ASHLAND, Ore.—Of all the accomplishments Saturday’s win over Montana Tech brought No. 5 Southern Oregon, the performance from the Raiders’ defense has been drawing high praise from the coaching staff.
In fact, holding the highest scoring team in the Frontier Conference to a meager 10 points prompted offensive coordinator Ken Fasnacht to say it’s the best defensive showing he’s seen in his seven years as an SOU coach.
While defensive coordinator James Gravelle can’t put it into that kind of historical perspective (he’s only been with the program for three years), he did marvel at the four turnovers forced and six defensive stands his team made on fourth down.
"It's a mindset,” he said. “And the late Coach Howard always said, ‘The longer we play, the better we get.’ The mindset of this defensive unit is no one's going to break us. When we get into adverse situations and we have to help out the special teams or the offense, if they're not clicking, our kids are rising to the occasion.”
For Raider fans, the best news of all is that the defense will be on full display at home on Saturday, as SOU hosts Dickinson State at 1 p.m. in the first round of the NAIA playoffs.