Today is Thursday, August 24, 2017

CU FOOTBALL -- Season opens tonight

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Michael Green / Steve Wampler photo

Phoenix hosts Lindsey Wilson
Picked near the bottom of the Mid-South Conference West Division, one would think Cumberland's players have a rather large chip on their collective shoulder headed into Thursday's season-opener vs. Lindsey Wilson.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Nokes-Lasater Field. Live radio coverage cranks up at 6:30 p.m. on WANT FM-98.9.

"I think we could have a good team," said CU coach Donnie Suber. "Our kids haven't paid any attention to the preseason stuff," Suber said, "I bring it up to try and motivate 'em -- but they're pretty much locked in on just getting through practice."

The Phoenix is looking to bounce back from an injury-plagued 3-8 record in 2015. Cumberland lost five straight to close out the year -- including a 55-27 loss at Lindsey Wilson in the season finale.

CU and Lindsey Wilson have met four times previously, with the Phoenix holding a 3-1 advantage in the series.

Cumberland is expected to rely on a bevy of young, fast skill players, including transfer QB Dezmon Huntley and Nashville-area running backs Kendall Johnson (McGavock) and Kimlee North (Overton).

Returning skill players include: WR Michael Green (McGavock) and tailback Austin Chaplin (Mt. Juliet).

The defense will be anchored by returners Nathaniel Jernigan (LB, Eagleville) and defensive end Justus Dauscha (M-Boro Blackman).

Fans are encouraged to avoid S. Cumberland St. and Tennessee Blvd. when heading to Thursday's game. With the Wilson County Fair taking place, traffic tends to back-up on Tennessee Blvd. and E. Baddour Pkwy.

Fans are encouraged to use E. Main St. to Park Ave. down to Harding Drive (where the main parking lot entrance is located) or take S. College St. off E. Baddour down to Knoxville Avenue and then Gulf Avenue to Harding.

The main parking lot entrance sits on the east side of Nokes-Lasater Field.

CU is also hosting Faith and Family Night prior to the contest, with a pregame concert from Christian artist Derek Minor and a devotional by former Tennessee Titan Dave Ball at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $10, $8 for senior citizens. Kids 10U are free.

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222-0, Cumberland University football, Dezmon Huntley, Donnie Suber, Lindsey Wilson, Michael Green, Nokes-Lasater Field, Phoenix
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