Arkansas-Pine Bluff head coach Cedric Thomas has been on both ends of the lopsided score spectrum and a player and coach.
That’s why the Golden Lions first-year head coach didn’t feel there was a need for South Dakota State coach John Stiegelmeier to issue a postgame apology after the Jackrabbits blitzed UAPB 90-6 Saturday.
“I don’t need no apology,” Thomas said Monday during the SWAC weekly teleconference. “I’m a grown man. If that’s his (Stiegelmeier) philosophy toward football, I totally understand. I’ve been on both sides of it.”
Though there was a perception that South Dakota State intentionally ran up the score, especially after the Jackrabbits added a late fourth-quarter touchdown, Thomas didn’t necessarily believe that upon further review or while in the moment.
“It’s my job to stop them,” said Thomas, who was the defensive coordinator at Alcorn State before taking the UAPB job. “It’s our job to put kids in position and come up with game plans to make sure we stop them from putting points up. It’s their job to score and score points. It’s my job to put our players in the best position to curtail that … and we didn’t do a good job of that.”
Thomas, whose bunch fell to 1-2, considered enduring such a loss as something the program has to go through to eventually improve.
“In the journey of building a program, I want to see the guys go through a little adversity,” he said. “We gotta keep our heads up keep fighting and making the necessary corrections to put a better product out there when we play those types of teams.”
“As we build this program, I just know deep down in my core that it will be something we sit back years from now and say we were in this particular situation and it made us better.”
Listen to the entire segment below.