Chris Brown's confidence in his Fort Hays State football team hasn't waned despite an 0-2 start for the Tigers.
Brown still believes the team possesses the same traits that helped the Tigers win MIAA championships the last two years.
“I think we’re going to be all right,” Brown said Tuesday. “We’ve got a good group of kids. These young men have won a lot of ballgames. They know how to win. It’s just putting it all together — offensively, defensively and special teams.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in this group. This senior class has been a big part or our winning tradition at Fort Hays. We’re going to figure it out. They’re going to find a way to get things done.
"I’m excited about this group and I know there’s still a lot of season left. We had two tough games to start the season and they’re not going to get any easier. We realize that we just have to play better.”
After letting a nine-point fourth quarter lead slip away in the season-opening loss to Central Missouri, the Tigers fell 28-17 to Missouri Western in their home opener last week, dropping to 0-2 for the first time since the 2013 season.
“A little shock right now — it’s easy to see from everyone’s faces. (Shock) was the mood after the (Missouri Western) game definitely," FHSU senior bandit Tanner Hoekman said. "But it’s our job as seniors and captains to get them out of that and know that the season’s not over. We’ve got a long season ahead of us.
“We had two losses when we won the conference last year. We can still do a lot of things.”
The Tigers will look to start the turnaround this week against Washburn, facing the Ichabods at 1 p.m. Saturday at Yager Stadium in Topeka.
“A win at Washburn would be big for us for the rest of the season,” junior FHSU offensive lineman Amari Angram-Boldin said. “Right now we’re just worried about Washburn and going and beating them on Saturday and we’ll let the rest take care of itself."
Washburn enters the game 1-1. The Ichabods opened with a 49-27 win over Lincoln and led Northwest Missouri State in the third quarter last week before the Bearcats pulled away late to hand the Bods a 38-17 loss.
“The thing I think this week we’ve got to focus on is that we’ve got to come play hard every single play, which I don’t think we’ve done the last two weeks,” Brown said. “We’ve got to play physical every single play and that’s something we’ve really been preaching. I told them yesterday in practice, those are two things I can’t control — how hard you play and how physical you play.
“If we can bring both of those to the table this week, I think great things are going to happen for this team.”