Sports Contact: J.T. Wilcox, Sports Information Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HIALEAH, FL – It is easy to lean heavy into hyperbole and call Saturday's game against Snow College "the biggest game in ASA Miami history".
Sure, it is the first game in ASA Miami has played where it and its opponent has been ranked higher than No. 20. It's also the first season in program history that the Silver Storm has knocked off multiple NJCAA opponents – setting a new record with each victory over a JUCO opponent this season – and has garnered some national attention. It's also probably safe to say that the winner of Saturday's showdown will be on the fast track to an NJCAA bowl game appearance.
But no matter how high the stakes may seem to be, when No. 13 Snow College makes the nearly 2,600-mile trek from Ephraim, Utah to Hialeah to face the No. 16 Silver Storm Saturday at Ted Hendricks Stadium, ASA Miami head coach Roosevelt Williams maintains – "it's just another game".
"That's been my message to the team this week, 'this is just another game'," Williams said. "I mean, I can't keep them off of the internet and social media, so they see and hear all the stuff that's being said about this game and all that. But this is a confident group of guys and they're feeding off all of it. But at the same time, they know, it's 'let's go make history then keep moving forward."
The 2019-20 season will already go down as a historic one, no matter what the outcome of Saturday's game – or the subsequent four. Multiple individual and team records have been broken this season, with the most impressive being the total wins against NJCAA opponents.
ASA Miami was gifted a JUCO win this past week when Louisburg College (N.C.) forfeited due to a lack of available players. The Silver Storm avoided a trip to Savannah, Georgia and the wear-and-tear that comes along with playing a football game and instead earned a victory while also getting some extra rest and recovery time for their players.
Coach Williams said the extra time was a big positive, with one small caveat.
"Getting the forfeit win meant we got another W in the win the column," Williams began. "It gave us a chance to get some guys some extra time to heal and rest their bodies, and I think it gave other guys a chance to gain that extra boost of energy, which is always good. The only downside is that our guys work hard and were ready to go on the road and show what they can do on actually on the field. But we used the extra time to our advantage."
Not having to focus on Louisburg meant extra time to focus on and prepare for Snow College (3-2). This past season when ASA Miami made the journey out to Utah to take on the Badgers, the Silver Storm suffered their toughest loss of the season. Snow defeated ASA 71-27, while the Badgers racked up 524 total yards of offense.
Fast forward to this season, and it is a much different ASA Miami team. The Silver Storm defense has become one of the nation's stingiest units – allowing just 224.5 total yards per game and yielding an average of 19 points. ASA's offense has blossomed, too – under the direction of offensive coordinator Eddie "Rabbit" Brown. Brown has created a balanced offensive attack led by freshman quarterback Jaeze Tracey and a talented group of receivers – which has been nicknamed "the trees" thanks to the lanky heights of Justin McGriff, Tim Nelson, and Devin Mondy – and balanced by workhorse running back Evan Burgess.
Williams, who was the team's defensive coordinator this past season, said that this year's matchup between the teams will be different for a lot of reasons, including one very simple one.
"We're not the ones traveling," Williams quipped. "We'll be able to go through a normal week – at home – and then go play the game on our home field. Beyond that, we're a different team with a different mentality. The team reflects the head coach. And we have tasted victory…so the guys are like sharks smelling blood in the water."
Rankings, records, and previous matchups aside, Saturday's game will be won on the field – which is where Williams is the most confident in his squad.
"I feel like we match up really well with [Snow College]," Williams said. "I feel like our front [defensive] four will be able to cause problems for them as they've been able to do against the other teams we played this season. Other than that, my feeling remains the same – if we minimize our mistakes, we can play with anyone in the country."