The Saint Mary Spires football will look to bounce back on Saturday against a tough Kansas Wesleyan team.

The Spires are 1-3 coming off a 44-12 home loss to Sterling and look to try and stop a three-game skid.

Head coach Jay Osborne said the big focus at practice this week was playing assignment football.

“Assignment football,” Osborne said. “Missed assignments are hurting us. We are still working on team building, but our biggest focus is making sure the Spires know where to be and understand situational football.”

Osborne said that another area of focus at practice was in understanding that the critical plays that happen in the games are based on ball location, down and distance and alignment.

The Spires will have a tough challenge this week when they travel to Kansas Wesleyan.

The Coyotes enter the game at 5-0 and are currently ranked 11th in the NAIA Coaches’ Poll. They are the only remaining undefeated team in the KCAC. The Coyotes are winning by an average score of 61.4 to 15.5 including Kansas Wesleyan coming off their second straight 70-24 victory over Bethany and Ottawa.

Osborne said that two players to watch this week for the Spires will be Drew Cortez and Nick Holmes.

“Drew Cortez is our guy and we need his best every week,” Osborne said. “He will have some very good games this year. His play has improved as the season has gone on and that has been typical of his career each year. Nick Holmes has been very productive defensively for us and we need that to continue this week. Nick has five interceptions on the year and our opponent this week has only thrown one interception in their five games. Nick and the rest of the secondary will need to fly around at top speed.”

Other keys for the Spires on Saturday will be playing good defense, making plays in critical situations. Situations Osborne named includes late second quarter, early third quarter, third down, fourth down and special teams.

Kickoff between the Spires and Coyotes is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday.