Murfreesboro, TN - The McNeese State football team opened up its season Thursday night with a win over Middle Tennessee State - the program's third victory over an FBS opponent. It's always a good thing when you can set the tone early and now the Pokes carry that momentum over into next Saturday's home opener against McMurry University.
McNeese had 24 unanswered points against the Blue Raiders, highlighted by a running game that included nearly 300 rushing yards. Despite coming out of the game briefly, starting quarterback Cody Stroud still went 10 of 17 for 139 yards and a touchdown.
One game down and many more to follow, but head coach Matt Viator was definitely pleased with the way his guys played.
"It felt good, we did a lot of things good," Viator praised. "It was exciting, we played really hard, and good attention to detail, I thought. I thought the preparation was good, our focus was good."
Marcus Wiltz, junior running back, agreed: "It was real big for this McNeese football program, we wanted to go out there and make a statement."
Cody Stroud, junior quarterback, is happy to see MSU get a bit of the spotlight: "It is good for the program, it puts our name out there a little bit, it gets people's attention, it's always great to start 1-0."
"It's big time," Tyler Bolfing, junior quarterback, enthused. "Because we talk about all the time how we want to start off the season and starting it off 1-0 was great, especially beating a Sun Belt school."
Guy Morgan, junior cornerback, says; "It shows us we can compete with anybody and it gives us a lot of motivation for the rest of the season."
This week the Pokes prep for their home opener against McMurray State. McNeese will kickoff at 7 p.m. at Cowboy Stadium. KPLC will be out there live at 6 p.m. to preview the match-up.