The defense of any sport plays a vital role in winning a game, just as the offense does. The defense is an essential part because of the of the amount of points they hold their opponets too.
After playing four games this season so far, the defense has 214 tackles, 11 sacks and has had four interceptions amounting to 76 total yards gained.
Defensive back Nick West, who started in the game against Hardin-Simmons, has had five tackles so far this season. He knows the defense isn’t perfect, but they work toward it.
“I think the defense is still trying to put things together right now, but when we do, we are going to be something special,” he said. “Our defensive coaches do an amazing job every week preparing us for what is ahead and working on proper technique.”
Though the coaches are doing their jobs, some of the players are still trying to fulfill their position on the team said junior exercise sports science and defensive back Denton Duke.
“We have a strong defense. We are very talented across the board,” he said. “We just need to play with confidence. We have some young players that need to step up and play up to their ability.”
Most of the team is in agreement that they continue to grow stronger and become more versatile as a group.
Junior computer science major Ryan Metcalf knows the team improves with each practice and game. To him, it’s a matter of taking out the small errors individuals make and playing solid, errorless games from here on out.
“To be honest, we basically eliminated the toughest ones (teams) already,” Metcalf said. “We just need to keep playing like we know how and to not let any team get into a close ball game with us.”
All of the men who play for the defense contribute in their own way, whether that is sacks, tackles, forcing fumbles or interceptions.
In the game against the HSU Cowboys, the defense does admit that mistakes were made. The fact that they allowed 28 points, leading to the final score of 42-28, is disappointing to the defense, but they acknowledge the fact that they are a good team.
Senior sport management major Brenson Bristow is on the defensive line and is happy they only allowed 28 points.
“HSU scored a few points, but that is one of the top-ranked teams in the nation, and we did a good job of holding them to what we did,” Bristow said.
Despite the fact that UMHB has six remaining games, HSU is believed to have been the hardest offense the Cru will have to play.
Bristow said, “We can never underestimate any team, but I feel that HSU was definitely one of the best that we will see.”
The Cru barely won this past weekend against Louisiana College, but pulled through in the second half with a 42-38 win.
Their next game is the Crusader’s Homecoming against the Mississippi College Choctaws. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Tiger Field.