The Wildcats faced the Georgia State Panthers on Aug. 27 in the earliest start to NCAA Div. I football since 2003.
Both teams will play their next game on Sept. 6., but the difference between the two teams is that this will be the Wildcats’ only break between games for the rest of the 2014 season.
The bye week, normally made up of 14 days, is an essential part of the NCAA and NFL football seasons that puts a week into a team’s schedule where the team does not play a game. This break allows teams time to rest players in the heat of a rigorous and tiring football season.
With only a 10-day break, the Wildcats will have to wait until after their last game at Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 15 for their bye week. By that time, the team will have played straight through their 12-game schedule.
A mix of a tough opponents and a limited time to recover injured and fatigued players will make it tough for the team to make a big first impression in their first year in the Southland Conference. The ‘Cats haven’t had a losing season since 2005 and will need to be at full strength to compete in the conference against teams such as Lamar, who is already 1-0 after defeating Grambling State and Central Arkansas.
If there’s one thing that can ruin a team, it’s fatigue. The team will need to make constant adjustments in practice and in games to avoid injuries and tiring out key players. However, if the team can stay healthy, while using the extra practice time they have to get better, it could make all the difference against a team that’s coming into a game off a bye week.