Monday, April 15, 2024

Upon further review: Tribe football looks at past mistakes to prep for Saturday’s game

Tight end Tyler Klaus said the Tribe are working to correct their mistakes by remembering what they did wrong against James Madison. (Photo courtesy of W&M Athletics)

Most William & Mary football fans would like to forget about the Tribe’s most recent game. However, a pair of players said the only way to get better is by remembering last week’s 51-0 loss at second-ranked James Madison.

“It’s basically impossible to completely forget about bad plays, bad games,” said safety Isaiah Laster, who had a career-high 11 tackles against the Dukes. “If you watch the film and actually take notes of it yourself, you’re probably less likely to make the same mistake again.”

Tight end Tyler Klaus, who has five catches for 31 yards this season, agreed it was equally important to remember their CAA opener.

“We wouldn’t want to forget it because, obviously, we want to use it to get better and not make the same mistakes twice, which is going to be really important for us,” he said. “As long as we learn from our mistakes, then we should be able to look at them, but not let it affect what happens in the future.”

 Tribe safety Isaiah Laster said studying the film from past games can help the team move forward. (Photo courtesy of W&M Athletics)

Tribe safety Isaiah Laster said studying the film from past games can help the team move forward. (Photo courtesy of W&M Athletics)

That last part is key, said coach Jimmye Laycock.

“The thing we talk about is that’s only one loss, just don’t let it be more than one loss,” he said. “Meaning, don’t let it affect other things as far as preparation and all that.”

The players want to make sure they are as prepared as possible when Colgate comes to town Saturday as its the Tribe’s home opener as well as family weekend. W&M (1-2, 0-1 CAA) was supposed to open at home Sept. 15 against Elon, but that game was canceled because of Hurricane Florence. The last time the Tribe opened with three consecutive road games (they started the season with a 14-7 victory at Bucknell, followed by a 62-17 loss at Virginia Tech) was 2005. The last time they opened at home later than Sept. 29 was 2003 (Oct. 11).

“It’s good for our players, our fans, all the people involved, students, everybody, to finally be here at home,” Laycock said.

But they can’t expect Colgate (3-0 overall and ranked in the top 25 in two FCS polls) to roll over just because it’s the Tribe’s home-opener.

“I told the players I know they’re excited about it but don’t take it for granted just because we’re at home that everything will work out,” he said. “We have to go through our full process of preparation and go from there.”

One of Colgate’s victory this year is a 10-3 win at New Hampshire, a member of the CAA. That has the players’ attention.

“They have a really good defense,” Klaus said. “We have a really tough challenge in front of us come Saturday.”

The Raiders lead the country in scoring defense and are fourth in turnover margin. The Tribe are 102ndand 86th, respectively, in those categories.

“One of the things we are focusing on this week with our offense is ball security,” Klaus said. “That’s been one of our problems; too many turnovers, whether it’s interceptions or fumbles.”

Laycock said the final score at JMU didn’t indicate the Tribe did some good things on defense against the Dukes.

“We made some plays,” he said. “What did we get? Three turnovers. It’s the first time this year we’ve gotten three turnovers in a game.”

Colgate’s offense is led by quarterback Grant Breneman (131 passing yards a game) and running back James Holland Jr. (77.7 rushing yards a game).

Records, numbers and stats aside, Laster is thinking more about the Tribe than the Raiders.

“I wouldn’t say that I’m overly concerned about them at this point,” he said. “We have to focus on us for now.”

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