For many on the Griz football team, the start of the season is good for many reasons, not the least of which is not having to practice for months without a game.
"It's been a long summer, a long camp, and I'm ready to get into it. We've got some young guys I'm ready to see in action, and am ready to get back to hitting with the pads on when it actually counts, so I can't wait," says senior running-back Jordan Canada.
They don't start out with an easy opponent, as they travel to take on FBS foe Wyoming. While it'll be an exciting matchup for fans, not everyone on the Griz team concerns themselves with who they're playing to start.
"We're just excited to get going, it's the first game of the season, it really doesn't matter who the opponent is. It doesn't matter if it's FBS or FCS. We approach it like we would any other game, and we're just excited to get going," says senior DT Tonga Takai.
One area of concern for many is the offensive line, as the majority of the starters only saw limited action last year, but things do appear to be looking up.
"I'm not going to lie, the first couple padded practices of camp were pretty rough. Especially when we have such a dominant D-line. These guys are are young, and have to face that every day in practice, in what was definitely a learning experience for them. But it progressed as camp went on, and I'm excited to see what they'll do come Saturday. We have a lot of potential, and the runs got better during a couple scrimmages we had some big runs. You can't ask much more than that. There are holes there, we've just got to find a way to exploit them," says Canada.
However the team looks in their first game, coach Delaney is thankful of his four captains, all seniors who he says are generally quiet, and lead by example and results.
"That to me is so valuable, and we have that like I say in another half dozen seniors, and a half dozen juniors who've played a lot of football for us, so we're very fortunate in the leadership, and they've done all the right things you're supposed to do on and off the field, and now we just have to make sure we put ourselves in a place we have the opportunity to be successful," says head coach Mick Delaney.