NATCHITOCHES, La. — There are plenty of differences between Delta State and Northwestern State.
The most glaring is in the teams’ records. The Demons have yet to play a game while Delta State is off to a 1-0 start and ranked No. 2 in the latest NCAA Division II polls.
Some coaches feel teams who play an earlier game have an advantage over a team opening its season.
Third-year NSU coach Bradley Dale Peveto is not one of them.
“I think we’ll be the fresher team,” Peveto said. “The advantage they’ll have is they do have one game under their belt and there’s nothing like playing a game. In camp, everyone tries to simulate game situations as much as possible, but we’re looking at it as we’re fresh, we’re at home and we’re looking forward to playing a very good Delta State football team.”
The Statesmen (1-0) defeated Elizabeth City State, 28-21, in overtime Saturday.
The quick turnaround is something Peveto also said works to the Demons’ advantage.
“To play a game (on Saturday) and have to come back and play on Thursday is tough,” he said. “We’ve had all camp to get ready, plus we’ll get a couple of extra days to prepare for the next opponent, almost like an open weekend.”
While Delta State may not enjoy the Thursday night kickoff, Peveto does.
Although the Demons have not played a Thursday night game in the coach’s first two years, Peveto has remained a fan of the setup. Peveto, however, saw plenty of Thursday-night affairs as NSU’s defensive coordinator from 1996-98.
“I love Thursday night games,” said Peveto, who is 0-2 in season openers as the head Demon. “When our conference used to play the TV games on Thursday nights, I loved ‘em.”
Coupled with the season-opening date, Peveto expects a better-than-average turnout under the Thursday night lights at Turpin Stadium.
“You always have big crowds,” Peveto said. “Your students who commute come out, especially for the opener. We’ll get all the LSU faithful out on a Thursday night before they go to Dallas. I still wish we played more in the conference. I think they’re neat.”
Information from: The Times, http://www.shreveporttimes.com
Jason Pugh/The Times