Last year at this time, a lot of things were different. The Rock was going on the road to face what they felt was a huge test. Their game against Seton Hill was going to answer all the questions they had about themselves.
This year, the same can be said. But in a much different fashion. The Rock will return home for just one game before going on the road to face Indiana (Pa.). That game isn’t even on their mind right now, however.
The new look Rock has been tearing through opponents in their first three weeks. They’ve put up an average of 40 points per game. Through their first three games last year, they averaged 34, but that average was bumped up significantly by their 57-7 win over Lock Haven.
Slippery Rock is in the midst of their third straight 3-0 start. But it feels a lot different. Now, this team runs when Noah Grover runs. Grover, who earned his second PSAC player of the week honors this past week, has been stellar.
So far, Grover has thrown for eight touchdowns and 815 yards. He’s been exactly who The Rock thought he was going to be.
His receivers have also been playing very good football. Last year, the PSAC west had to deal with the trio of Henry Litwin, Jermaine Wynn Jr. and Cinque Sweeting. Now they have to worry about the new receiver trio of Kyle Sheets, Jacob Odom and Cohen Russell.
The three have combined for 600 of the 815 yards through the air this season. They have also put up seven touchdowns. That alone will give Seton Hill a daunting task. They’ll have to pick their poison, but if they do, then they still have to deal with The Rock’s rushing game and Max Maciejewski.
“If you want to try to stop our run, we have weapons, and if you want to stop our passing attack, we can run the ball,” Lutz said. “We can balance and we have veteran guys on the line, it really starts there and we’re confident in them.”
The Rock returns home for their second home game of the season. It feels good to back home for Lutz and the team. After two long road trips, they get to come back and play in front of what will likely be a large crowd.
“We’ve been on the road, it feels like we haven’t played at home in forever, but we get to come home and play in front of our fans and it’s village fest this weekend,” Lutz said. “It’s going to be awesome to open conference play under the lights.”
In order to pull out a win, Lutz feels that there will be a few things that The Rock needs to do.
“We have to start fast, we can’t give them the opportunity to get in the game and we have to control the line of scrimmage,” Lutz said.
This week starts the gauntlet that is the PSAC west schedule, and Slippery Rock will have a target on their back. The Rock has won the PSAC west three years in a row now. The last time a different school represented the west in the title game was in 2017. Due to COVID-19, it feels like it’s been forever.
The path to redemption looks to get the kickstart this weekend against the Griffins.
“A lot of these guys haven’t been on the team, but it’s a lot of tunnel vision and worrying about everyone one at a time, because the guys know the goals ahead,” Lutz said. “When you get into the west, it’s a little bit harder, and we are the defending champs, but we just have to worry about bringing our ‘A Game.’”