Football is back!!
Well, it’s been back from a couple weeks now, but Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium on the beautiful campus of Kansas State University will once again be filled with the sweet, sweet sounds of fans cheering, the Pride of Wildcatland playing, and yes, the grunts and pop of pads and the rumble of feet on the turf as young men hurl themselves at each other.
It’s football time in Manhattan, KS.
2016 ended in a way that hasn’t happened much since Bill Snyder returned to the sidelines in 2009, with a bowl victory. And a large chunk of the team that fought it’s way past Texas A&M returns to fight again in 2017.
Led by preseason All-Big 12 Team members Winston Dimel, Dalton Risner, Reggie Walker, and D.J. Reed, as well as second year QB Jesse Ertz, the 2017 Cats are looking for more than the 9-4 2016 campaign.
The Cats enter tonight ranked in the preseason for the first time since 2014, debuting in the Amway USA Today Coaches Poll at 19th and the Associated Press Poll at 20th. That 2014 team fought their way through some mid-season injuries to finish the season at 9-4, so this year’s squad is already a leg up.
There’s a lot of season ahead of us, but the road begins tonight as the Wildcats face off against the Bears of Central Arkansas. The Bears, an FCS program, finished the 2016 season at 10-3, with a win over FBS Arkansas State and with their last loss coming in the second round of the FCS playoffs to #2 Eastern Washington. They begin the 2017 season ranked 15th in the preseason FCS Coaches Poll released by the NCAA.
For more on tonight’s opponent, be sure and check out TB’s Kicking the Tires preview of the Bears.
Tonight’s game will primarily be available on ESPN3, but for all the pregame media info you need check Jon’s How to Watch post.
The goal for tonight is to get ahead big early so the starters can rest and let the young guys get some action, don’t dig too deep into the playbook, and generally shake off the rust from the offseason. While Central Arkansas will put up a fight, they are no North Dakota State or James Madison, and the Wildcats should be able to handle the Bears without too much difficulty.
So sit back, relax, and lets watch some purple on purple violence.