SMITHFIELD (WPRI) — Bryant’s football team is building off the successful blocks of 2021.

“We definitely believe that taking what we learned from last year and all the successes and failures that we had going into this year will be very good,” said senior defensive lineman Jack Daly.

There’s a fine line between enjoying the success, and working towards the program’s goals.

“Yes we were successful but every young man on this team will tell you we didn’t accomplish our goal,” said Chris Merritt, Bryant’s head coach. “That’s been sitting in our gut the entire offseason. When you literally come six inches from a conference championship, it’s a bittersweet kind of a feel.”

A seven and four record in 2021 is something the Bulldogs aren’t hanging their hat on. There is no complacency among this group, especially now that they’re moving to the Big South Conference.

“It’s a big challenge for us, we’re going to be going on the road, taking charter flights to different places,” said Merritt. “I’m excited for the kids it’s going to be a good experience for them. There’s a lot of good challenges ahead for us for sure.”

The new opponents pose a challenge for the Bulldogs, but it’s also looked at as a great opportunity.

“I think the new conference is what we’re most excited for,” said Daly. “New competition, new people to face up against. We’ve been in the NEC for a while now my whole career we’ve been in the NEC, we’re just excited to play new people and get after it.”

Bryant opens their season on the road against FIU on Thursday, September 1st.