Head coach Kyle Shipp’s belief that his 2022 Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys are equipped to compete with any team on their schedule was confirmed in the season opener … as was his belief that the next step in bringing the ATU football to the championship form will learn to win close games.
When the Wonder Boys returned to the practice field following their 41-34 double-overtime loss at southeastern Oklahoma State, they delved into the fine points of a handful of plays that determined the outcome in Week One.
“You have to push yourself every week to give yourself that opportunity on Saturday,” Shipp said. “We’re back to we’re on the 10-yard line going in… we’re on our own 1-yard line going out… 2-point plays… 2-minute mode… just a few things you can’t practice a lot because you want to stay healthy, but you have to do it. We wanted to get it out of our system, see some guys succeed in those arenas, and get their confidence back. I think we did a good job on that.”
Arkansas Tech will make its home debut in 2022 when it hosts East Central University on Saturday, September 10 at 6 p.m. at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field. Game tickets are available at www.arkansastechsports.com/tickets. The party at Plaza kicks off on the Crabaugh Hall lawn at 3 pm Jerry Charles Young II, the next campus ambassador to ATU, will be introduced during a 5 pm ceremony outside Crabaugh Hall.
The ECU Tigers (0-1) dropped a 29-12 decision to nationally ranked Harding University in the first week. The East Central relies heavily on the talent and experience of third-year starting quarterback Kenny Hrncir. He passed or ran on 44 of the Tigers’ 58 offensive snaps against the Bisons.
“(Hrncir) can run well and does enough with his arm to scare you,” Shipp said. “He does a good job of extending plays. It’s like a worm out there. You think you have him tackled, and he runs away.”
One of the Wonder Boys chasing Hrncir on Saturday will be linebacker Victor Hill, who recorded two quarterback sacks against southeastern Oklahoma State.
“I’m sure Vic will show up in some scouting reports,” Shipp said. “He can beat you and I think that opens up opportunities for other people. When they try to push his protection onto one person, many times that opens up other people to succeed. Hopefully this week they’re worried about Vic and some of the other guys can make some big plays as well.”
Pregame coverage of the ATU-ECU game will begin at 5:30 pm Saturday on KCJC 102.3 FM, the KCJC Radio app and www.arkansastechsports.com.
Talk to you on the radio.
Tech Tidbits is a column written by Sam Strasner, director of college relations for ATU and radio play-by-play voice for ATU football and bbasketball