MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) -Earlier this week, sports director Rob Clark caught up with MSU head football coach, Todd Hoffner.
The Mavericks were ranked fifth in the College Football America Yearbook Preseason Poll.
“Well being ranked fifth, it’s a good thing but it’s also a slap in the face, I know our guys want to be number one and want to be at the top of the poll but we’ve been hovering around that one, two, three, four, five range for quite a few years now and it’d be nice to finish this season not at Blakeslee but on the road at a national championship game in Texas but we’ve got to go one game at a time and we start out with Southwest Minnesota State,” said Hoffner.
“Well it’s going to take a lot of perseverance, and a lot of great mental approach to the game, a lot of great plays need to be made and we’ve got to play great defense, we’ve got to stop the run, we’ve got to run the football and we’ve got to make plays at the quarterback position and I think these things are vital to any games success but when you get into the playoffs you better be able to run the ball when you want to run the ball and run it as much as you can but you have to be able to stop the run and that was a little bit of our demise in the Ferris State game that lent us to being able to get to the national championship game,” said Hoffner.
“Boy they’ve had quite a legacy starting all the way back in 2016 we went eight and three, all these guys were red–shirt freshman, we had a couple of transfer join them in 2017, but the 17–18 when they were sophomores, juniors, now seniors in 2019, you hope that that experience, that wealth of knowledge, the exposure to highly talented teams not only in the playoffs but in our conference leads to us competing at a very high level and trying to win another championship and hopefully have more home playoff games and have those memorable days like the snow bowl when we played Tarleton State and that was such an exciting day that many people will never forget that I think that’s going to last through the ages,” Hoffner added.
“Yeah, you know the offense of line is the key, two years ago we set the single season rushing record with over 4,000 yards in one season, last year we had 3,600, which is really good but I think we need to get back to that 4,000 plus if we’re going to be a national contender and compete at a high level so I think rushing the football is very important and we’ve got a great nucleus back and if they’re motivated, excited and get that chemistry down early, I think we could be really good up front,” said Hoffner.
“Well I just want us to be able to handle adversity, when you’re expected to do so much and you have so many people that are so experienced and have been through a lot of different things, you can’t have a been there, done that attitude when you approach it, when you do that you’re going to find yourself in a lot of vicarious situations that you don’t want to be in and try to battle your way back to win football games, much like we did against Augustana and Winona last year, so this year we have both those teams at home, those were two rough road games for us and University of Minnesota, Duluth is ranked tenth in the nation right now in that poll that you had talked about earlier and their coming to Blakeslee too for homecoming so we’ve got quite an on slot of very talented teams coming to the Blake and it’s going to be one heck of a season,” said Hoffner.