The Rams fell to the Langston University Lions 34-0 on Saturday, but head coach Joe Prud’homme saw some improvement, despite the score.
“The run offense, special teams and overall defensive improvement were the strengths,” Prud’homme said after the game, which was played in Oklahoma. “The defensive line especially was a strength.”
The Rams (0-5, 0-2) increased their run game from five rushing yards in the first game of the season, against McPherson College on Sept. 2, to 78 rushing yards against Langston, according to ramsports.net.
Despite not scoring on the Lions, who were ranked No. 11 in the NAIA before the game, the Rams still did several things better than in the past.
- Running the ball.
The offense did well running the ball against Langston, and would’ve done well passing as well except there were too many turnovers, Prud’homme said.
“The offense ran the ball well, but we had too many turnovers when we had created some good opportunities. But overall we improved some on offense,” Prud’homme said.
The offense did a good job moving the ball, but they need to work better as a team, running back Da’vonte Mitchell-Dixon said.
“When it comes to turnovers we want all of them to be prevented. We have to protect the football,” Mitchell-Dixon said.
The offensive line could get better if they can learn to execute as a unit, quarterback Kane Hardin said.
“I was really proud of the way the o-line played,” Hardin said. “They fought hard and I thought they played pretty well. We just have to execute effectively as a unit.”
- Defending against offensive drives.
“The defense improved quite a bit, we made a few mistakes, but the overall improvement was significant,” Prud’homme said. “We gave their offense some problems and some bad plays as far as sacks and tackles for losses.”
The defense took care of business on the majority of their plays, linebacker Dewaun Colbert said.
“I feel we went out and executed but had a couple busted plays on our part which they took advantage of and scored on,” Colbert said. “But I feel as long as we clean the little things up we’ll be good.”
The Rams kept Langston’s big plays to a minimum, linebacker Vincent Stephenson said.
“As a defense I think we played the pass much better,” Stephenson said. “They had a lot of athletes at receiver and we did a good job preventing them from being a big factor. We also kept big plays to a minimum.”
- Growing up.
The Rams as a whole have made improvements and gained experience from facing tough competitors all season, Prud’homme said.
The team plans to use these games as lessons and build on the experience for future games, Mitchell-Dixon said.
“Our team as a unit improved and learned from this game,” he said, “and we’ll use to that energy we have on Texas College.”
The Rams will play Texas College in Tyler at 7 p.m. on Oct. 7.