I spoke with plenty of Saints players this week, and coming off their bye week they say they are anxious to hit the field this Saturday when Western rolls to town. It's been two weeks since they demolished Rocky 33-8, but it feels much longer than that.
"I think we're all really fresh, and we're really excited to play a game," said Saints senior center Alex Kastens. "It's been a while now it seems like so we're ready to go."
"They're rested, but hopefully their not too complacent," said Saints head coach Mike Van Diest. "I always worry about how much lack of focus do you lose and can you get that edge back."
"Last week kind of sucked," said Saints senior linebacker Sean Blomquist. "Just sitting around watching football, I don't really like that much. I'm ready to play, I think this team is ready to play and it's a big game for us."
Entering Saturday's contest the Saints sit at 2-1, while Montana Western is 2-3 Western QB, and former Helena High Bengal, Tyler Hulse has accounted for 15 of the team's 20 offensive touchdowns, including 7 rushing scores! Keeping him contained is the number one goal for the Saints D.
"It's off of the running game, it's not off the scrambling," said Van Diest. "His touchdowns are coming off designed runs for him. So we've got to stay in our gaps on defense. We've got to make sure everybody gets off of blocks."
"We've just got to play assignment alignment football," said Blomquist. "Make sure our defensive ends and linebackers contain that quarterback. I played with him in high school. He's a heck of a guy and a heck of a quarterback."
As far as the Saints offensive attack is concerned the biggest key will be keeping their quarterback Mac Roche's jersey clean! The Bulldogs defense brings a ton of pressure, and features Philip Selin, who is sixth in the nation with 4.5 sacks.
"That's more of a pride issue to us," said Kastens. "As offensive lineman we want to make sure our quarterback doesn't have any grass stains on their jersey. And if Mac is on his feet we have a chance so that's what we're looking to have."
"We've been working on blitz pick up on all the different games they're going to run in the pass rush," said Van Diest. "So we'll see if we can stay with them on Saturday."
One final note on tomorrow's game, it's homecoming. And during half time five players and two former Carroll teams will be inducted into the Saints Athletics Hall of Fame. So there are plenty of reason for the Saints to be motivated in front of fans and hall of fame guests.