NINETY SIX — Having notched his 300th win last week in Columbia, Bulldog head coach Phil Strickland is looking to continue his team’s hot start on the road tonight at 7:30 p.m. against the Ninety Six Wildcats.
“I’ve been in the right place at the right time a lot of times,” Strickland said of reaching the 300 mark. “I’ve had some mighty fine athletes and mighty fine assistant coaches who share in all these victories.”
Getting to 301 victories, however, means getting past a “well coached” Wildcat team who triumphed over the Dogs in their last meeting in 2013.
Although Ninety Six dropped their season opener last week against Abbeville, Strickland said his team is far from overlooking the 0-1 Wildcats.
“Coach Mike Doolittle and I go way back,” Strickland said. “I know he’s going to have his team prepared.”
Last week Strickland said he was proud of the way his players overcame an overnight lightning delay to get the victory over Keenan 47-14.
“It kind of blindsided us a little bit,” he said of the delay. “Historically my teams haven’t played very well on Saturday.”
Strickland said anytime the “norm” is altered it can affect players’ game mentality.
“We’re proud of our young men for coming out and putting all that behind them and I thought we came out and jumped on them pretty quick,” he said.
Strickland also praised the speed at which his squad ran plays with less mistakes and blown assignments than were seen in the preseason.
“We didn’t have a lot of great things happen to us in the preseason,” he said.
By design Strickland said they prefer to take on strong teams in the preseason which is sure to help them with a 2016 schedule he described as “very difficult.”
Reach Carson Lambert at 803-276-0625, ext. 1868, or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.