SHAWNEE — Oklahoma Baptist has practiced enough. The Bison want to see if a year of planning, recruiting, weightlifting and drilling will pay off on autumn Saturdays.
“We're eager to see how we measure up to another opponent,” OBU football coach Chris Jensen said. “We want to take the field to see if we've made progress, see if we can compete.”
OBU will play its first varsity football game in 73 years at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, hosting Southwestern (Kan.). It's been two years since OBU officials said they were reinstating football, and it's been a journey for all involved since. All the must-dos it takes to put together an NAIA football program are almost done. Otherwise, a Bison football team is ready to play for the first time since before World War II.
“It takes a great deal of vision. You kind of start from no where,” Jensen said of starting — or restarting — a football program. “The key is to hire really good people, people who can help carry the load. I think I've done that. I've got a great staff, and we went out and found some really good players. We're eager to take the field.”
Oklahoma Baptist has 112 players on the roster, some who will play Saturday as starters or reserves. Others will redshirt.