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OPSU Set for Home Opener Saturday Night
09/04/2013

Goodwell, Okla.-Oklahoma Panhandle State University's Aggie football team
will take on Sterling College at home this Saturday, Sept. 7. Kickoff at
Carl Wooten Field is set for 7 p.m.
 
The Aggies aim to rise above last week's loss against D-IAA opponent Lamar
University with increased mental toughness and strong focus on play
execution. Look for sophomore running back Chris McClendon to hit the ground
running for the offense along with junior Justin Fogle and quarterback Caleb
Holbrook who combined rushed for over 100 yards against the Cardinals. Ball
protection will need to be vastly improved and the Aggies will have to be
much more productive in the pass game this week.
 
On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore strong safety Zaxier Murry will
be looking for more action this week and ready to add to the 9 tackles he
racked up against Lamar. Linebacker Nate Mathurin will be back on the field
for the Aggies this week coming off an injury; Mathurin enters the season
with 51 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 1 interception from 2012. The defense had a
number of newcomers get their first collegiate playing time against the
Cardinals, and they will have to improve on the 5.6 yards per rush they gave
up last week.
 
This will be the season opener for the Warriors of Sterling College who came
out of 2012 with a record of 3-7. The Aggie defense will have their hands
full with Sterling's sophomore wide receiver Dentton Hudspeth who was moved
to quarterback mid-season and brought in 911 yards on 180 carries in 2012.
They look to solidify the quarterback position this year with transfer
Reggie Langford and last year's early starter John Cardona. Sterling also
brings some sizable competition for the Aggie D with 6'5 receiver Jordan
Coleman.
 
Coach Russell Gaskamp notes, "There are a few things we are focusing on this
week: alignment and assignment on offense as well as protecting the ball.
Six turnovers is a ridiculous amount; we will never win a game doing that.
On defense we must improve on setting the edge vs. the run game and create
more pass rush in the front seven." As the team begins preparations for
Saturday's match up, Gaskamp is optimistic, "I expect we will play much
better this week and we know Sterling will be a strong opponent."
 
The Aggies should have plenty of crowd support for their home opener with
the Rock'n Red Out theme. Wear red, get rowdy, and rev it up!
 
###
 
Justine Gaskamp
 

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