CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Just two weeks after his team sustained a 39-8 loss to Class AAA playoff No. 3 seed Capital, Jeremy Taylor likes one thing about a first-round rematch between the Cougars (9-1) and his 14th-seeded Hurricane Redskins (6-4).
"We got more aggressive in practice," Taylor said while recalling Hurricane's 20-17 win at Spring Valley in the regular season finale that got the Redskins into the playoff field. "I think that was the difference between previous weeks and this one. Now, we go from a wing-T team to a spread option team with the (ability to) pass and speed."
The teams meet at 7:30 tonight at Laidley Field.
Capital held the Redskins to 166 total yards when they met at Laidley on Nov. 1. Hurricane wrapped up its regular season averaging 412 total yards per game.
"Their offense scares you but their defense is really good," Taylor said. "It's like GW in the past with (Ryan) Switzer and all those guys. Their defense was what won games for them. It wasn't just him. They were good on defense.
"That's the thing about Capital. If we just go in worrying all week about how we're going to score we're going to be in trouble. We've got to worry about their defense."
Cougar sophomore quarterback Tyrhee Pratt and junior running back Kashuan Haley have been the poster children in Capital's quest to restore its program to its glory days of the 1990s. But at the same time, the Cougars' defensive line - led by seniors James Walton and Jaisson Dyer - has been a major, if not dominant, factor in Capital earning its highest playoff seed since it was a No. 2 seed in 1996.
Capital was the No. 3 seed in the 1999 playoffs.
"They've fought all year, but in the last three weeks they've really come to fight," Carpenter said of his defense, which has allowed an average of 15.6 points per game.
"I don't think it's anything different, it's just that all the seniors we do have are on defense," Carpenter said. "When you get to playoff time it's like fighting for your life. You got somebody choking you out and you've got to fight. Those guys realize that this thing's coming to an end for them and they're just fighting like crazy."