Offensive line plays crucial role on road to postseason goal
Before their first game on Sept. 10 the Cru offense had been showing their dedication by practicing in intense 110 degree heat. After their first win, they proved their force.
The Cru offense this year has some talented and experienced players. Junior quarterback and exercise and sports science major LiDarral Bailey has been on the team since he was a freshman and has had snaps in every game. This year he has a skilled receiving group.
Head Coach Pete Fredenburg said, “This year we are blessed with some outstanding receivers and a quarterback that can really throw the ball. So we have obviously got to throw and catch. We also think because of our quarterback and his ability to run, we can do some option type plays.”
Along with skilled returners, the team has a crop of new players who are untested. New members of the team carry a lot of responsibility on their shoulders and are practicing harder than ever.
Senior Tucker Glaske, a veteran wide receiver, said, “We have a lot of new guys. Every year it is like that. They are so important to the program and the future of our program. Our leaders understand that, and that is great because they are going to be impact players either this year or next.”
Often the brutality and physicality of football is associated with tackling and hitting, which are things the defense does. It is important for the offense to be physical as well, and Fredenburg stresses that.
He said, “I hope that we are considered a real physical football team. The offense just needs to maintain a good presence in a ball game.”
The Cru offense has skilled players. They are in good shape because they practice hard and in the heat.
“Right now our strength is athleticism. We have it all across the board starting from the center to the running back to the slots and to the receivers,” junior running back and math and chemistry major Darius Wilson said. “One thing we do need to work on is mental toughness. When we work out, the coaches push us to a state where we have to be tough, and we choose to work through it as a team.”
The Cru had an undefeated regular season last year. That made the loss in Delaware all the more bitter. Fredenburg believes they learn more from a loss than a win, and he has been working to incorporate that into the offense.
“I learned when it comes down to crunch time just be poised and just play ball,” Bailey said. “In Delaware it was a tough game. I got to know what I got to do. Getting banged up or whatever, I have to sell out for the team.”
Offensive Coordinator Mike Robinson said, “It is a work in progress right now. The kids are working hard, and the coaches are working hard. We want to put a good team on the field. It takes a lot of hard work from everybody, and everyone is growing in the same direction.”