Step one of Phase 2 is in the books. And for the most part, College of San Mateo head football coach Bret Pollack is pleased with the results.
Following a 41-27 drilling of Laney College last Saturday in the season opener, the CSM coaching head went to the tape and found the Bulldogs’ next step in maturation — and Pollack said the message has been relayed and received.
“Good enough for Game 1. Not good enough for Game 2. I wasn’t really happy with the way the team finished the game,” Pollack said. “With three minutes left in the third quarter, we just turned off the gas. It wasn’t acceptable to me. And then again, it’s a teachable moment for the guys to see that you have to play a full game. You can’t turn it off and expect you’re going to turn it right back on. It doesn’t work that way. So, finishing a game as a team is one our biggest emphasis this week — finish the darn game. I don’t think we did a good job at that.”
Pollack pointed to the 3:18 mark with Quincy Nelson caught a 26-yard pass from Casey Wichman to make it 41-14. From there, Laney reeled off the next 13 points and CSM gave up 117 yards of offense in the fourth quarter alone.
“There were a lot of things that were sloppy and not acceptable. So, we spoke about that on Monday. That’s the main thing I got out of that game.
“I think a lot of it was, you’re up 41-14 and you’re expecting the other team to just roll over — because that’s the way it was in high school,” Pollack said. “Or even more scary, that’s what they (Pollack’s players) would do. Which scares me. And that’s why I had that conversation with them. The only reason you think they would (roll over) is because you would if you were in the same position. We talked about that. That was the biggest takeaway of the game — how we finished.”
Up until that moment, CSM overwhelmed Laney. Casey Wichman, starting his first game at quarterback for the Bulldogs, led an efficient offense. The CSM offense rushed for 317 yards, fueled by the play of former El Camino Colt DJ Peluso (11 rushes, 159 yards).
“There are always some pleasant surprises,” Pollack said. “He got out in space well. Ran well. Ran hard and physically and they had a hard time tackling him out there. I felt like Laney, over in the second quarter, got a little tired, a little sloppy with their tackling which made it even harder for them to bring him down. That’s all that was — him making plays on the perimeter.”
Defensively, the Bulldogs forced six turnovers (finishing -plus-2 in the turnover margin battle). The game also served as a coming out party for Mister Cotton, who recorded seven solo tackles from the safety position to lead the team.
“The defense did a great job of taking the ball away and creating turnovers which is good,” Pollack said. “If you’re defense is taking them away, it’s a good sign. So, that’s encouraging. Six is a high number.”
But now things change with Chabot College — a familiar CSM foe — waiting for the Bulldogs on Saturday.
“We have such a long history with Chabot,” Pollack said. “There’s nothing schematically they’re going to do that’s going to surprise us. Now it’s just putting our pieces in the right spot and making plays. We know they’re pieces, they know our pieces. It just who goes out there, who prepares and who performs on Saturday.
“Now it’s a whole different game. We have film on them, they have film on us. Now it gets more specific. The play-calling gets more specific, attacking specific people, different structures, defending, you know who you’re going against now. It’s a whole different type of preparation. You know what you’re getting, you know what you’re attacking, now can you implement a game plan? Can you prepare for a specific opponent?”
Kickoff for Game 2 of the 2013 season is scheduled for 1 p.m. at College Heights Stadium at the College of San Mateo.