The game book is expected to be slightly open today as McNeese State plays at Cowboy Stadium for the third time in the spring preseason.
First year head coach Frank Wilson and his staff aim to build on last week when the offensive scored a goal in big games but struggled with third losses during a controlled, situational battle.
“We’ve had our share of big runs and passes. We also need to be able to service the drives,” said Wilson. “I think we have the potential to be a dynamic offense.”
Two weeks into the season, McNeese wants to make sure it is ready for the playing conditions. After this week, the cowboys will be working on their first enemy, Tarleton State.
“This is still so much about us,” said Wilson. “We want to keep focusing on ourselves. We’ll turn our attention to Tarleton after Saturday.”
Most importantly, Wilson said he was looking for his team to continue growing as a physical club. He continues to preach that about McNeese. He wants his team to play fast and hard.
“We want to be a lot more aggressive,” said Wilson. “This is great for us because it will be physical. Our DNA is based on tenacity, on competition.”
The late morning scrimmage consists of 15-minute halves and a situational game.
This is a group that is still learning from each other. With the pandemic and two hurricanes, the cowboys and coaches couldn’t get to know each other as well as most teams.
That means these scrimmages are the best way for coaches to learn what their players can and can’t do and teach them their new system, Wilson said.
“You forever learn your team,” said Wilson. “There is a lot of untangling. We find out what players can do against live balls. We keep learning our team and adapting to our staff.”
Wilson also pointed out that the starting positions work themselves out, although unwilling to name a depth map. This will show as groups continue to play together and in certain situations.
“That picture is starting to clear,” Wilson said of the rotation. “These players have to play with each other for chemical reasons. There are fewer moving parts now.”
If there’s one thing the coaching team is looking for, Wilson said, it’s finding depth for the shortened seven-game season. The Cowboys have lost 21 players since Wilson last year, and many of them have entered the world of work.
While the numbers could fall, Wilson said McNeese is getting help from solid transfers and incoming newbies for the fall.
Wilson said he will add a few more pieces to the puzzle on Wednesday, traditional national signing day.
“We weren’t sure how it would play out this year, but we’re excited about our additions,” said Wilson.