The college football season kicks off in Des Moines tonight as Drake plays host the Grand View. Coming off back-to-back Pioneer Football League championships the Bulldogs take an experienced defense into the new season but coach Chris Creighton says there are always a lot of question marks in a season opener.
“Especially a first game when you just don’t for sure what you’re going to get from the opposition,” Creighton says. He says they’ve watched film on Grand View, but the coaches have had a long time in the offseason to tinker with what they are doing.
Creighton says the coaches and players will need to be ready to make adjustments, but he says it is impossible to be ready for everything and they just have to do the best with what they know from last year.
Creighton says the Bulldogs are opening against a talented opponent, and says it wouldn’t surprise him is this is their most talented team. Grand View opens the season ranked in the NAIA top 20 and coach Mike Woodley’s team hopes to make another run at the national playoffs.
“I know it’s their best gate at Drake, we bring a ton of fans over there and our people are excited about playing a division one school,” Woodley says. He says as long as they keep the game competitive, it’s a good opening game for Drake to play.
Woodley has been working on building depth so the Vikings can withstand a brutal schedule. After tonight the Vikings play three of the teams ranked in the top five in the NAIA pre-season poll in the first five weeks of the season.
“That depth is critical because you are always going to have some dings…you’ve got to have guys who can step in there and to the job that that starter did,” Woodley says.
With the temperature expected to reach the mid-90s Drake officials have moved kickoff back one hour to seven o’clock.