Consistency has been key for W&L
Generals picked to finish 3rd in ODAC in preseason poll
LEXINGTON, Va. – Entering his sixth season at the helm of Washington and Lee, coach Scott Abell has guided the Generals through their best battles yet on the gridiron. With three winning seasons and two Old Dominion Athletic Conference titles, consistency has been on the front line for W&L.
"We go after guys that we know fit our system and work for what we want to do. The credit really goes to our kids and once they get here, they buy in and work hard," Abell said.
"I think that's the case anywhere that can sustain success."
The preseason coaches poll has the team finishing third in the ODAC and for good reason. The Generals ranked fourth in the conference in yards allowed, and tied for second in scoring defense at 26.9 points per game. They're led by senior linebacker Max Garrett, who led the conference with 109 total tackles in 2016.
"I think there's a ton of potential with this defense. We're bigger than we've ever been, faster than we've ever been. We have a lot of great guys around, but like any year we need to keep refining things," Garrett said.
The offense was just as dangerous with multiple weapons in the backfield. In fact, the Generals led all of college football in rushing, with an average of 390 yards per contest.
One of those weapons was Hidden Valley product Walker Brand, who had 362 yards on the ground and 107 through the air with four touchdowns.
"We say after every breakdown NORA-- number one rushing attack. We try to live by that, do our best, and work hard in the offseason, and then in camp so far just to live up to that," Brand said.
"Just to be a part of that has been amazing, it's not just running backs and receivers, it's the linemen up front."
And with his little brother Logan recovering from injury, the Brand's could prove to be a dynamic duo.
Recent history has proven to be a success, Abell and the Generals know that it's a new season and 2017 will be filled with its own battles.
"The tools and skills we're learning right now in camp- mental toughness, the basics- that will be everywhere," Garrett said.
Washington and Lee will open the season on September 1 against Johns Hopkins.
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