The SBU football team is back on campus and holding their first practices of the 2009 fall season, and third year head coach Keith Allen sees improvement in the Bearcats’ program as they enter their second year playing an independent schedule.
In Allen’s first year as interim head coach in 2007, the Bearcats went 0-11 in their final year in the MIAA, and transitioned to last season’s 5-6 mark in their first campaign playing an independent schedule.
Allen expects fans will see a difference in the attitude of this year’s team, as compared to the 2008 Bearcats. "The teams that believe they can win would have won the games they had the lead in the fourth quarter. We’ve said we were three plays short of being 8-3 rather than 5-6. Not many teams can be honest, in saying that they were truly that close to a turnaround. We talk about 2007 and where we were, in 2008 where we were and now, where we’re going. We’re not where we want to be, but we’re obviously not where we were."
Despite finishing with the nation’s fourth best total offense (490 yards per game) under coaches J.C. Dawkins, Robert Clardy and Ben Blake, Allen looks for his ball club to be even better in 2009. "Our defense is going to be a lot better, which will make our team better." Zach Wilkerson steps in as defensive coordinator, replacing E.J. Junior, who moved on as head coach at Central State (Ohio).
Story courtesy of Justin Wollard, SBU athletics .