This time last year Skip Holtz and the Bulldogs were trying to maneuver their way through a COVID19 world that was still unique and unknown.
And if that wasn’t tough enough for Holtz and Co. the Tech gridironers were about to wade through another unique challenge as Hurricane Laura blew threw Lincoln Parish as a Category 1 on Aug. 28.
Fast forward one year and although the college athletics world isn’t completely back to normal, Holtz knows it is better than it was last August.
“It’s a challenge every season,” said Holtz. “I don’t think we can compare anything to last year. I think at this point last year we (were about to) shut the program down and send every one home for two weeks with the hurricane that came through here that left us with no power and a team COVID 19 issue. I don’t think we can compare anything to last year.”
Although Covid19 concerns are still evident around the country, the Bulldogs are trying to stay focused on the field and their Sept. 4 opener at Mississippi State – while obviously abiding by safety measures to avoid a repeat of last fall when so many games were rescheduled, cancelled or postponed.
Holtz is happy with what he is seeing on the practice fields. Although with so many newcomers on the roster, Tech has the interesting dynamic of being a very veteran team with tons of fresh faces — something not lost on the ninth-year Bulldog boss.
“So many times when you are playing with juniors and seniors who have been in your program for four or five years, you will be able to handle everything that you put in,” said Holtz. “But this may be an exception this year with all the new faces. I don’t think its unique to this year, but there probably are some challenges this year that we don’t normally have due to so many new faces. We will have to adjust to it and make sure we can execute what we do. That’s the key in the opening game. It’s not what you call. It’s not scheme. It’s can you execute.”
Tech could have a two-deep by game-week that includes as many as 20 or more fresh faces, depending on how position battles go over the next 10 days of practice. Although college football veterans abound on the 2021 roster, the number of them that are rookies to the Tech red and blue is evident as camp progresses.
“With this football team with all the new faces, we will have to look at it maybe at the end of this week and say what can we do to execute and pull some things out,” said Holtz. “Maybe start to pull back because we do have so many new faces.”
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