West Texas A&M faces Chadron State at AT&T Stadium in DII Game of the Week
|Sept. 12||Chadron St. vs. West Texas A&M *|
|Sept. 19||West Alabama at Florida Tech|
|Oct. 3||Harding at Southern Arkansas|
|Oct. 17||Findlay at Ohio Dominican|
|Oct. 31||Shippensburg at Bloomsburg|
|* at Cowboys Stadium|
|All games are scheduled at 8 p.m. ET|
The game many Chadron State football fans have been looking forward to will take place Thursday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The stadium, known as Cowboys Stadium until two months ago, cost $1.15 billion to build, has a retractable roof, the world's largest column-free interior and the fourth largest high definition video screen, which hangs from 20-yard line to 20-yard line.
Regardless of where this game was played, it would be a big one because it is a rematch with fourth-ranked West Texas A&M, the team that knocked the Eagles, ranked 18th in the latest AFCA Top 25 poll, out of the playoffs a year ago. Although both were excellent then, both have reason to believe they may be even better this year.
Kickoff will be at 8 p.m. EST and will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network and streamed at NCAA.com.
West Texas A&M defeated Chadron last year in the first round of the playoffs. The Buffaloes went on to beat Ashland (Ohio) 33-28 and Colorado State-Pueblo 34-13 the next two weeks before falling to Winston-Salem of North Carolina 41-18 in the D II semifinals.
"They're a good football team and we're a good football team," Chadron State head coach Jay Long said Monday at the Eagles Booster Club luncheon. "We're excited to be playing them again in that atmosphere."
Long added he's been warned by football savvy individuals to make sure the Eagles spend considerable time getting acquainted with the stadium and its many amenities before the game kicks off. Otherwise, he's been told they may be so awe-struck that it will be difficult for them to focus on the game.
The coach is hoping the Eagles go into the game with a chip on their shoulder following last year's game.
Among the returnees are both quarterbacks. Chadron State 's Jonn McLain completed 32 of 49 passes for 331 yards and two touchdowns in last year's game while West Texas' Dustin Vaughan hit on 19 of 31 for 269 yards and two TDs.
Long said the Buffs also have some studs on defense. Among them is end Ethan Westbrooks, who is 6-4, 220 pounds, was selected the DII National Defensive Player of the Year last fall and is regarded as one of the division's top pro prospects this fall.
Long also said West Texas A&M's outside linebacker Taylor McCuller and safety Curtis Slater are special players.