Coming off a bye week, the 2-0 Hendrix College Warriors are ready to begin Southern Athletic Association play Saturday with the Millsaps Majors in Jackson, Miss.
"The bye week came at a good time and we didn’t make any mistakes last week," Warriors coach Buck Buchanan said. jokingly. "The team is healthy and we’re as fresh as we’ve ever been."
Going into conference play, health is key for an experienced Hendrix team, which is part of the reason why the Warriors had 90 players in the game against Lyon.
"We didn’t get a lot of series in the game against Lyon and Seth (Peters) was money," he said. "We didn’t have many possessions and it wasn’t a game where we wanted to risk health moving forward. Seth threw for 350 yards in the first half and could have finished with 700 yards if we let him."
It was also a game, which saw the reigning SAA Offensive Player of the Year Dayton Winn only get seven carries.
Winn has ran for 160 yards on 20 carries through two games this season, which is not unlike his start to 2015.
Through two games last year, Winn had 200 yards rushing on 33 carries prior to breaking out for 1,571 more yards.
Buchanan said the defense has been playing well and is looking strong for the start of conference play.
"The defense has played very well," he said. "We are stopping what needs to be stopped and winning sudden changes when our offense turns the ball over. We’re not trading scores either. I’m real proud of how they have been playing."
However, Buchanan knows that beating Millsaps won’t be an easy task.
"They are well-coached and work hard," he said. "They have a good senior group on defense and have a different offensive coordinator this year. It’s still a team that wants to establish the run."
The Warriors hold a 2-1 record against the Majors and in the previous three meetings, the two teams were separated by no more than 11 points.
"We went to their place and played a lot better than a lot of people expected us to play in our first year," Buchanan said. "In each of the last two games we had against them, we got up early on them, but let them back on us. It’s a tough team to beat on the road, and if we get up early on them, we can’t let them get back in the game."
Buchanan said Hendrix’s offensive line needs to protect Peters because he has been knocked around in previous meetings between the two teams.
(Staff writer Andy Robertson can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1246.)