The 2017 campaign for the Minnesota State University- Mankato Football team starts on Thursday with a road matchup at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota.
Senior Safety Corey Brent returns after leading MSU in tackles with 54 in 2016. He says it was hard offseason after going 8-3 last year and missing out on the playoffs.
“That 8-3 really stung with is. So, I know there were a lot more guys that stayed in the summer. A lot more dedicated. So that helped out and everyone was together. We had great chemistry, great chemistry with the young guys. A lot of young guys, a lot of young guys usually don’t stay up here, this is the first time in a while you get a lot of freshmen, lot of sophomores staying up here.”
Last year MSU went 4-1 in road games, the lone loss came on final second field goal that downed the Mavericks 34-31at Winona State on October 1. Before that loss, MSU had won 24 straight road games.
The talent is there, but the defense is aiming to improve on last year after holding opponents to 23.1 points per game and forcing 22 turnovers.
“I’ve been saying it and I’ve said it before. The talent on the 2014 team and this team is very similar. The structure and how we are laid out on defense is very similar. So, that’s what is exciting and it really excites me.”
As for the Marauders, they went 1-10 in 2016 and averaged just 10.5 points per game. MSU is 4-0 all-time versus the University of Mary.
Kickoff on Thursday is at 6 p.m. You can catch the game on KTOE AM 1420 FM 102.7 and KTOE.com.