While winning a share of the program’s first MEAC championship since 1993 was indeed nice for Howard, the Bison’s best football is still ahead of them.
That’s what head coach Larry Scott believes.
“We’ve been consistent in saying last season still wasn’t good enough. We were still 5-6 at the end of the day,” Scott said during Monday’s MEAC coaches’ video conference. “We’ve got to find a way to win games and do a better job in our non-conference schedule. The first six games of the year are what we’ve focused on.”
Howard’s overall record was obscured by their 4-1 MEAC mark, the lone conference loss coming to Celebration Bowl champion North Carolina Central. With the Eagles favored again this year by preseason voters, Howard has spent the summer taking the next step to unseat NC Central as MEAC champions.
“We’ve been focused on us and the things we can do better,” he says. “We want to be true to our identity, which is smarter, tougher, more disciplined, and together. I think we’ve done a good job of that; we’re a bigger, stronger, faster, and smarter football team.”
Howard opens up the 2023 season at Eastern Michigan, an FBS school that went 9-4 in 2022, including a 41-27 win over San Jose State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Scott says he nor his team is worried about the size or reputation of any opponent this season.
“It’s all about who we are. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing,” he said. “We want to go out and play clean, smart, tough, and physical football. When you’re trying to build a good program, you want to be challenged, you want to be tested. It’s exciting to go out and showcase our talents and represent the Howard brand, which is a strong brand.”
The Bison will return several starters on offense and, with some key additions, look to have a loaded roster and, in Scott’s eyes, one that is focused on the bigger picture.
“Football is a team sport, and everybody plays a role, no matter how big or small, it can have an impact on the team and the game,” he explained. “We really get into a team-first approach in everything we do. We have a lot of unselfish players who celebrate each other’s successes.”
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