NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - There was more bad then good for Interim Head Coach Jeff Byrd to discuss at his weekly Monday morning press conference after the SFA Lumberjacks lost 31-7 last Saturday to Incarnate Word.
Byrd noted the team was able to make adjustments at the half but were unable to capitalize and do anything on offense as the first half score held as the final for the game.
The coach also noted that three players, who he did not name, were suspended before the game but would be allowed back for this week's conference game against Abilene Christian at home on Saturday. Byrd also stated that senior quarterback Foster Sawyer was injured in the first half. Byrd would not go into details as to what the injury was.
The team has had a rough start. The 'Jacks lost 63-6 at the season opener to #18 Mississippi State. Their home opener two weeks ago was canceled due to severe weather. With two weeks between games the team appeared to have game rust as they got off to a slow start against IWU.
"We tell our players it is like a stove and a young person," Byrd said. "You tell them, 'The stove is hot. The stove is hot. The stove is hot.' No matter how many times you tell them the stove is hot they have a scare on their hand because they had to touch the stove to understand it was hot. Those are the things we have been preaching as a coaching staff and they had to see that the stove was hot. You can't just show up and hope you will win. You have to have the drive and do things right to give yourself the chance to win."
As much as you hope it doesn't Byrd did admit the long layoff could have had an impact.
"You have to treat it as game one," Byrd said. "You are going to have first game gitters and mistakes. We should have been at week three already but it was our first (FCS) game. Like I told the guys, there is still no excuse you got to get the job done."
Saturday's game against Abilene Christian will be the annual Cally Belcher game and will take place during Parents Weekend. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.