HELENA — The 4-2 Carroll College Fighting Saints are set to take on the 5-1 Rocky Mountain College Battlin’ Bears on Saturday after a conference-wide bye week.
For Carroll, their bye week was heavily focused on the special teams unit, one that typically doesn't get a lot of focus while in-season.
"Special teams, drill work, you know, the big focus is understanding our tendencies to make sure that, you know, we don't have a whole bunch of huge tendencies of what we're doing and when dealing with personnel formations. And so I think those are the things we're really emphasized on and got better with,” head coach troy Purcell said.
The bye gave an opportunity for the team to get healthy and regroup.
“To us, it's getting healthy, and it's, again, working on the things you don't get to work on. Once you get into the season with the drill work, especially several special teams, you don't have a lot of time to spend on that. So deep down, kind of get back to the basics of football, and make sure our technique is good in each position every offense, defense, and special teams,” the HC said.
Last year, Carroll lost to RMC in a high scoring 39-34 game; Purcell calls this Bears team the best united team he’s seen, which means the Saints have a lot of work to put in on Saturday afternoon.
“Their quarterback is really, really good. He likes to throw the ball, they're very good. They're pretty balanced, it's probably a 50-50 pass to run. They have, you know, very good schemes Chris Stutzriem does a great job over there with their offense and and then their defense, you know, they're gonna see a lot of cover three, one high safety, a lot of mixtures, you'll see a corner Blitz, you don't know kind of which one is coming, you'll see a bunch of multi fronts there also, their special teams is really good. They turned a kick return and a punt return versus Western for touchdowns. And so we need to make sure that we don't kick it to him, especially in the middle of the field, and be aware and be able to tackle him, get down there and tackle him. So all phases of the game,” he said.
To take home the win this week Purcell’s main focus is to eliminate the big plays rocky seems to make game after game.
“They're very good at taking the ball away. You know what I mean? So either interceptions or fumbles. They're probably leading, are probably in the top 10 in the nation, in taking balls away. So we gotta make sure no turnovers, no big plays and win special teams.”
Kick off is set for 1 p.m. at Nelson Stadium.