Wayne State football will look to bounce back from a loss when they host Ashland University at Tom Adams Field in the conference opener for both teams on Sept. 15.
The Warriors trail the all-time series with the Eagles 7–24, with Ashland winning the previous meeting between the two teams, 30–10 last season.
WSU’s last win versus the Eagles occurred in 2013 as they beat Ashland 34–22 in the first night game in Tom Adams Field's history.
Last week, the Warriors were defeated 28–6 by Indianapolis University. The Greyhounds used their rushing attack to help pull away from WSU as they rushed 291 yards for the game.
Senior offensive tackle Israel Helms said the take away from last week’s game was that the team hurt itself in their attempt to win.
“We hurt ourselves with penalties and too many turnovers, (but) if we fix the small things we’ll be fine because we don’t feel like they truly defeated us,” Helms said. “We feel like hurt ourselves and (we) didn’t put ourselves in the right position.”
Redshirt senior linebacker Anthony Pittman said that straying from their techniques hurt the defense last week.
“On the defensive side we didn’t stick to our fundamentals (and) we had a couple of missed tackles (which) allowed them to have some big runs and really have success in the run game,” Pittman said. “It just goes back to (doing) our assignments and it won’t happen again.”
The Eagles come into the game with an 0–2 record and face the possibility of having their playoff hopes dashed early in the season with another loss. WSU will need to stop senior running back Andrew Vaughn, who rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns against WSU last year.
Despite the loss last week, Pittman said the team hopes to pick up its second home win of the season this week.
“Our goal of being undefeated at home is still there, so what we want to do is go 1–0 this week,” Pittman said.
Both Helms and Pittman said last year’s game, where WSU trailed 13–10 heading to the final quarter against the twelfth-ranked Eagles gives the team a glimpse of what they can accomplish this week.
“Last year we were a younger team, so seeing how we did against them last year (and) we’re a lot better this year helps us know what we can do this weekend,” Helms said.
“That showed us that we can go toe-to-toe with anybody and now all we have to do is finish,” Pittman said.
Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 6 p.m. The game can be seen on Comcast channel 900 and heard on 101.5 FM and 1400 AM WDTK.
Matt Williams is sports editor of The South End. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Cover photo by Quintin Banks.