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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Football

Applewhite speaks on new redshirt rule


Major Applewhite has lead the Cougars to a 3-1 record as they enter conference play.  | Thomas Dwyer/ The Cougar

 

The Cougars recently finished their out-of-conference play with a big win against the Texas Southern Tigers. While there was no physical press conference, head coach Major Applewhite took questions on the AAC’s weekly teleconference.

He highlighted the importance of freshman Clayton Tune’s opportunity to take snaps and throw passes during the game. Tune came into the game at halftime against the Tigers and played for the majority of the half. He threw for two touchdowns while on the field.

“It’s immeasurable to get out there in a game and take real hits at real speed,” said Applewhite. “It will serve him very well January to next August.”

Applewhite also spoke on the hurdles a team from a “group of five” conference has to jump to get noticed.

“The biggest challenge is getting people to believe how good you are,” Applewhite said. “You have to get to a certain stage and play a certain team from a certain conference to prove how good we are.”

At this point of the year, the coaching staff is taking advantage of the new redshirt rule for freshmen. True freshmen can play in up to four games and still retain their redshirt status. The team has determined a couple players that will play out the season and burn through their redshirt status.

“Donavan Mutin, Zamar Kirven, Logan Hall and Willie Smith. Those are the guys who are playing a lot for us and will continue to play for us this year,” Applewhite said.

Though the team will try to prove it is one of the best in the nation, Applewhite is not worried about the team’s focus heading into conference play.

“We talk about it as a team to be grateful for the opportunity,” Applewhite said. “It doesn’t make any sense to spend all this time and all this energy in junior high, high school and offseason and workouts to be given this opportunity to play college ball and have one of your 12 games on a Saturday and not be excited for it.”

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