NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team will continue their three-game, season-opening road trip when they visit Bridgewater State Saturday. Kickoff at the Edward C. Swenson Athletic Complex is scheduled for 12 noon.
The Corsairs will bring an 0-1 record into the game after dropping their opener at Mount Ida last Friday night. The Bears are 1-0 after winning at Springfield last Saturday.
"Bridgewater is coming off a great win against probably the best Division III football program in New England, which shows that they're a very good football team," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "This is the first year in several years that we aren't Bridgewater's opening game, so we have a better idea of what we're going to see. They are a close rival, we do butt heads with them in recruiting. It's a fun game for us because of the proximity and the familiarity we have with them."
After their opening week, every team is looking for improvement, and the Corsairs are no exception. "Last week, we committed too many penalties in key situations," said Robichaud. "We allowed Mount Ida to keep the ball longer than they should have. We have to be more disciplined and do a better job in some of the basic areas of football. Most teams show the greatest amount of improvement between weeks one and two, and we hope to be greatly improved."
Bridgewater State has been a power in the New England Football Conference's Boyd Division for years. "Bridgewater is an extremely aggressive team on both sides of the ball," said Robichaud. "They have good athletes, they are relentless when going to the ball, and they wear you down defensively. Offensively, they have a lot of good players and are disciplined and aggressive."
The game figures to be a tough one. "The strength of our defense is stopping the running game, and that is the strength of their offense," said Robichaud. "Our offense had a pretty good amount of success last week, and we need to build on that. Bridgewater saw an option offense last week, and they will have to prepare for a completely different look than they saw a week ago."
As always, mistakes will be a key, and the Corsairs hope to avoid them. "In order to be successful, we have to avoid committing the kind of penalties that we committed last week," said Robichaud. "We can't give up big plays on defense, and we have to convert as many opportunities as possible offensively."
The Corsairs will visit Framingham State next weekend. The home opener is Saturday, September 22nd against Plymouth State.
UMASS DARTMOUTH FOOTBALL