UWA ready for season

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 21, 2007

LIVINGSTON &8212; Despite losing 15 starters on offense, defense and special teams from last year, University of West Alabama head coach Bobby Wallace said this year&8217;s team has the potential to finish in the top of its conference.

&8220;This group has the same coaching staff for the first time in a couple of years and everyone knows what I want and what we need to do,&8221; Wallace said. &8220;We lost a lot of players from last year, but I feel we have a better team from top to bottom this year.&8221;

Two key losses for the team&8217;s offense are the exeunt of the group&8217;s leading rusher and receiver from last year, but returning senior quarterback James Reiter said new talent has stepped up to fill the void.

Reiter said the offensive line, though many weren&8217;t starters last year, is another high note for the offense. He said the group is filled with athletes, and, since many saw playing time last year, they are experienced and comfortable in their roles.

The defense, though losing seven starters, too, has a large group of players returning off of last year&8217;s unit.

Wallace said, as new players come into the program and begin to pick up the scheme with returning players from last year, the group is going to have to take note of the mistakes from last year and make adjustments. He said turning over the ball at key times during games is the most problematic theme from last season.

Last year the group gave up 12 interceptions for 121 yards and 17 fumbles, nine of which were forced, for 83 yards. Wallace, taking responsibility, said the fault of the turnovers can be largely attributed to the play calling on the sidelines.