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ASU staying with same lineup after Wingate loss

ASU head football coach Mike White

ASU head football coach Mike White

Looking Ahead

WHO: Albany State (1-1) at Elizabeth City State (0-2)

WHAT: Rams’ second road game.

WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday.

WHERE: Elizabeth City, N.C..

RADIO: 98.1 FM.

ONLINE: For live scoring updates go to twitter.com/AlbHeraldSports.

ALBANY — Albany State coach Mike White won’t be making any changes to his starting lineup after last week’s disappointing 37-9 loss to Wingate.

He said this week that he will be sticking with the same guys for Saturday’s game against Elizabeth City State (N.C.) — a game the Rams (1-1) need to win to avoid falling below .500 for the first time since starting 2006 at 0-2.

“There’s not a lot of personnel changes I can make,” White said. “We don’t have a lot of manpower to make a lot of changes. We are trying to hone in on some stuff, and most of the stuff, as coaches, we can correct. After looking at film, we can get those solved.”

What his starters do on the field, however, needs to change, White added.

And that starts in the red zone, where Wingate — despite fumbling twice inside the 10-yard line in the first quarter — had little trouble putting the ball into the end zone.

“We didn’t play good red zone defense or goal line defense in my opinion,” said White, whose Rams surrendered five short-yardage touchdowns.

White also wants to see his team get off to a better start against an 0-2 Elizabeth City squad that is treating Saturday’s game as a must-win. Last week, the Rams didn’t put any points on the board against Wingate until a field goal in the final seconds before halftime.

“Offensively we have to get off a little bit quicker,” White said. “Defensively we have to be able to hold our team until our offense gets going. We can’t allow them to get out like (Wingate) did last week.”

White won’t be benching anybody because of performance issues on the field, but he is without two starters from the beginning of the season — star center Hakeem Lassiter, who is game-to-game with keloid but ruled unable to play Saturday, and middle linebacker Jarvis Brice, who broke his leg in the season opener against North Greenville.

Left guard Victor Moli was questionable for this week, but White said on Thursday that team doctors cleared Moli to play after a scary head injury that knocked the lineman out of Wingate’s game.

“That’s huge for us to get (Moli) back,” White said.