Haskell Indian Nations University's Martin Woods had an impressive 75 yards in punt returns last Saturday. That's one more yard than HINU's offense compiled.
Still, despite managing only 74 yards, the Fightin' Indians took McPherson College to overtime before bowing, 24-23.
First-year coach Eric Brock knows, however, that 74 yards of offense won't cut it, particularly in today's home opener against Principia College.
Kickoff will be 1 p.m. at Haskell Stadium.
Brock's point of emphasis in practice this week has been his young offensive line. The Indians have a veteran center in senior Steve White, but the guards and tackles are freshmen and sophomores.
"We've cut our package a little bit," Brock said. "We're trying to take baby steps to cut down on our mistakes. And we've cut our (line) splits because (McPherson) was blitzing us pretty bad."
Quarterback Chris Muniz was sacked several times and completed only four of 13 passes for a paltry 24 yards. Meanwhile, the running game generated just 50 yards on 42 carries. HINU averaged only 1.4 yards per play.
Muniz was playing his first game in three years. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound junior missed the 2000 and 2001 seasons because of knee injuries.
"He was panicked a little bit by our offensive line play," Brock said of Muniz, "but his poise was good for not having played in so long."
Former quarterback Peter Hahn made his debut at running back and gained 47 yards on 19 carries. Nick Wade added 32 yards on nine carries.
"Our running backs ran well when they had a chance," Brock said.
Haskell's defense was way ahead of the offense in the opener. Junior linebacker Matt Kalfsbeck was the ringleader with eight tackles, three sacks and an interception. Rover backs Murphy Black Cloud and Ivan Billie compiled 15 and 13 tackles respectively. Cornerback Brett Blythe had an interception.