DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - It’s game day eve for Bethune-Cookman University.
The Wildcats host Alabama A&M to start their conference slate on Thursday. BC-U waited nearly two years for this moment.
"I’m very excited. I know the fans are excited. I think we’re going to fill out the stands tomorrow," junior receiver Marcus Riley said.
The Wildcats haven’t played at Daytona Stadium since October 2019. The school opted out of the football season last year, citing COVID safety reasons.
"We’re definitely hungry. We watched a lot of the FBS schools play a season. We watched SWAC [Southwestern Athletic Conference] schools play at spring season that we didn’t get to play in," Riley said.
Despite the unusual and extremely long offseason, BC-U players say they tried to keep things as normal as possible.
"We got the guys together. We were throwing routs on the field, doing some running and stuff like that to stay in shape. Just trying to keep the team camaraderie together," redshirt senior quarterback Shannon Patrick said.
The Wildcats have two games under their belt and are still looking for that first win.
"You watch both games and these guys have played from the first whistle. I don’t think anyone can watch this team on film and say they’re not finishers," BC-U head coach Terry Sims said.
Bethune-Cookman is more than ready to give their fans a show.
"We kind of got the jitters our first couple of weeks. Now we’re ready to show what we’re made of," junior cornerback Caleb Sutherland said.
This is BC-U’s first year in the SWAC. They were picked to finish fifth in the conference eastern division. But they’re hoping to shake things up.