Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 16, 2013

Rams host nation’s top team

By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Year No. 2 of football at Bluefield College in the post World War II era comes to a conclusion this afternoon at Mitchell Stadium as the Rams host the NAIA No. 1 ranked University of the Cumberlands Patriots.

BC enters the game after falling last week at No. 17 Lindsey Wilson in a game where the Rams played competitively with LWC for much of the game.

“Certainly for the first three quarters, defensively, we felt really good about our ability to get stops,” said BC head coach Ordell Walker. “They (Lindsey Wilson) have a very good offense, so they are going to make plays and offensively we struggled. We didn’t help them but, but defensively they did a lot of good things. We got some turnovers and kept ourselves in decent strikeability. I think we kind of wore out in the  fourth (quarter) and the game just got way out of hand.”

The Rams trailed 10-3 late in the second quarter and 28 fourth quarter points increased Lindsey Wilson’s margin of victory. The loss dropped BC to 0-10 overall and 0-5 in the Mid-South Conference.

While the Rams welcome the nation’s top team to town for a meeting of undefeated against winless, Walker said there are some places where Bluefield College can play with the Patriots.

“We feel like we can match up in some ways,” Walker said. “We certainly can concentrate to take away certain plays. They have such good balance in their offense and they don’t have any weaknesses. We’re going to have to play extremely well. We feel like schematically we can give them some problems and different looks and hopefully as they get a little more into their auxiliary offense we can just not give up huge plays and kind of stay close.”

Walker is concluding his first season at Bluefield and while the program is still in search of its first win since the program was revived last season, the coach talked about where recruiting will focus and overall direction of the team.

“It’s going to be critical that we go out and recruit for our offensive line,” Walker said. “We just don’t have a lot of depth right there, or competition. Everything in this conference starts up front. If you don’t have a good O-line, D-line, it’s going to be pretty hard to compete. That’s where we start and then overall, recruiting guys who fit Bluefield College and guys who are stronger academically, I think, is a big priority.

“We are extremely excited about hitting the road and getting our product out there and explaining what we’re doing. We’ve already gotten a great response with our in-season recruiting, so I feel good about being able to bet the right kind of guys now. How quickly can those guys help us on the field? That’s a whole different story, but we’re certainly thinking long-term over short-term and you want to build it right. Then you have a chance to be a consistent program and that’s really what we think about.”

Asked to name the biggest accomplishment of his coaching staff this season, Walker said it was winning the hearts and minds of the players.

“I really thought if we were going to have trouble, it was going to be guys that we didn’t recruit, that were recruited under a different philosophy, different thoughts,” Walker commented. “I feel like we were pretty radical and different in what we talk about, what we try to emphasize and so I thought there would be a ton of backlash from that and a bunch of guys quitting. We really won the guys over with our coaching style and philosophy and I’ve really been excited about that. I feel like we’re way ahead of the game.”

The final game of the year for the Rams kicks off at 1:30 at Mitchell Stadium.

— Contact Bob Redd at

bredd@bdtonline.com