Mike Price's Weber State football coaching staff was out recruiting today for next year, and Price says he expects this year's seniors will help the staff find talent because "everyone feels good about our program."
Following yet another disappointing loss - thankfully, the last of this season - in a game Weber might have won, Price was back to being Mr. Positive."We'll be back, I'm real confident," he said.
"We're going to put it together one of these years and be right back in the national picture."
Despite a season laden with injuries, "We moved the ball with the best in the country," Price said of an offense that included Big Sky leaders like quarterback Jeff Carlson, running back Fine Unga and receiver Wade Orton, who closed out their careers in Saturday's 27-21 loss at Northern Arizona.
Price also noted that, because of all the injuries to front-line players, lots of freshman and sophomores played. "Those second-unit kids got a lot better," Price said.
He said his coaches will probably not try to recruit a quarterback, as Weber has four who will vie for Carlson's job. They are also pretty well set at receiver, running back and offensive line. They will probably look for a junior-college linebacker and maybe a JC scatback receiver. And defensive tackles will be needed, Price said.
As for Saturday's loss, in which several things out of Weber's control went wrong, as well as the Wildcats' inability to capitalize on fumble recoveries, Price's attitude was, "It's over and we came up short, and I'm still proud of these guys."
With just over two minutes to go Saturday, Weber was denied a fumble recovery at about the NAU 33. It was the same officiating crew that took away two fumble recoveries in the final minute at Idaho as Weber lost by a field goal. "They said his knee was down, but it wasn't close to being down." Price said. "The calls didn't go our way."
And neither did a 99-yard kickoff return by NAU's Darren Carrington. Weber's 7-0 lead evaporated with that at 6:21 of the first period. A halfback pass made it a 14-14 tie with :46 left in the first half.
That was where the other discrepancy occurred, when a home timekeeper ran five seconds off the clock and declared the half over as Weber lined up and threw a ball out of bounds in time to have stopped the clock and lined up for a field goal of about 35 yards. Officials backed the timekeeper. "That's the way it goes when you're at home. It was real unfortunate," said Price.
But, in the end, he said, "We just got beat."