For the past three years, including this one, Missouri Western football has started the season 4-2, and for the past two years, they ended 4-7. Call me insane, but I think this year will be different.
There’s a certain aura in the GISC. An aura of winning, of potential, of pride. If you think the coaches and players don’t know or have forgotten about their recent luck after starting the season 4-2, then you’re wrong. This is the year they say “Screw you luck.”
Last year was tough, starting the season losing to the University of Nebraska Kearney 14-3. This was an outlier. A game that should not have ended the way it did. It was a defensive battle and at one point, the starting QB went down. The Griffons only scored three points. Over the next five games, the Griffons averaged 47 points per game, not dropping below 40 in any of those three games, including putting 66 on Northeastern. If we don’t lose to UNK, we start the season 5-1.
The year before was even worse, as three of the five losses were one possession games. Even early on, their loss to at the time #14 Central Missouri was a 38-34 battle. There were no games they “should’ve” won that they lost. Just a lot of close losses that could’ve gone to either team.
This year, the defense has been the key. Other than the 51 points let up to UCM in week 3, this defense has been standout. The opening loss to Northwest was a big part in them getting a few big plays and having a stout defense, and not at fault to the defense in its entirety. With a defense like this, we should be a little more comfortable against the offensive juggernauts in this conference.
Quarterback Dom Marino has been doing great, limiting his turnovers like a real game manager, and the running game is one of the best in the MIAA with their committee of running backs. Defensively, the secondary has been top notch one week, and then leaves room to be desired the next. But honestly, their good games outweigh the bad games. The offensive line is one of the best in the league, so you don’t forget, and our special teams is so good that our backup kicker just won MIAA Special Teams Player of the Week after nailing four field goals on as many attempts, including a 49-yarder.
So far this year, we’ve been 3-0 at home while 1-2 away. With five games remaining and three games at home, I’m confident in our chances to stop the trend, and do some damage this year in the MIAA.