NATCHITOCHES - A matchup of Demons and Delta Devils seems ideal for Halloween, but Northwestern State coaches and players aren't willing to wait that long to tee it up in Turpin Stadium against Mississippi Valley State.
Kickoff is at 6 Saturday evening in the first-ever football meeting between the schools. For the Demons, it's the 23rd time to take the field against a Southwestern Athletic Conference opponent, with NSU having won seven of the last eight, all this century, although the most recent contest in 2009 was a 38-17 loss at Grambling that still sticks in the craw of NSU senior safety Jamaal White.
"I'm really excited about playing a SWAC team. We lost to Grambling in my freshman year and I want to use this game to get even," said White. "I watched Mississippi Valley against Southern and they have a real nice running back. We have to fight. It's a good game for us to measure ourselves before conference play begins."
Valley (1-2) won 6-0 at Southern last Thursday.
"Whenever you play a SWAC team, you know it's going to be well coached with a lot of really talented players, and this is no different. They went into Southern, and we all know how tough it is to win there, and they threw a shutout," said Demons head coach Bradley Dale Peveto.
"Demons and Devils, there is a rare matchup, but mascots aside, this is a good team coming into Turpin Stadium. We've got to bring our A-game on Saturday night to get to 2-2 and get headed into Southland Conference season with momentum."
NSU began workouts Tuesday afternoon in Turpin Stadium after meeting Monday night to review game tape of its 45-34 loss at Nevada and to be introduced to the scouting report on Valley.
The Demons had an explosive offensive day in Reno with 585 total yards. In the previous two games, NSU (1-2) relied on its defense and special teams as the offense struggled.
When we put all three phases together, we know we can be a very good team," said Peveto. "I've watched us make progress in all three phases. Now let's see if we can pull it together in the same night."