Hammock prepares Huskies for high altitudes

By Maddie Barrett

DeKALB — Head coach Thomas Hammock said his team is gearing for the high altitude in Utah this weekend which can affect player conditioning. 

Sitting at 4,637 feet above sea level, Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium might provide a tough atmosphere for the Huskies.

“The big thing is pushing the hydration earlier in the week,” Hammock said. “Normally we push hydration 48 hours prior [to a game], but on Sunday [the coaches] started making sure [the players are] getting a certain amount of fluids.” 

Hammock said he is giving his players tips like hydrating frequently with not only water, but Gatorade. He learned this from his days in the NFL on how to accommodate to higher altitudes. 

The Utes are a nationally ranked program, currently sitting at 13. However, Huskies Head Coach Thomas Hammock said his team is prepared to compete against Utah.

“[Utah] is a very good football team,” Hammock said. “I’m looking at them defensively a lot. They’re strong at all three levels. We have our hands full. It’s gonna be a big challenge for us, and we’re excited about the opportunity”

Coming off a win against ISU, redshirt-sophomore cornerback Jalen McKie said he thinks the Huskies have a fair chance against the Utes. McKie did not play against the Utes last season. However, the Huskie defense held its ground against Utah, allowing 354 total yards.

“Utah is a very good football team,” McKie said. “Last season we had a pretty good game against them; I feel like we could come out with a little more fire.”

Coming off a win against the Illinois State University Redbirds, the Huskies will take on the University of Utah Utes at noon on Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah.