Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney football team begins a four-game season Saturday at MIAA-rival Pittsburg State.
The Lopers will host league member Missouri Western State (Nov. 21) while facing Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference members Chadron State (Nov. 7) and South Dakota Mines (Nov. 14). The NCAA has determined these games will count towards season and career records (coaches and players) as official statistics are being recorded. UNK is one of just nine Division II schools playing such games this fall.
Kickoff between the Lopers and Gorillas is set for 12:05 p.m. with the game being aired live locally on KSN TV. Fans can watch a free video stream via The MIAA Network with Jayson Jorgensen and Larry Cotnoir having the call on The River 93.1 FM and 106.9 FM. Finally, live stats are available as well.
Due to COVID restrictions Carnie Smith Stadium's capacity (11,910) was capped at approximately 25%, thus the game has been sold out.
UNK hasn’t tasted victory against Pitt since 1983, a span of 37 years and 12 games. Last fall on a rainy night at Cope Stadium the Gorillas out gained the Lopers by a 406-212 margin en route to a 37-14 win. Pitt went on to finish 6-5 and picked up a new head coach in the off season, former Toledo assistant Brian Wright. He was interim head coach at Division I Florida Atlantic in 2013, leading the Owls to four wins. UNK posted a 7-5 mark in 2019, earning the program’s fourth-ever postseason victory with a 50-33 decision against Winona (Minn.) State.
Both programs were hit hard by graduation, UNK having to replace 10 of 14 all-league players with the Gorillas having to replace four All-MIAA offensive linemen as well as two first-team picks on defense.
Head coach Josh Lynn and his staff welcome back four All-MIAA offensive players in quarterback TJ Davis (Colorado Springs), running back Dayton Sealey (Hastings St. Cecilia) and tackles Corey Hoelck (Giltner) and Kooper Reece (Valentine). This group was part of a 2019 rushing attack that recorded a school-record 4,035 rushing yards and 45 rushing TD’s.
UNK must replace inside linebacker Sal Silvio (325 career tackles) and NFL signee Hinwa Allieu (defensive line), among others. Senior safety Blake Bubak (Columbus), senior outside backer Travis Holcomb (Centura), and senior corner Terrell Williams (Miami) lead the way. The defensive two-deep features six newcomers including safety Jaylen Perkins (Omaha Northwest).
The 71st all-time meeting between the Lopers and Chadron (1-1) is set for 3 p.m. next Saturday at Cope Stadium. The Eagles visit RMAC-member South Dakota Mines on Saturday.
U. of Nebraska at Kearney
Assist. A.D/Media Relations