The Tribe did its best to quickly file away Thursday's disappointing season-opening defeat at N.C. State and shift its focus to this Saturday's game at Hampton University, which W&M owns a 6-0 all-time record against.
W&M needed its best performance against a Wolfpack team picked to finish fourth of seven teams in the ACC Atlantic Division. The Tribe didn't get close to that, reflected in the 48-14 outcome, although there were positives that the final score didn't indicate.
"Now you have to turn around and take ownership and work at it," Laycock said Tuesday.
Laycock liked the energy his team displayed in Sunday evening's practice, an encouraging sign after W&M was outgained 521-168 by N.C. State in total offense.
Tribe players believe W&M's two touchdown drives, one to even the score at 7 and the other to narrow a Wolfpack lead to 28-14 early in the second half, are more indicative of the team's potential than the lopsided score.
"After the game, we were all pretty upset," said W&M offensive lineman Chris Durant, a redshirt junior. "The fifth-year guys were pretty sad, but I think we just have to move on. We have to put it behind us. It was last Thursday. We're focused on Hampton now. We're moving forward. We don't want to linger on that too much."
A good omen for the Tribe: Past teams have embraced much the same outlook Durant offered. Under Laycock, W&M is 16-7 following season-opening losses and 10-3 since 2000.
An even better sign: After W&M's last season-opening defeat, a 34-9 loss at Virginia Tech, the Tribe responded with a 42-14 win at Hampton.
"We looked at the film and saw what didn't go right for us and we saw the things we can build upon," W&M senior defensive end Peyton Gryder said. "I think now we're past it. We have to leave that in the past. We can't change it. All of our attention is on Hampton."
The good things the Tribe saw on film included the play of redshirt freshman free safety Corey Parker, the STATS FCS Freshman of the Week. The Haymarket product recorded a team-high 15 tackles to go along with an interception that ended an N.C. State drive in the second quarter.
Three W&M freshmen (linebacker Arman Jones, safety Isaiah Laster, defensive end Gavin Johnson) played Thursday, marking the second time in the last 14 years at least three true freshmen have earned playing time in a season opener. Twelve other redshirt freshmen made their collegiate debuts for the Tribe, including linebacker Nate Atkins, who had 12 tackles.
Gryder said, "It's very nice to see some young guys get in there and get their feet wet and show they can handle a little pressure, too."
Although William and Mary didn't help its cause with two interceptions by quarterback Steve Cluley and eight team penalties, Laycock believes the Tribe may have simply been overmatched in some areas, including against N.C. State's offensive line, which yielded 259 total rushing yards.
"Especially our tackles," Laycock said. "We probably just got overmatched in there and it just wasn't anything we could do about it."
"We have to treat every game the exact same," Gryder said. "There can't be a mindset of, 'Oh, it's Hampton. Let's take it easy.' That's just a recipe for disaster. We're attacking this week very hard. We're still 0-1. We're winless, just like they are. This week we're fighting for our first win, both ways, and it's going to be a good battle. I'm excited."
Holtzman can be reached by phone at 757-298-5830.