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Monday, September 25, 2023


Cougars look to recoup after loss

The Cougars aren’t playing in a game this Saturday, but that won’t stop them from going back to the practice field after losing their season-opener to Oregon Saturday.

"We’ve moved on from Saturday," head coach Art Briles said. "What we’re doing this week is concentrating on us. We’re trying to clean up the things we felt like didn’t go our way last week."

Sophomore quarterback Blake Joseph, who started Saturday’s game, has also recovered from Saturday’s loss and is ready to begin practicing again.

"We’re ready to get back on the field," Joseph said. "We’re working on us this week and working hard."

Senior offensive lineman Dustin Dickinson is focusing on the team’s next game against Tulane in two weeks.

"You can’t hang on to a loss, or a win for that matter," Dickinson said. "You win one or lose one, but you’ve got to move on and start preparing for the next week."

Dickinson said that the Cougars are putting more emphasis on game situations during practice this week.

"Tulane hasn’t played a game yet, and they have a whole new defensive staff, so we don’t really know what they’re going to do," he said.

One thing missing from Tuesday’s practice was senior running back Anthony Alridge, who had 325 all-purpose yards in the game against Oregon.

Briles said Alridge will not practice this week because of an injury that was originally rumored to be a hairline fracture.

"Fortunately, it was not a fracture, just a bruised bone," Briles said. "(Alridge) is a tough kid, so I don’t worry about him."

Briles said that he was impressed with Alridge on Saturday, as well as the performance of quarterbacks Joseph and freshman Case Keenum.

"I was pleased with the effort and attitude they played with," Briles said. "They played with a lot of intensity and selflessness."

However, he has yet to decide who will get the job of starting quarterback for the rest of the season.

"I felt like they were doing whatever they could do to help their team win," Briles said. "I’m going to just keep judging their progress."

Briles and the Cougars are looking to learn from the mistakes they made in the game against Oregon to help them prepare for their next game and the rest of the season.

"We did a lot of really good things. If we eliminate turnovers, we are a really good football team," Dickinson said. "That’s what we’re here for, practicing, even though we don’t have a game this week."

Joseph said that one of the team’s biggest concerns is to keep the ball in their possession.

"You can’t help the other team out," Joseph said. "We had four turnovers and a blocked punt, and they ended up turning their turnovers into points."

Briles agrees with his players when it comes to fixing the problems for the future.

"You can’t turn the ball over, you can’t have breakdowns in special teams, you can’t give up big plays," Briles said. "Things we were already aware of just got brought to life Saturday."

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