By Jared Fields, Sports Editor
If last week’s game against Central Oklahoma was a test for head coach Chris Thomsen and his team, then Saturday’s away game against Northeastern State will be like a major exam.
This week more pressure is on since the outcome of the game will count toward the team’s conference record. Even though Central Oklahoma is in the Lone Star Conference, the game counted as the Wildcats only non-conference game of the year.
Northeastern State comes off of two straight losses to begin the year, but coach Thomsen said the team’s record is misleading.
“They played two top-20 teams their first two games,” Thomsen said. “Arkansas State had to come from behind with an 80-yard drive just to win, and Kingsville last week was close until the fourth quarter.”
Northeastern has talent on the field. One wide receiver had two touchdown catches, one for 58 and another for 79 yards, and the team’s defense has allowed less than 100 yards a game rushing on average.
“Their defense is very sound, and offensively they have a couple of receivers and a running back that are really good,” Thomsen said. “It’s going to be a heck of a battle.”
Against Central Oklahoma, the Wildcat defense allowed five touchdowns and 455 total yards, but the defense had to play more than needed because of five offensive turnovers.
“I don’t think our defense played bad this weekend, but if we just put it all together, then we’ll be all right,” sophomore inside linebacker Cody Stutts said. “From a defensive standpoint, they say that most teams step up the most between week one and week two; I think that,”
The Wildcats play Northeastern State on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Tahlequah, Okla. The next home game will be Saturday Sept. 17 against Texas A&M-Commerce at 6 p.m.