The Profs kicked off their 2019 football season at Richard Wackar Stadium under the lights against Widener University on Saturday, and it didn’t go as planned.
The team lost 28-38 despite starting quarterback Mike Husni, a sophomore transfer from Marist University, going 16 for 28 with 380 yards and three touchdowns. This came with no turnovers in his first game for the Brown and Gold.
He didn’t think his numbers were good enough though.
“I thought I played alright,” Husni said. “I missed a lot of throws and reads throughout the game. That [completion] percentage [of 62%] could’ve been a lot higher. Overall I thought it was pretty good but definitely something I can build off of.”
But head coach Jay Accorsi was very much impressed with his new quarterback’s debut.
“I thought he played very well,” Accorsi said. “You probably have to look back at the stats and see how many quarterbacks in the history of our program have thrown for three touchdowns and for over 300 yards. I thought he performed higher than I expected him to. On the runs he had, he probably earned a lot of respect from his teammates for being a gritty little guy, taking out a lot of guys and running around. He’s very passionate about football. You can tell he loves football and for his first game he exceeded my expectations.”
The offense started off slow allowing Widener to jump out to a quick 14-0 lead which played a big factor later on. The defense then let up a total of 31 points. The other seven came off a strip sack late in the fourth quarter.
Rowan’s 28 points would often be enough to win a football game, but the defense couldn’t stop Widener’s offensive attack.
“It’s a matter of us understanding what we can and what we can’t do,” Accorsi said. “We got caught in some man coverages where some guys didn’t do what they were supposed to do but that’s gonna happen in the first game. I thought we played well at times and obviously I thought we played well defensively in the second half. First half, not so much. We have to clean up a lot as I told the team after the game it’s not so much about what the other team does it’s about what you do and don’t do.”
The defense will aim to clean up the mistakes and hopefully the offense can keep putting up points like they did on Saturday.
While some teams would have looked past Widener and focused on the next opponent Linfield College, Accorsi says this team did not.
“I think you go in trying to win every game,” Accorsi said. “Going into the season, there’s your three non-conference games and then there’s your conference games. I don’t look at any as a must win game. You try to win all of them. I don’t think you try any harder in any games than others. Usually your biggest improvement is between weeks one and two so we’re going to have to do that playing against a nationally ranked team that’s such a successful program like Linfield. We just have to step up and play better.”
Husni being able to keep producing for the Brown and Gold may be key, but he also has play makers around him like wide out Nick Grosso, who put up 136 receiving yards and caught a 67 yard pass for a touchdown.
Eyes will be fixed on how he follows up his first performance, this time with the nationally ranked Linfield. He seems pretty confident in his team to pull out a win.
“It’s going to be a challenging task and we’re all willing to do it,” Husni said. “If we start clicking like we did in the second half I don’t think anyone in the conference or in the nation can stop us.”
Husni and his team will try to verify that statement on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. at their home field, Richard Wackar Stadium, against Linfield College.
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