/seasons/2013/contrib/201309035qoo1a

Effort has Pirates excited for gridiron return

More news about: Southwestern

GEORGETOWN – Where do you start when you haven't played a football game in over 60 years?

That is the question tasked to head football coach Joe Austin and his staff. On August 13, Austin and the Pirate coaching staff welcomed more than 100 student-athletes to campus as Southwestern University football was officially revived.

Southwestern University will be one of 11 schools to field a football team either for the first time or by reinstituting the program this fall. The main difference however, Southwestern is the lone program that resides in the football hungry state of Texas.

When the Pirates take the field September 7 against Texas Lutheran there will be a winner and loser. Despite the outcome the first season of Pirate football will not be judged by the scoreboard.

"Getting better every day and constant improvement is our number one goal," Austin said who helped turnaround a Hanover College football team that won just two games prior to his arrival. "We want to continue to get better and some weekends how well we play may not be reflected by the final score."

With limited college game experience on the field, the Pirates will lean on effort and development. Austin compares Southwestern's first season in 2013 to the academic side of campus.

"We look at the season as 10 report cards," Austin said. "We want to get better every game. Our staff will look and see what direction we are heading on a weekly basis as individuals and as a program. The roster most likely will change every week. Players that see lots of playing time early may not be the same ones on the field in game 10."

Not only has fall camp produced great effort but the ability to quickly learn the offensive and defensive schemes has impressed the Pirate coaching staff. Regardless of seasons played most fall camps see their defense shine early in practice; however, the Pirates have picked up Austin's high tempo offense and have coaches excited about the learning curve.

"These guys are very intelligent. They have all learned quickly," Austin said. "Not only do our guys want to give effort and fight for positions, but they are picking up our playbook. It makes these guys really fun to coach."

Fans can expect a fast paced offense from the Pirates in Austin's first season at the helm. As he continues to preach tempo in practice he cautions that Southwestern will not be the fastest team in college football however.

After helping set offensive records as the offensive coordinator at the University of Dubuque and on the offensive staff at NCAA-II Concordia-St. Paul the Pirate offense is in more than capable hands to put points on the scoreboard. Austin feels as though the depth developed at wide receiver will help the Pirates reach the end zone.

"Offensively we are really strong at our skill positions. Wide receiver we feel really good about and maybe as much as any position," Austin said. "Colten Shea returns as a member of our first class and teamed with Tanner Snow and Brandon Fieischmann that group can be pretty dynamic."

"Our running back core is also extremely deep. With as many players that we will have rotating it's a good problem to have obviously. Two returners, Dillon Wilburn and Codey Mann have helped step up as leaders and Tate Taylor helps solidify our backfield."

On the defensive side of the ball, the Pirates will look to their front line to help create space for their linebackers. After working together at Hanover, Austin and defensive coordinator Tom Ross have helped develop a scheme that has the defense even with the offense as fall camp comes to a close.

"We are going to lean heavily on our ends. They are going to be important pieces to helping get the defense off the field," Austin said. "Justin Broussard has impressed us and has been a playmaker during camp. Justin Powers and Alex Tyson will also help on the interior as Tyson is one of our original players. He has also stepped up as a leader on defense."

Austin hopes if his Pirates have taken anything away from camp its effort and fundamentals. Although the Pirates boast one of the youngest teams in college football the rollercoaster ride is sure to be fun. One of the largest takeaways fans will be able to see on Saturday's is that Southwestern football will grow, not just on the field but off the field as well.

"If we can give 100 percent and be fundamentally sound the outcome of the game will take care of itself," Austin said. "Pirate football is about being leaders not just on the field, but in the classroom and the community. If constant improvement is our number one goal, we want our student-athletes to apply that in their everyday life."

Oct. 14: All times Eastern
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Salve Regina 45, at Nichols 10
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Mount Ida 14, at Dean 7
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Hobart 49, at Hartwick 27
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Gallaudet 35, at Alfred State 19
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Brevard 41, at Methodist 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 23, at Tufts 16
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Ohio Northern 27, at John Carroll 20
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Baldwin Wallace 23, at Muskingum 20
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at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Rose-Hulman 44, at Manchester 13
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at Hanover 31, Bluffton 28
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Defiance 45, at Anderson 0
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Hiram 62, at Kenyon 56
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Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Williams 27, at Middlebury 26
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Marietta 43, at Wilmington 33
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at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Curry 40, at Becker 0
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TCNJ 20, at Rowan 14
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at SUNY-Maritime 51, Anna Maria 15
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Salisbury 28, at Montclair State 10
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at Huntingdon 28, Maryville (Tenn.) 16
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at Austin 33, Millsaps 19
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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at Washington U. 55, Buena Vista 20
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Alma 27, at Aurora 19
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at Rockford 29, Concordia-Chicago 14
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Wisconsin Lutheran 22, at Concordia (Wis.) 19
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at Lakeland 57, Benedictine 21
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at St. Norbert 10, Chicago 0
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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St. Olaf 22, at Augsburg 20
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Bethel 24, at Gustavus Adolphus 3
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St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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Centre 27, at Trinity (Texas) 21
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Dubuque 42, at Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Central 30, at Coe 19
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Lake Forest 56, at Cornell 28
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Millikin 28, at Augustana 27
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Ripon 52, at Beloit 28
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MacMurray 49, at Minnesota-Morris 13
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Macalester 21, at Lawrence 18
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Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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Texas Lutheran 41, at East Texas Baptist 34
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UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Sewanee 34, at Birmingham-Southern 13
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at Hope 22, Adrian 3
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Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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La Verne at Occidental
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Whitworth 17, at Pacific Lutheran 14
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Pomona-Pitzer 45, at Whittier 23
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Southwestern 60, at Belhaven 31
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Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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at Louisiana College 52, McMurry 34
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
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Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
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at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
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at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
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Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
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