Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - It's opening night all over again for the Houston Baptist University football program.
And this time, it's for real.
After playing a seven-game developmental schedule last year, HBU's start-up FCS program will host McMurry Saturday night in the season-opening game for both teams.
The developmental season did not count toward any of the Huskies' eligibility, but did count toward each player's NCAA five-year clock, so all true freshman who played last year are redshirt freshmen this season. HBU's 3-4 record and statistics also were unofficial.
HBU announced earlier this week it has extended head coach Vic Shealy's contract through the 2017-18 academic year. Now his team is ready for its first season in the Southland Conference.
Redshirt freshman running back B.J. Kelly led HBU in rushing yards (539) and all-purpose yards (770) and tied for the team lead with five touchdowns last season. Sophomore Jonathan Fleming is scheduled to start at quarterback.
On defense, redshirt freshman linebacker Garrett Dolan led the Huskies with 52 tackles, while redshirt freshman safety Taylor Thompson had four interceptions.
HBU's new Husky Stadium seats 5,000, all on one side.
McCurry, a Division II program, is coming off a 3-8 season.