bond throughout the team.
“This team is really buying into the brotherhood aspect of the team,” Arth wrote. “We all have each other’s backs and we know each person has to do their own job for the entire team to be successful. I think the connection is strong but only getting stronger.”
The Rams play Oklahoma Panhandle State University at 2 p.m. Saturday at Farrington Field. For more information visit www.ramsports.net.