Disappointed, but unbowed.
That was the mood around the football offices and locker room in the Hull Physical Education Building at Arkansas Tech University in the days following the Wonder Boys’ season-opening 38-20 loss to Southeastern Oklahoma State University on Sept. 2.
“Our guys are upset about the way they played (against SOSU) and they know they can be better than that,” said Kyle Shipp, ATU head coach.
The Wonder Boys’ first chance to prove they can be better will come Saturday, Sept. 11, during a 6 p.m. Great American Conference contest against the East Central University Tigers at Norris Field in Ada, Okla. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will provide live coverage.
East Central dropped a 28-0 season-opening contest at nationally-ranked Harding University on Saturday. The Tigers return sophomore quarterback Kenny Hrncir and senior running back Ontario Douglas from a unit that ranked third in the GAC in total offense (404.2 yards per game) in 2019.
“They are two of the most dynamic guys in our conference,” said Shipp when asked about Hrncir and Douglas. “We have to do a good job of tackling those two guys. If we can contain them, it will be a good night.”
Hrncir completed 21-of-28 for 308 yards, rushed for 72 yards and accounted for two touchdowns in East Central’s 31-30 victory over Arkansas Tech in their most recent meeting on Nov. 9, 2019.
“We have to bring our physicality from the beginning,” said Shipp. “We can’t wait until the third quarter to start rolling. We need to be more physical at the point of attack. That’s the way we want to play football around here. We have a huge task in front of us because I think (ECU) is one of the most improved teams in our conference. They’ll be ready to play. When you’re 0-1, you want to get that taste out of your mouth.”
Talk to you on the radio.
Tech Tidbits is a column written by Sam Strasner, ATU director of university relations and radio play-by-play voice for ATU football and basketball.