New Orleans VooDoo defensive lineman Mike Alston looks past the San Antonio Talons’ one-win campaign during in the 2014 season.
Alston, instead, sees an Arena Football League franchise attempting to establish its identity, something he can relate to during his brief tenure in New Orleans.
“Their record is really not a reflection of the talent on their team,” Alston said. “Just like ours.”
The two teams, which will face each other Saturday night at the Alamodome, have a combined 13 losses. The VooDoo (1-6) has lost its last four; San Antonio (1-7) has lost back-to-back games.
One streak will end Saturday.
“Their only victory of the season has been against us, so we’re trying to get that back,” said Alston, who leads the VooDoo with four sacks.
While the VooDoo defense tries to find a way to halt San Antonio quarterback Shane Boyd (1,319 yards, 23 touchdowns, 10 interceptions), its offense will need to limit its own mistakes. Quarterback Kurt Rocco (1,358, 28 TDs, 11 interceptions) is coming off a four-interception performance — he also threw eight TDs.
During a 68-33 loss (April 18) to San Antonio at the Smoothie King Center, Rocco and Ryan Perrilloux combined for four interceptions. Rocco also had two fumbles. Meanwhile, Boyd threw for 200 yards and four scores.
His plays helped San Antonio outscore the VooDoo 42-13 in the second half, an aspect which Alston said the VooDoo are working to amend.
“After a loss, you get a chance to step back, evaluate yourself and figure out what you’ve done and what you need to improve on,” Alston said. “And most importantly, what I’ve seen is that we need to come out in the second half and keep a high level of energy and finish strong.”
Xavier Brown ranks second on the defense in sacks (three), followed by Michael Janac and Marlon Favorite with 1.5 sacks apiece. The VooDoo are tied for 10th in the AFL in sacks.
Rocco may enjoy greater success Saturday because of San Antonio’s struggling pass rush (nine sacks in 2014), no better or worse than the VooDoo.