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Lafayette getting back to basics with early open week

The Michael Fair era at Lafayette did not get off to the start he and the Commodores hoped for last Friday.

The Commodores’ first-year coach saw his team fall at home to Horn Lake, 26-17, in last week’s season opener.

Thankfully for him, they have a chance to hit the reset button and begin again. Lafayette (0-1) had its second-week opponent cancel on it late in the summer, and with Fair being a new coach, it was hard for them to schedule a fill-in so early in the season. He worked hard to try and find some team, any team, to take the open date as he did not like the idea of taking the second week of the season off.

Having started the season with a tough loss, Fair changed his tune slightly and is happy to be able to focus on his team before jumping into next week’s opponent, Grenada.

“After the disappointments we had Friday, we’re really using this week as a teaching tool and a lot of fundamental work,” Fair said. “A lot of blocking. A lot of tackling. Taking a closer look at each snap and making sure we’ve got folks in the right spot. This is not where we want to be. Want to be 1-0 and playing again this week.”

Fair noted he was not pleased with how his team was up front on both sides of the ball after reviewing game film. The defensive line played well for what he viewed as “three and a half quarters of the game” before giving up ground in the run defense. Offensively, clock management was an issue that Fair is using this week to shore up.

“There’re things that our running backs can do better. There’s things that our linemen can do better,” Fair said. “Collectively as a group offensively, we’ll have to take a look at what we’re doing and find a way to get on the board with a short field.”

Ard recovering
During last week’s game, senior quarterback Will Ard took a hard shot and Fair removed him from the game for precautionary reasons. Ard has participated in every practice this week and should be ready for next week’s game at Grenada with the off week.

“We’ve got several bumps and bruises as you will with every week,” Fair said. “But we’re using this week to really get our guys some rehab work in and get them ready to play.”