Aug. 4, 2013
CONWAY - For the first time in three days, the Coastal Carolina team did not have to battle the weather and had its first full team practice Saturday.
The previous two days saw afternoon rain showers that forced the team to split up and utilize the Boni Belle Hitting and Practice Facility. However, clear skies Saturday allowed the whole team to share the same practice field and see the offense and defense work against each other. Also, today was the first day the team added shoulder pads, wearing just helmets the first two days, which added to the excitement.
"We really needed a good weather day today," said head coach Joe Moglia. "We got a lot accomplished but we found that even though our players worked out extremely hard this summer, adding a helmet and shoulder pads bring a whole new element with this heat and humidity. First, I told our players they have to be smart and take a blow when they need it because if they don't, that is when mental mistakes happen. We cannot allow that to happen. Second, we know it will be hot and humid at South Carolina State and it will be hot and humid for our home opener with Furman so learning to get better in this environment will only help down the road."
The defense held the upper hand Saturday with several members of the offense praising the defense's effort. Leading the way was 2012 Big South Defensive Player of the Year and preseason pick to repeat Quinn Backus, who came up with three pass break-ups. Defensive backs Johnnie Houston and JaDamion Ross also timed their blitzes resulting in would-be sacks had there been tackling.
"We did do some things well today," said defensive coordinator Clayton Carlin. "It was great to get outside and work against the offense to see how our individual drills translate to a scrimmage-type situation. While today was a good day, it means nothing if we don't build on it tomorrow and so on. I know the offense will come out fired up tomorrow, so we will have our hands full."