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College football teams across Colorado countdown to kickoff

Coaches from Colorado, Colorado State, Northern Colorado and School of Mines chat about the excitement surrounding the return of football to campuses.

DENVER โ€” With less than 10 days until kickoff for college football, coaches from the Colorado Front Range teams gathered to discuss their excitement for the return of pigskin commotion back to college campuses.

Karl Dorrell, head coach of the University of Colorado, said the excitement is palpable at practice.

"It is, it is. I had to leave practice early today and I didn't want to because practice was going so well," he said. "You can tell the energy has picked up, even though they have tired legs and they just got out of training camp. But I think there's that light at the end of the tunnel, that they can see that they're getting ready to play a game in a week's time."

That game, a Friday night home opener against Northern Colorado, will be the first game in front of any fans at Folsom Field since 2019.

The same can be said for Canvas Stadium at Colorado State, which is hosting South Dakota State under the Friday Night Lights on September 3. Head coach Steve Addazio said that atmosphere is what he's most excited for. 

"It's been great to be back in preseason, real preseason camp. Just excited to get back on the field in the stadium and feel the presence of the fans. That's what it's all about, the pageantry of college football, and experiencing all of that," he said. "We can't wait for it."

>>Video below: CSU head coach Steve Addazio excited for season to kick off

A few teams on the front range are getting their first crack at four downs in two full years. 

New Northern Colorado head coach Ed McCaffrey will finally trot his Bears into meaningful minutes, after leading them through virtual workouts and meetings since his hire in December 2019.

"I'm really proud of the young men in our program for sticking with it and for working hard through a lot of adversity, but it was frustrating," he said.

Division II darling Colorado School of Mines enters the preseason poll at No. 10, two spots behind their final ranking in 2019. The Orediggers also took a full season off in 2020 due to COVID-19, long enough to create an appetite for meaningful football.

"Kids are hungry, coaches want to coach, and our fans are jacked up," head coach Gregg Brandon said. "Guys are getting into the mode that 'hey, we're playing now, let's go!'"

The Orediggers will be the first of the four to take the field, hosting Western Oregon Thursday September 2 at 6 p.m.

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