The Northern Colorado Bears begin the 2011 season on Saturday with a game against the Lindenwood Lions. This will be a matchup between a Division I FCS team in Northern Colorado and a Division II team in Lindenwood. The Lions are currently 1-2 against FCS teams in their history.
Lindenwood is making the transition from the NAIA to Division II, which could prove tough. They won't be able to average the 52.9 points they did over the last two seasons. They'll also need to replace eight starters, including quarterback Philip Staback.
The Bears went 3-8 during the 2010 season with wins against Adams State (season opener, 54-0), Idaho State (Week 3, 35-21) and a season-ending victory over the Portland State Vikings (35-30), former team of current Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas.
This season, Bears head coach Earnest Collins surprised some by naming a new starting quarterback, Seth Lobato. He played sparingly in 2010 for the Bears while Dylan Orms threw for over 2,000 yards and 15 touchdown passes. However, the move to Lobato came as a result of a move to a spread, no-huddle offense this year.
Game time is set for 1:35 p.m. MT on Saturday, Sept. 3. The toughest match of the season should come the next week when they face the Colorado St. Rams.