Rowan Football will play William Paterson University this Saturday in what will be the first time Homecoming that’s been celebrated on campus in two years.
Rowan will be searching for their first win of the season and are hoping that the energy from the Homecoming crowd will help get them there.
“The atmosphere is definitely going to be electric,” said Malachi Winters, senior defensive back. “I think it’s going to be a full set of fans here. It’s going to be a lot of festivities around going on so I think we’re all very excited and I think that’s just going to play into our momentum and energy going into the game. You know, sometimes we kind of start off slow but I don’t think that’ll be an issue this week.”
William Paterson is coming into Saturday’s matchup with a 3-3 record but has a potent offense that has posted over 40 points this season, a fact head coach Jay Accorsi is well aware of.
“It’s going to be, obviously, a different challenge for our defense than what we faced this past weekend but still pretty daunting because they’ve been putting up some points and scoring and doing some really good things,” Accorsi said.
A point of emphasis to stopping this dynamic offense, Winters explained, is eliminating their ability to execute plays.
“I’d say we really need to key in on not allowing big plays. Like if they’re going to score we want to make sure that they have to drive a long drive,” Winters said. “They have a couple of really nice receivers this year and they have a returning running back who’s pretty good as well. So we’ve got to make sure that we really key in on those guys and stop the big plays from happening.”
One area where Rowan has improved this season has been their defense. Rowan is coming off back-to-back weeks in which they allowed their least amount of points this season, with Kean University and Salisbury University both scoring 24 points each.
Accorsi wants to see his defense play at a similar level in order for the team to walk away with the win this week.
“Again, I think we need to limit them running the football. I know they did a great job of that in 2019, two years ago. So, we need to limit them running the football and being successful in having to make them throw the ball quite a bit. So, I know that’s something we need to do again, defensively, and continue to improve. Which is what we’ve done, defensively, by far,” Accorsi said.
Rowan has not had an 0-5 start in any season this millennium and the rough start has Winters itching for his first win of the year.
“It’s the first time we’ve started off 0-5, at least in my career,” Winters said. “It’s definitely a bad feeling and, you know, we all just want to win.”
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