BIG HORN — It’s gut check time for the Big Horn Rams.
Last week, the Rams (2-1) struggled for the first time this season with a loss against a physical Glenrock team. Big Horn’s high-powered running attack was held to only 68 yards, they gave up more than 350 yards on the ground and only found themselves in the end zone once.
Now in week four, Big Horn has to decide how to bounce back after their first regular season loss since Sept. 20, 2013. That year, they went on to win the state championship. Halfway through the 2015 season, the next few weeks are critical if coach Mike McGuire’s team wants to make its way back to Laramie.
“I think they responded well,” McGuire said. “I think they understand there is a lot of football left. What happened Friday doesn’t make or break our season by any stretch of the imagination.”
This week may be a great chance for the players to regain their confidence. Hosting the Wright Panthers (0-3,) Big Horn — at least on paper — looks likely to run away with the game.
Wright is a struggling program. The last time the Panthers won a game was Oct. 25, 2013, when they scraped out a 13-0 win over Moorcroft to win the last and only game of the season. Since then, however, things have been especially tough for the program out of Campbell County. They went without a win last year, and this year doesn’t look promising.
Wright has struggled in almost all areas of the game this season. They find themselves at the bottom in total team offense, throwing up a mere 153.3 yards per game this year. After getting pummeled in shutouts by Southeast and Glenrock in the first two games of the season, their scoreless streak was broken last week against Thermopolis in the 46-14 loss.
But McGuire knows better than to look past any team. There is still some talent in the Wright roster — fairly young talent, albeit — but they still have weapons that could hurt Big Horn.
“They do some things offensively that can give you fits if you are not prepared for it,” McGuire said. “They run veer option and dive option, so we really have to be focused in on our option assignments. That’s really been a big focus for us this week.”
In order to put another tally in the win column, the Rams will have to get back to executing an explosive rushing offense. In the first two weeks, Big Horn averaged 118.5 yards on the ground, but managed half of that last week again Glenrock.
“We’ve got to establish our running game and get our running backs going,” McGuire said. “As much as anything, we have to follow our game plan better (than last Friday).”