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Thursday March 21, 2019
NMU Football Team Preparing For Big Texas Battle

SAN ANGELO, Texas---The Northern Michigan University football team had quite an "adventure" just getting to Texas for this weekend's season opening game, using the words of freshman kicker Dalton Ray to describe it, anyway.

And now the Wildcats are hoping that the extra time to get here is worth it come Saturday night. NMU opens the 2017 season against the Angelo State Rams under what is expected to be hot (by U.P. standards), sunny, and humid conditions.

So, what was the "adventure" getting here?

Well, the Wildcats left the Superior Dome Thursday morning on a bus to Milwaukee.

The team flew to Dallas, and then were supposed to take a bus the final fours to San Angelo.

That did happen. Eventually. After a more than two hour delay, that is. So, it was a rather late arrival for the weary 'Cats early Friday morning.

But there wasn't much complaining about any of that as the team took to the LeGrand Stadium turf Friday night for a short practice before Saturday night's game against the Rams. The Wildcats have an almost entirely new team this year, starting at the quarterback position in the wake of the graduation of Shaye Brown.

The Wildcats also have a new head coach, with Kyle Nystrom taking the reigns after most recently coaching at Ferris State University.

Nystrom is joined by his father, Buck, who is in his third stint as an assistant coach at NMU. Also on the staff is Jace Daniels, an Escanaba native who played in the Canadian Football League after spending time with Tampa Bay of the NFL.

The Wildcats open their season against a team that already has its season opener under its belts. Angelo State beat McKendree (Tex.), 42-2, last weekend.

NMU and Angelo State faced off in the Superior Dome last season, with the Rams winning in triple overtime. But as Angelo State Coach Will Wagner put it on Friday, last year's game film won't be much help in preparing for this week's game, since both teams are so young.

Nystrom says that he wants his team to limit its mistakes Saturday, and "own the field".

In fact, symbolic of that, at the end of Friday's practice, he had all of his players and coaches, 55 men strong, join hands and walk the 100-yard length of the LeGrand Stadium field.

Saturday night's game starts at 7:00 ET/6:00 CT. You can hear all of the action live on WUPT-FM (100.3 The Point) and WCHT-AM (NewsTalk 600).

The broadcast starts 30 minutes before kickoff. You can also tune in on-line on "The Point" page at www.radioresultsnetwork.com, and click "LISTEN LIVE".

Click the thumbnails in the ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS box above to see photos and video clips from the Wildcat practice, including the team's 100-yard walk. Click the "AUDIO" links to listen to interviews with NMU players DJ Williams, tight end Dan Van Effen, and NMU Coach Kyle Nystrom.

Also, listen to our interview with Escanaba High School graduates Riley Picord and Brendan Sliva by clicking the babove AUDIO button.

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