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Northwestern State Demons earning physical reputation
McNeese State coach Matt Viator alluded to it during Tuesday morning’s Southland Conference coaches teleconference.
Lamar coach Ray Woodard agreed — the Northwestern State Demons have gained a reputation as a physical football team.
“I’ve known coach (Bradley Dale) Peveto a long time,” Woodard said. “I never had the opportunity to coach against him, but when I turned on the film, it wasn’t very surprising. They are a tough, hard-nosed physical team. On defense, they really get after you. They don’t give up many points. They create turnovers.”
Viator echoed Woodard’s comments when talking about his team’s 20-18 victory over the Demons on Saturday.
That physical Demons defense held the Cowboys to only 78 yards rushing on 29 carries.
“One of the biggest compliments a coach can give a team is one Matt gave us — being a team that is physical and plays hard,” Peveto said.
“If you have a team that does that and you give them a chance schematically, you’ll have a good football team. The average fan just thinks that happens. Every coach on this phone, they coach those things and that’s not always easy to get.”
Through two conference games, the Demons are allowing an average of 79.5 rushing yards per game.
Given the turnover on the NSU defensive line, that could be a bit of a surprise.
“Anytime you’re good on defense, you have to be good up front,” Peveto said.
“We lost three starters off our line coming into the season and I knew we were going to be more athletic than we were a year ago. We only had one starter back, but all three guys have played a lot. We always played a lot of defensive linemen. They’ve played well. Our defensive line coach, Jay Thomas, was a head coach in this league. He coaches them and does a terrific job getting in their hearts and getting those guys ready to play.”
The Demons’ offensive line has done its physical job as well during SLC play.
NSU has ripped off back-to-back 125-plus yard rushing games for the first time since Oct. 9 and 23 of last season when it rung up 242 yards against Central Arkansas and 157 against Texas State.
“Any red-blooded coach wants a team that’s physical,” Peveto said.
“It comes with the territory and the sport. At the end off the day, it’s not the wins and losses they brag about. It’s about playing hard and physical.”
By Jason Pugh, Shreveport Times