Today, Dickinson State athletic director Roger Ternes informed me that the football team’s season opener against Rocky Mountain will be on Thursday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Badlands Activities Center.
First of all, I’m not totally in love with Thursday night college games. But, if you’re a Hawks fan, this is a good thing.
For one, the college plans on making this an EVENT since it’s going to be the first DSU game played with the BAC completed. Second, everyone knows how much of a suitcase college DSU is at the beginning of the year and playing on a Thursday means that pretty much every student is going to be around and able to go to this game. While you shut out a couple out-of-towners who typically make daytrips for the games, you’re not going to lose too many fans. Plus, if the high schools cooperate and keep that night fairly free of activities, which shouldn’t be a problem since it’s so early in their season, then you could be looking at a packed house of people to watch a DSU team which should be very good against a likely much-improved Rocky team that brings back quarterback Kasey Peters and has a handful of in-state Division I transfers.
From a game standpoint, playing at night is going to do nothing but help the Blue Hawks stop Peters, the All-American who was granted one last semester of eligibilty for some ridiculous reason that has to do with his old juco not caring about the rules. DSU defensive coordinator Arlan Hofland and linebackers coach Pete Stanton insist that if they would have played Rocky in decent weather (read, not 105 degrees) they would have been able to pass rush Peters more effectively. Playing at night when the weather is probably going to be perfect will do nothing but help DSU slow Peters down.
So, let’s see, we’re looking at a potentially great game pitting Rocky’s spectacular offense against DSU’s stalwart defense at night during a time of year when the weather is typically great in front of a likely packed house and, let’s call them rowdy, fans who’ve had much of the day to tailgate. That’s the kind of football I signed up to cover when I got into this business and it’s the kind of football everyone in Dickinson wants to see with the new stadium.