“They have a game under their belt now, so the nervousness thing and excitement of the first game is behind us,” Ladner said. “Now we need to settle in, and we can really do our deal and execute our plays.”
A senior-laden backfield is charged with leading the defense. Senior Tyler Ganus had 17 tackles and one pass breakup at Taylor.
Ladner would like his quarterback to take the lead on holding the offense accountable, but that position hasn’t quite been settled yet. Sophomore Brady Cavinee led the Ravens against Taylor, going 6-of-12 for 58 yards and a touchdown.
“We’ve got some good quarterbacks, and we’re hoping to settle on one guy before we get to conference,” Ladner said. “But there’s still a nice little race going on at quarterback.”
Three running backs also are competing for reps, including Johnell Worthan (nine carries for 44 yards against Taylor) and Edward Pupoh (11 yards on five carries). And Ladner loves his receiving corps, led by Marc Jones with three catches for 36 yards and the Ravens’ lone touchdown against the Trojans.
“We’ve got some good athletes, we’ve got to get the ball to them and let them perform,” Ladner said.
The AU coach hopes to look back at the end of the season and check off many of the goals the Ravens have set for themselves. He wants his athletes to be good students and represent the program in a positive manner on campus. But there’s one goal in particular that all the Ravens, winless in Ladner’s first year, want to accomplish.
“We want to win,” Ladner said. “We want to win and start making that turn in turning this program around where we can win.”