Drake football coach Rob Ash hopes the confidence of a defending champion helps the Bulldogs take on demanding schedule this season. With the renovation of Drake Stadium underway the Bulldogs have just four home games which will be played at area high schools and the season begins with road games against UNI and Illinois State.
On the bright side, Drake has a number of starters back from last year’s team that finished 10-2 and won the Pioneer Football League championship. He says they’re not afraid to play this season because they think they have a pretty good football team. He says the veterans are excited about defending the championship. Ash says the players see the schedule as an added challenge. Ash says they have a saying “We like it that way.” He says winning the championship on the road last year has given them the confidence they can win again.
A number of standouts are back. Senior quarterback Connor Jostes begins his third year as a starter and running back Scott Phaydavong was named a one-double-a All American after rushing for more than 15 hundred yards. Ash says Jostes and Phaydavong are going to make some big plays and he says the opening schedule will toughen them up for the championship game.
Their fate may rest with a young offensive line and Jostes hopes his experience will help.He says it’s his job to put them in the best possible position to be successful. With three road games to start the season it could be a rough start and that’s where experience will play off. He says they can’t get down on themselves if they have a bad game. Drake opens September first at UNI.