The bye week has come at an opportune time as the Pioneer Football League leaders have navigated the schedule with a 6-2 overall record and a perfect 5-0 mark in PFL play.
“It’s a good week to heal guys up and it’s [bye week] come at a good time,” head coach Chris Creighton said. “We feel as if we have some good momentum, but it doesn’t feel as if it’s interrupting that. We needed a break. It’s been a long haul. We do ‘self-scout’ and try and reflect like you would in February.”
That self scout during the last week has given the coaching staff, which was able to enjoy a day off for the first time since July, a chance to evaluate the team’s progress and highlight areas that need continued improvement.
“We have spent some time talking about what we do well and what we still need to improve on,” Creighton said. “We feel on offense that we have good balance. Our running game has been solid and then we take what people give us in the passing game.”
The bye week has also helped break the season up into three parts with the first third coming during the non-conference season during which Drake went 1-2 with both losses coming to nationally ranked opponents. The next third was the last five conference games that saw Drake go 5-0 in the PFL. Up next is the season’s stretch run against perennial league power Dayton, a team unbeaten in PFL play in Butler and second place Jacksonville.
“We are in the final stretch and all of these games are very, very important,” Creighton said. “But every week it’s back to ‘one game at a time.’ Any time you get away from that, you’re in trouble and the other two games become meaningless. I don’t think we’re going to have that issue. Dayton has been the dominant program in this league since its inception and any league championship in this league goes through Dayton.”
The Bulldogs began the bye week with four days of intense practices to fine tune fundamentals and begin preparing for Dayton before the squad was given Friday and the weekend off to rest. Normal game week preparations for Dayton begin in earnest on Monday before the Bulldogs face the Flyers on Saturday in Dayton at noon, CST. The Bulldogs return home to host their final home game of the season on Nov. 10 against Butler.