Carroll College starts the 2016 football season with an open week. An extra seven days lends more time for fifth senior quarterback J.T. Linder to prepare for the defending conference champs.
“Montana Tech is a great team,” Linder said. “So it’s only going to help us to get an extra week to prepare for them.”
However, Coach Mike Van Diest wishes Linder had an opponent to face on Saturday, so he could see live competition.
“Even though we have scrimmages,” Van Diest said, “it’s still not game-like atmosphere because the emotions are not quite as high.”
The biggest concern is Linder’s last start occurred at Beaverhead County High School, but Coach Van Diest is not worried.
“He hasn’t played against Montana Tech, Southern Oregon and Rocky Mountain College,” Van Diest said. “But he’s out here practicing against our defense.”
From the start of fall camp, two-a-days were long, but Linder feels he improved each practice because of his mind set.
“Mental focus every day,” said Linder. “Doing fall camp you lose sight of that because it’s such a grind.”
Linder said his proudest achievement is how fast he spots defensive schemes.
“What coverages their bringing were recognizing that quicker,” Linder said. “That’s huge against a team that brings a lot of pressure.”
The real pressure starts Sept. 3 at home against Montana Tech.