The Augustana football team finished 7-4 last year, missing the playoffs for a third straight season, and is picked to finish sixth overall in the NSIC this fall.
Augustana lost four games last season, including three games by two touchdowns, or less, which is why this year’s Vikings are stressing the importance of every play.
“We had a couple games where we were right in it until the end and for us, it’s just about being accountable and doing your job and trusting the other guys are going to get the job done throughout the game and we’ve been pushing that in practice. Do your 1/11, do your 1/11 all day and on every single play,” Augustana Wide Receiver Drew Reinschmidt said.
Augustana is expected to finish fourth in the highly competitive NSIC south division. Where the Vikings ultimately land comes down to playing hard-nosed football.
“We feel like we need to be a more physical football team on both sides of the ball, to compete with those in the top half of our league and I think we’ve addressed that and we’ll see how that shows out in the season,” Augustana Coach Jerry Olszewski said.
If the Vikings are to make a return trip to the playoffs, they must consistently win the game within the game.
“We need to win the situational football game. You know flipping the field when we need to flip the field, whether that be offense or defense, we need to create a short field, complementary football for one side or the other. If we get a turnover, we need to punch it in and score, if we get a score, we need a stop,” Olszewski said.
Augustana’s biggest strength might be the family they’ve built within the lockeroom.
“Everybody trusts everybody, off the field and on the field. I know that if I had to call one of my brothers, late at night to come get me cause my car broke down, they’d be there,” Augustana Defensive Back Michael Kloza said.
“Family. I think this is the closest team I’ve had. They really care for each other. We’re talented, we’ve got some gifted players, but I think we’re really close and it matters,” Olszewski said.
Augustana opens the season Saturday, September 7th against Upper Iowa. Kickoff is set for 1:00.