College Football: Livingstone at home tonight
By Nick Bowton
Livingstone doesn’t have a fancy plan going into its CIAA opener against Bowie State today at Alumni Stadium.
The Blue Bears know they have to stop Bowie’s rushing attack, and they know that means stopping Isaac Redman.
“We stop their running game, make them pass, it helps us,” Livingstone coach Lamonte Massie said. “We put the facts straight down to them. We don’t blow smoke and say, ‘Oh, you guys are good, and they’re not good.’ We say what our weaknesses are and what our strengths are.
“And our weaknesses? Well, everybody knows. If you can get a good running game against us …”
The entire conference figured that out last season, when Livingstone struggled both to run the ball and defend the run. Through three games this season, the Blue Bears (0-3) have allowed an average of 198.0 rushing yards per game.
Massie, however, said he’s seen glimpses of a defense capable of stopping the run.
In a season-opening loss to Concordia, the Blue Bears saw A.J. Ward rush for 105 yards on 18 carries. But 46 of those yards came on one carry.
“We can play football when we want to,” Massie said. “It’s just a matter of trying to figure out when we’re going to do it. Hopefully (today) is when we decide to do it because Isaac Redman is a beast.”
Redman averaged 117.9 yards per game last season and rushed for 71 yards to weeks ago in loss to Shepherd (W.Va).
Aside from stopping Redman and the Bulldogs‚ rushing attack, Livingstone will have to find some offense of its own. The Blue Bears have averaged 12.7 points per game thus far, and Massie said three different quarterbacks ó Bryan Aycoth, Steve Williams and Curtis Edens ó all could play today.
“It’ll probably be the rest of the season,” Massie said of the three-man rotation. “That way it’ll keep these guys focused, keep them competing every day in practice, make them work a little harder. At the same time, I don’t think any one of the three guys are selfish in the sense that they would not be willing to sacrifice some playing time for the success of the team.”