VIDEO: Pikeville Highlights
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman head football coach Mike Turner said that the Eagles (1-0) will be looking to fine tune and execute specific areas of game play when the Saint Augustine's Falcons (0-1) pay Burke-Tarr Stadium a visit Saturday.
Kickoff between the Eagles and Falcons is set for 1 p.m.
Turner pointed to the Eagles' enthusiasm and effort following week one's win over Pikeville and throughout preparation for this week's contest with Saint Augustine's.
However, he pointed to some areas for improved execution from week one to week two.
"We've got to block better, obviously, we've got to be better blockers at the line of scrimmage. We've got to come off and attack the line of scrimmage better," Turner said "I think that we have to throw the ball better than what we did. Obviously, we have to throw the ball and be more sound with it. Throw the ball to the right person, at the right time, at the right place. That's a pretty simple philosophy."
Carson-Newman rung up Pikeville for 48 points and 452 yards of total offense in last week's 48-7 triumph. Turner pointed to the Eagles' six penalties for 55 yards a step in the right direction.
Both those tallies were below what C-N averaged last year as one of the country's most penalized teams.
Neither Carson-Newman's offense, nor its defense was charged with a pre-snap penalty in week one.
"One thing that you're always very surprised about is that we did not have a lot of mental busts. Which is a great thing," Turner said. "We still can be in better positions when the ball is snapped, offensively, defensively, and the kicking game. I think that it is a matter of taking some mistakes that we made in all areas that could be game changers if it was a tighter football game (and correct those). You don't want to get yourself in that position."
Carson-Newman will need that mental fortitude against this year's iteration of the Falcons. Saint Augustine's returns 20 starters from last year's group, a high water mark among Carson-Newman's opponents this season.
Turner was quick to point out Tim Chavous' club's overall speed, quickness and strength.
"Saint Augustine's is a very athletic football team," Turner said. "From last year and what they have returning this year. They have talented people in different positions, they have a talented receiver who is an NFL prospect. They have a quarterback who is a good operator for their offense, your biggest fear with him is when he breaks containment. We have to be very conscious of containment, if he gets outside, he is a playmaker."
The receiver Turner refers to is Sam Boyd. The 6-4, 250-pound Mack truck hauled in 10 passes for 66 yards last year against the Eagles.
In a week one, 49-0 loss at Catawba, Boyd was held largely in check. He snared only three passes for 18 yards as the Indians limited the Falcons to 182 yards of total offense.
"You have to try and keep a body to him as close as you can," Turner said. "We don't have a defensive back that is 6-4, so we're not going to be able to do it that way, just like most everybody else. You have to try and use your athleticism and quickness to keep a body near him. You know that is one of the cats that they are going to go to."
Quarterback DJ Johnson also proved to be a thorn in Carson-Newman's side last year when he rushed for 78 yards on 13 carries. The Eagles only sacked him once as he completed 17-for-33 passes for 152 yards and a score.
Catawba largely kept Johnson bottled up last week with a prolific pass rush and blitz package that saw the signal caller taken down behind the line of scrimmage seven times.
Running back Josh Glisson was the Falcons top offensive threat against Catawba, rushing for 110 yards on 17 carries.
Meanwhile, the Eagles turn to their own top flight threat offensively. Running back Antonio (Kingsland, Ga.) Wimbush broke a 13-game streak where Carson-Newman did not have a football player rush for three touchdowns when Wimbush found the end zone thrice in week one. He was also the last man to accomplish that, doing so in 2015 against Tusculum. Carson-Newman had five games that year when one player rushed for at least three TDs (Damian Baker twice, Wimbush twice, De'Andre Thomas once).
He was one of nine players in Division II to find the end zone three times in week one.
"Thank goodness, Antonio Wimbush is a war horse," Turner said. "The more snaps he gets the better he is. I think that Antonio went pretty good the other night, he got a point where he was gassed. That's called first game, that's not jitters, that's a part of the first game. One of the first things we talked about Friday morning at six a.m. was we got to get our conditioning up. They all understood that, they know that we got gassed and that we need to keep improving our conditioning."
He had 118 yards on the ground last week. Wimbush has rushed for 100 yards in four straight games. Wimbush is one of just five guys to rush for 100 yards in four straight games. He joins school-record holder Andy Hibbett (eight straight in 2015), Brandon Baker (four straight in 2009), Buck Wakefield (five straight in 2009) and Tyrone Westmoreland (four straight in 1997) as the only CarsonNewman tailbacks to rush for 100 yards or more in four consecutive weeks.
Saint Augustine's will try to become the first CIAA team to beat Carson-Newman in 16 years. The Eagles have won 12 straight games against CIAA competition. The Eagles last lost in 2001 to WinstonSalem State 27-16. C-N is 13-1 all-time against the league.
Out of 159 Division II schools who played football in week one, Saint Augustine's ranks in the bottom 10 in seven statistical categories. The Falcons are second-to-last in sacks allowed and pass efficiency defense. They are sixth worst in third down defense, and total offense. The Falcons are eighth from the bottom in tackles for loss allowed and passing yards per completion. SAU has the nation's ninth worst passing offense.
Kickoff between the Eagles and Falcons is set for 1 p.m. Saturday. Pregame coverage on the Eagle Sports Network starts at noon with the AEC Tailgate Show on Joy 620 (WRJZ-AM, Knoxville), Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.