On Tuesday, the ETSU football team held a press conference featuring head coach Carl Torbush and players River Boruff and Matt Pyke.
During the press conference, Torbush and the players discussed the goals they wanted to accomplish in the final regular season game against Kentucky Wesleyan on Saturday, as well as the construction of the new football stadium.
“There was a lot of passion and excitement built around [Monday’s] groundbreaking, and we are ready to move forward with the process,” said Torbush. “It was great to see a lot of the alumni, faculty, coaches, players and donors out at the event. This is an exciting time for all of us, and it’s also a great time to be a Buc.”
The Bucs are coming off a loss against Gardner-Webb in which they struggled to establish a running game to help their defense stay off the field.
“We competed for four quarters, but offensively we didn’t convert on third down for [the] second-straight week,” said Torbush. “We got off the field too quick, and the time of possession was around 3-to-1, which is also not a good stat to have.”
Even though the score may not always show it, the Bucs are improving skill-wise, while also gaining experience.
“Individually, we had three guys with double figures in tackling,” said Torbush. “That is good for them as it shows they made a lot of plays, but it’s bad for the team since we had to make a lot of plays.”
The Bucs will have a tough task defending Kentucky Wesleyan’s pass-intensive offense.
“They are a good throwing team and throw the ball all over the field,” said Torbush. “They throw the ball about 40 to 50 times a game.”
The Panther running game may also pose a challenge for the Bucs.
“Their running backs aren’t averaging many yards on the ground, but they have the ability to break long runs,” said Torbush. “We will have to do well on defense and limit their scoring opportunities.”
The final regular season game would be a big win if the Bucs can get it done.
“Finishing the season with a win is really important,” said Boruff. “We go out there each game and play to win, but ending the season with a victory will improve our confidence going into the spring season as well as heading into the SoCon next year.”
The Bucs are making the right strides to come into the offseason with a winning mentality.
“To finish this first season with a win is important,” said Pyke. “It will improve our mindset as we head into the offseason, and we can build on that as we get back to work in the spring.”
The Bucs will end their season Saturday at home against Kentucky Wesleyan at 1 p.m.