Aug. 19, 2003
Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader
BISON CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON SPECIAL TEAMS AS PRESEASON PASSES HALFWAY MARK
Bucknell head coach Tim Landis has long considered special teams to represent a full one-third of a football game's significance, along with offense and defense. That philosophy has been evident throughout the preseason, as the Bison encorporate special teams into every practice session. In 2003 the Bison will have many new faces on special teams, including the placekicker and punter positions. Despite the new personnel, Landis is pleased with the team's progress in this important area.
Special teams is an area that we will always strongly emphasize," he said following Tuesday's double session, "but probably this year with a young kicker, punter, long snapper and return men, we are really putting a lot of work into it. When we line up against Duquesne [on Aug. 30] I want our guys to have kicked more balls, fielded more punts, made more long snaps and blocked more kicks than any other team in the country.
"Early in the season, more games are won and lost by three things - penalties, turnovers and the kicking game," Landis said. "We have to improve every day in those areas."
BISON MEET THE PRESS
Monday was a big day for Bucknell's newcomers, who got to don their game uniforms for the first time for the team's annual photo session and media day. Following the team photo in Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium, Landis and several players met with members of the local media in an hourlong interview session.
SCRIMMAGE RECAP - WILSON LEADS OFFENSE TO THREE SCORES
Junior QB Daris Wilson (Kenner, La./Archbishop Rummel) led the first-team offense on three long touchdown drives in three possessions against the scout defense. Wilson capped the first set with a 20-yard TD run with sophomore K Ryan Bower (Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville Area) adding the point-after. The second series began with a bang, as Wilson connected with sophomore RB Blamah Sarnor (Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville Area) on a 23-yard pass, then freshman RB Ed Cortez (Reno, Nev./Robert McQueen) slipped into the deep secondary and drew a pass interference penalty, and Cortez ran 42 yards on the following play to get the offense into the red zone. Three plays later, RB Raphael Darrington (Mobile, Ala./Williamson) scored on a 17-yard run.
Wilson's 27-yard scamper highlighted the third offensive series, and backup QB John Henry Jackson (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) completed the drive with a 1-yard TD dive.
Most importantly, the first-string offense had no turnovers and did not put the ball
on the ground once.
"Daris really did a nice job taking care of the football, and he made good decisions," said Landis. "That is the first key for him. He really handled the mental part very well today."
FIRST DEFENSE TURNS IN ROCK-SOLID PERFORMANCE
Defensively, the Bison first-teamers did not allow a play longer than six yards against the scout-team offense, and kept them out of the end zone. An early pass interference call marked the only first down against them in their first two defensive possessions.
Landis singled out the defensive line as having a particularly strong performance, led by junior DL Corey Mayo (Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville Area) inside and sophomore DL Brandon Bailey (Newark, Del./Glasgow) on the end.
A pair of local products in sophomore DL Andrew Decker (Berwick, Pa./Berwick Area) and freshman LB Stephen Matzura (Kulpmont, Pa./Mount Carmel) were very active with the second-team group, making several tackles each. Decker has shifted from linebacker to defensive line. Junior LB Jeffrey Montagna (Pittston, Pa./Pittston Area) recorded a sack, while junior DB Fareed Ali (Lithonia, Ga./McNair) and junior DB Joe Glenn (New Haven, Conn./East Haven) added interceptions.
BISON LIVE! AND LEWISBURG TOUCHDOWN CLUB LUNCHEONS TO CONTINUE IN 2003
Once again this fall the Bison football squad will participate in the weekly lunch meetings of the Lewisburg Touchdown Club, as well as the Bison Live! radio program. The Lewisburg Touchdown Club will again meet at 11:45 a.m. the Lewisburg Hotel on Tuesday's throughout the season, beginning on August 26. Two days later - Thursday, August 28 - will be the first installment of the third season of Bison Live!, an interactive radio program broadcast live each Thursday throughout the year. The program has a new location this year - also the Lewisburg Hotel on Market Street in downtown Lewisburg - and will feature weekly reports from Landis and his student-athletes, along with players and coaches from an array of Bucknell teams. Members of the live audience may contribute questions and win prizes throughout the evening. Bison Live! runs from 7-8 p.m. each Thursday.
NEXT SCRIMMAGE SET FOR AUG. 23
Saturday, August 23 (3:15 p.m.) marks Bucknell's second and final formal intrasquad scrimmage of the season. While the initial scrimmage was held on the grass practice field adjacent to Christy-Mathewson-Memorial Stadium, the August 23 scrimmage will be played on the FieldTurf inside the stadium.