If you’re like many of the midterm-crazed yet well-rounded, gym-going yet athletically uninclined students at UR, you probably haven’t heard about our football team. Maybe you’ve been waiting in line at Douglass stalking someone’s Instagram account, talking up your freshman hall or trying to get a fraternity bid, and you haven’t paid one bit of thought to the UR football team’s dominant 3-0 start.
Why should you? You attend a small, academic and research-centered school with programs at which few crowd-drawing sports have made national headlines since you’ve attended this school. Starbucks doesn’t air the games, and your research principle investigator buried in the back of the Medical Center has never even heard of football. You work too hard Monday through Friday and, come Saturday, you just want to watch Netflix. Understandable.
But, I’m going to break some news that may change your Saturday routine, and, in turn, rally some UR pride and excitement for cool-weather football.
In UR football’s season opener versus Catholic University of America three weeks ago, the ‘Jackets won 45-28. The following week, UR broke records in their 61-0 victory over Alfred State (go ahead and reread that score—a Rochester football team scored 61 points).
In fact, with five touchdowns in the first quarter alone, UR was winning 33-0 before parents and fans could even find a place to park. By early in the third quarter, the score was 61-0. Throughout the second half, we saw second and third-string players breaking tackles, sacking Alfred State’s quarterback, completing passes and flashing signs of serious talent on some surprisingly athletic punt returns.
Meanwhile, many of UR’s starters were making more noise in supporting their teammates from the sidelines than all 250 fans in the bleachers combined. Lacking the support of a sleepy student body, this team still has an “all-in” mentality. By necessity, they have a loud, Sherman type of cockiness. They shout “That’s too easy!” and “They can’t hang with us!” from the sidelines.
The Alfred State game started with long bombs to senior wideout Farid Adenuga and dangly QB runs, but the game was a 60-minute highlight reel that featured a little bit of everything.
Senior Bruce McKenty scored off of a handoff following his teammates call—“BRUUUCCCCEEE!”
Those who attended the game would agree that there is something satisfying about seeing your school pile it on while making the opponents look like a high school junior varsity squad.
UR defended its home turf again this past Saturday with a 29-3 victory over Springfield College to advance its record to 3-0. At home, the ‘Jackets defense has scored more touchdowns (two) than they have given up (zero), and they project an energy that the crowd has begun to feed off of.
Though this Saturday’s attendance was similar to last Saturday’s, the fans were a little livelier. Hearing barks of “Throw the flag ref!” was actually a nice reminder that there are fans in the crowd who are invested in the outcome of the game.
Though the season is still young, UR is the only team in the Liberty League with an undefeated record, and their 3-0 start can easily be described as dominating. There is plenty to get excited about, even if you are only the most casual sports fan. Let’s just not let any excitement balance on their season staying perfect. Please refrain from going overboard and saying that this is “our year,” and you’ll be welcomed to this still-roomy bandwagon. You’re encouraged to forget your expectations of what Saturday football should look like at a state university and just enjoy college football and what it means for fall semester.
Sure, even if every student at this school attended a game, we would not touch the atmosphere of an Alabama versus Ole Miss ESPN Gameday in the deep South, but that’s not important. If the most exciting thing you do on a Saturday is make a trip to the Pit for Panda Express, would you not have more fun filling the stands at Fauver?
Two weeks from now, on Saturday, October 10, UR football takes on the United States Merchant Marine Academy at home. Again, the ruckus from our fan base in the stands will likely not be loud enough to wake you from your post-Friday slumber, even if you live in Sue B.
But, then again, maybe we can change that.
Lucchesi is a member of the class of 2016.