Bryant Set to Kick Off Season vs. American International
Saturday, September 05, 2015
Bryant University football program is set to kick off thier 2015 season on Saturday, September 5th when they host American International. The Bulldogs come into this season as the NEC coaches preseason pick to win the conference and advance to the NCAA playoffs for the first time in program history.
While Bryant head coach Marty Fine does not pay much attention to the preseason preseason predictions, he does think that it signifies that Bryant is going in the right direction.
"I do think that there is a respect for this team around the league and that's a credit to the kids hard work. We are not a team in transition any more, we are a pretty good football team," said Fine.
It's About Winning the Conference
Bryant finished 2014 with a record of 8-3, thier best record in program history since making the jump to division one. However, back to back end of season losses cost Bryant a shot at the post season.
"The reality is, our goal is to win the league and that gets us into the NCAA playoffs. We went 8-3 last year but that got us nothing. We have yet to prove that we can win championships and once we can do that we can talk about everything else," Fine said about the outlook on this season.
How Bryant Can Win
Bryant had a great season in 2014 both offensively and defensively. Offensively, quarterback Dalton Easton and the offense averaged 25 points per game, 27 in conference play and had over 4,000 yards in total offense.
Defensively, Bryant gave up just 16 points per game and 300 total yards of offense per game.
However, if the Bulldogs are to make a big run, coach Fine knows things will have to improve on both ends of the ball.
"Three things that we have to do on offense. We had plenty of explosive plays last year but we need to pick up more first downs. We also got to control the clock better and keep our defense resting. I think our defense got worn down at the end of the season last year. The last thing is we have to be more opportunistic. We have to get leads and then put our foot down.
Defensively, have really good young players. We might have the best linebacking core that we have ever had here. We are just looking for the young guys to come in and compete," Fine said.
First Game, First Challenge
The Bulldogs get the luxury of playing the first game in front of thier home crowd, most of whom will have just moved into school earlier in the day. Bryant may need to use the home advantage against an American International team that has given them problems over the last couple of seasons.
"We've played them ten times and are 3-7 against them. They are very athletic and very fast, they alwayss give us fits and I am expecting nothing less this time around," Fine said.
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