Rivalry games always come with a certain amount of pressure.
In rivalries that have been one-sided, now that's another kind of pressure.
That will be the case for the Lincoln football team when it takes on the Langston Lions at 2 p.m. today in Langston, Okla.
"Our seniors addressed the team this week and mentioned that in their four years here, they have not beat Langston," said Lincoln assistant coach Thomas Howard, who will lead the Blue Tigers for the third straight week as Nathan Cochran misses the game for personal reasons. "They're driven. They want to finish out their senior year strong."
The Lions (4-3) have won six straight over the Blue Tigers (1-7), with Lincoln's last win coming 17-14 in overtime in 2003. Langston won last year's meeting 31-6.
"It's a big rivalry game," Howard said. "The kids know what's at stake, and they've got a nasty taste in their mouths from last year.
"We've had a great week of practice. With all the adversity we've faced this year, the team has repsonded well. Now we just have to get some Ws on Saturdays."
That task could be hard today, especially since the Blue Tigers may not know exactly what they're preparing for. The Lions have played a number of different quarterbacks this season, which could alter what they do.
"They're a very good football team, very skilled," Howard said. "But they've had a lot of injuries at quarterback.
"Their normal starter, Daron Lewis, hasn't played the last few games. If they play Chad Miller ... it changes the offense because Lewis is more athletic, while the other kid is a big pocket passer. ... They have also played a kid named Jacquon Miles, who is more athletic like Lewis, and if he gets in the game, they will do more attacking with the quarterback moving around."