Howard ready for the next dance
(STATS) – There were plenty of good moves on the field during Howard’s historic upset of UNLV on Saturday night.
First-year coach Mike London doesn’t believe his dance moves alongside the players in the postgame celebration measured up the same.
“It was so great to see just the elation, the smiles on their faces, just kind of like, ‘Yes!'” he said Tuesday. “You know, I didn’t do any Michael Jackson moves or anything like that, but I got caught up with the players. And I enjoy doing that, to tell you the truth.”
The 43-40 triumph turned the Bison into the darlings of college football in the first full week of the season. As 45.5-point underdogs, they posted the biggest point-spread upset in history.
But, three days later, London says the hoopla, and his dancing, must end.
“It’s important that they know that a season is a season and this was one game,” London said on the MEAC’s weekly coaches teleconference. “The accomplishment of the game speaks for itself and there’s a lot of buzz nationally and around campus. But we have to be laser-focused on the next task at hand, and that’s Kent State.”
Howard (1-0) will play at the MAC school in Ohio on Saturday. Kent State (0-1) lost to defending FBS champion Clemson 56-3 in its season opener. The struggling Golden Flashes, who run an option-style offense, lost to another MEAC school, North Carolina A&T, 39-36 in four overtimes last September.
The secret’s out on Howard quarterback Caylin Newton, the brother of Carolina Panthers Pro Bowler Cam Newton and this week’s STATS FCS National Freshman Player of the Week. He stymied UNLV with 330 total yards of offense and three total touchdowns.
London and Newton help bring a new outlook to a program that was 2-9 last season and has only one winning record in the last 15 years. But for the Bison to make it two straight wins over an FBS opponent, London says they have to make corrections, such as cutting down on penalties, limiting explosive plays and defending better on kickoffs.
“This week for us is more about us preparing and doing the things we need to do as an offensive, defensive and special teams unit to get corrected and be fundamentally sound,” London said.
The Bison adopted a “#MissionPossible” mantra during the offseason.
After their season-opening win, anything must seem that way.