"I think our kids are excited to play,'' Carpenter said. "They're excited about that challenge. They know how good Hurricane is. They follow the stats and all that stuff.
"The good thing about it when you're sitting around and hiding your face all weekend - I know I did last weekend - you start worrying, and you feel like you've disappointed the whole town. You want another chance to make some people proud of you. So far they've practiced like a team that's embarrassed, and I've tried to coach them like a team that's embarrassed.''
Hurricane's Taylor was also in the doldrums during his team's bye week, beating himself up for his play-calling during the consecutive losses.
"I haven't been happy,'' Taylor said. "Part of it's my fault with play-calling that's been stupid on my part. We've got two, three kids who are horses. I keep preaching all the time about the home run hitters we have, and I'm not getting them the ball enough.
"You look at Ryan Switzer. [George Washington] gave it to him 31 times when we played them. I have Zach Pate, and he only carries four, five times for me. That's just dumb on my part. I've got to remedy that and get the ball to Pate and [Steven] Handley. If we do that, they'll make things happen.''
Taylor realizes Capital's big-play offense usually goes through freshman quarterback Tyhree Pratt, who completes 63 percent of his passes and has thrown 10 touchdowns without an interception.
"They've got a heck of a quarterback, but it's not just him,'' Taylor said. "It's not all about one player. They've got some running backs who can run the ball, and the line does a decent job protecting him. He can make any offensive line look great. He's great out of the pocket, and when he starts to run downfield or gets close to the line of scrimmage, he can stop and throw it 60 yards and no one's near the guy [catching the ball].''
Capital senior safety Davon Tyson, who injured a shoulder last week, is not expected to play, which would snap his string of 26 straight starts.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.