MU Football starts up

Eric Shafer, Staff Writer

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The Millikin men’s football team has an exuberance of fresh, young talent on the team. The players worked diligently once they arrived back on campus preparing for their first game, but lost that game 48-41 to Greenville College.

Big Blue football was down by 20 points heading into the fourth quarter last week but battled back to make it close at the end. Coach Pat Etherton said “the way our guys battled back was good. They gave us a chance to win and I thought that was great.”

Etherton seemed very enthused about the coming year despite the young team. The Big Blue’s defense is very young. “Eight of the 11 guys on defense that played Saturday were either freshmen or sophomores,” Etherton said.  “They’re young and learning on the fly.”

A lot of concerns were raised during Saturday’s game. One of those concerns was whether or not the team would be able to be fully prepared for this upcoming week’s game. Etherton addressed this matter by saying “all mistakes, on both sides of the ball, are fixable. There is nothing that we won’t be able to fix.”

Even though the team lost, Etherton continued to look ahead positively.

“The encouraging thing was that these guys were able to come back,” Etherton said. “I’m proud of the guys, proud of that.”

Even with the team fighting back, there were a lot of mistakes made. When asked how the team was going to adapt and prepare for Saturday’s game against Hope College, Etherton responded by saying that “there were some technique errors. There were also some lineman mistakes and we just need to focus on correcting those mistakes.”

“We will prepare no differently,” Etherton said. “We just need to work on ball security, executing everything effectively, and working on the couple of turnovers and missed opportunities we had. There was nothing alarming in Saturday’s game. Everything is fixable.”

One of the oldest coaching philosophies is that the greatest change for a team happens from week one to week two.

“I am a believer in that,” Etherton said “Our guys have to see their mistakes on film and fix them. They are excited to play again and we will get things connected.”

Etherton is “excited for the rest of the upcoming year and is ready for a great season.”

Millikin played at Hope College at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.