Aug. 28, 2009

Courtesy of West Texas A&M Athletics

The 11th-ranked West Texas A&M Buffaloes (0-0, 0-0 LSC) kick off their 97th season of intercollegiate football as they open the 2009 football season Saturday, August 29, when they host top-ranked Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference-member Grand Valley State (0-0, 0-0 GLIAC). Kickoff at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium (cap. 20,000/FieldTurf) is set for 6:07 p.m. CDT.

THE RECORDS – This will be the season-opening game for both WT and Grand Valley State.

THE SERIES – Saturday’s match-up will represent the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

WT IN SEASON-OPENING CONTESTS – The Buffs stand at 46-51 all-time in season-opening football games, dating back to their initial contest in 1910 (a 6-0 victory over Canyon). On a positive note, WT is riding a four-game season-opening win streak which dates back to the 2005 season. Their last season-opening defeat came in 2005, when they dropped a 13-6 decision to East Central, while last season saw the Buffs defeat Mesa State, 23-20, in Grand Junction, Colo.

THE COACHES – WTAMU head coach Don Carthel, the winningest coach in WT football history, brings a record of 44-7 (.863) into his fifth season at the helm of the Buff football program and has a 13-year collegiate career mark of 90-53-1 (.629). He ranks atop all Buffalo football coaches in terms of winning percentage (min. 20 games coached) and stands third on the all-time WT victory list. Grand Valley State is coached by Chuck Martin (Millikin ‘90), who has a record of 61-5 in his sixth season as the Lakers’ head coach.

BUFFS RANKED IN PRESEASON POLLS – WT finds itself well represented in the various preseason national NCAA Division II polls. They are ranked 11th by the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association), 8th-USA Today and 12th-Lindy’s College Football. The Buffs concluded the 2008 season ranked among the top-10 in all three polls, as well.

NAT’L RANKING COMMON – Over the past four seasons under Coach Carthel, the Buffs have been a fixture in the national top 25. Dating back to Sept. 25, 2005 (fifth week), the Buffs have held a spot in the AFCA rankings for 48 consecutive weeks. Over the past four seasons, the Buffs’ have concluded the campaigns at No. 15 in 2005, No. 10 in 2006, No. 8 in 2007 and at No. 10 following the 2008 campaign.