UWA looks inward while facing unknown

Published 10:07 am Friday, October 12, 2012

The fear of the unknown. It haunts everyone at one time or the other.

The University of West Alabama football team comes into Saturday’s game against the College of Faith at Tiger Stadium facing just that – the unknown.

There has been little information to gather for scouting reports on the 0-2 Mighty Believer Wildcats. Coach Sherwyn Thomas’ team has played just two games, losing 78-0 at Arkansas-Monticello and 48-6 at Concordia Selma. The fledgling program from the Memphis metro has not played a home game and will not this year.

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“They are an upstart program trying to get their program going,” UWA head coach Will Hall said. “We have seen on tape that they have some athletes at some spots, but they are low on numbers so they tend to wear down as the game goes on.”

So how does Hall and his staff prepare for a virtually unknown opponent while restoring the confidence of his own team following a loss to Division II power Midwestern State at home last week? The Tigers have chosen to look inward.

“We have a theme for every week and this week it was ‘Self Reflect’,” Hall said. “We wanted everybody on the team to pick out one specific thing they wanted to get better at, improve on that and then be much better at it on Saturday that they were the previous week.”

UWA offensive guard Courtney Easterwood says it doesn’t matter how much the Tigers know or don’t know at the College of Faith. He is certain he and his teammates are focused on things they are able to handle and then let the chips fall where they may.

“We don’t know too much about these guys, but at the end of the day, we treat every opponent the same, like it’s a conference game,” Easterwood said. “We had a disappointing loss last week, but all we can do is control the things that we can control. We need to come out and be physical, control the penalties and limit the turnovers.”

Defensive end Ryan Jones, who leads UWA defenders with six tackles for loss, has confidence in his teammates and coaching staff that the Tigers will not only be all right on Saturday against the Mighty Believer Wildcats, but also down the stretch run of the season.

“Coach (Robert) Henry comes up with a good defensive scheme every week,” Jones said. “We have been through a lot of adversity, but we are still 4-2 and 2-0 in the conference.

“We will be all right in the long run,” Jones said. “We don’t know too much about them, but at the same time we know enough.”

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Tiger Stadium on the UWA campus.