The No. 6 ranked Colorado State University-Pueblo Thunderwolves will travel to Greeley, Colo. on Saturday to open the season against the Northern Colorado Bears of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.
The meeting will mark the first time CSU-Pueblo has faced a Division I school, and will be the first meeting between the two since 1976.
The two Colorado schools faced off annually between 1964 and 1976, with UNC earning victories in all but two contests, the other two ended in ties.
The Thunderwolves are looking to turn things around against the Bears and continue their success from last season, in which they finished with a 12-1 record, earning the first playoff victory in school history.
Chris Bonner will be the new general under center for the Thunderwolves, taking over at the quarterback position for recently graduated Ross Dausin. Bonner is a transfer from Grossmont Junior College in San Diego, Calif., where he passed for nearly 2,500 yards and 19 touchdowns last season.
Bonner will have several offensive weapons returning as starters for the Thunderwolves, including senior wide receiver Josh Sandoval, who needs only one reception to make 100 in his career. Sandoval currently sits second in school history in receptions, trailing the mark of 127 catches set by John Trahan.
The Bears, who began their 2013 season with a 31-10 victory over Langston (Okla.) behind senior quarterback Seth Lobato, will be coming into the game on Saturday carrying a five game winning streak.
Lobato is fourth all-time in UNC history in passing yards, racking up over 5,600 yards so far in his career, including a 314-yard performance last week.
Looking to stop Lobato and company for the Thunderwolves will be a revamped defense that includes four new linebackers. The Thunderwolves will be returning starters on the defensive line in Darius Allen and Tony Campton, and will also be bringing back defensive backs C.J. Roberts, Jarrod Lacy and Nick Henderson.
Thunderwolves head coach John Wristen will begin his sixth season with a record of 43-14, and is seeking his sixth consecutive victory to open a season, which would be tied for the second-longest streak in school history.