The Annual Homecoming Game for the Weber State University Wildcats will be an emotional one for many of the players.
For 17 Wildcats, this will be their final homecoming game.
At the forefront for the team is senior quarterback, Jadrian Clark.
After beating Sacramento State in last year’s Homecoming Game, Clark is looking to notch another homecoming win in his belt. This is Clark’s third season as the starter — he first joined the team in 2012.
“This is my fifth year here, and its been a long time coming,” Clark said. “We’re 2-2 overall, 1-0 in the conference and all of our goals are ahead of us. We’re just super excited to hit the stretch of Big Sky games and hopefully come out on top.”
One of the biggest changes for the Wildcats in the Homecoming Game this year will be the change in attendance.
Last season, the ‘Cats averaged about 6,000 fans per game for any given home game.
The only outlier was for the Homecoming Game against Sacramento State — there were 9,241 fans who came to cheer on Weber State.
When more people are in the stands and are cheering, the atmosphere and emotions change for the players on the field.
“It gets us energized and gets the adrenaline going when you’ve got the fans screaming for you and cheering for you to win,” Clark said.
One of the issues that has plagued the Wildcats throughout the 2016-17 season has been the small, repeated mistakes.
When a team makes small mistakes consistently, they eventually snowball into game-changing mistakes that can swing the game against Weber State.
Senior running back Cory Thomson has seen first-hand what can happen when the team makes these mistakes.
“I just have to keep doing what I’m doing and then fix the little things,” Thomson said. “We [have to] get to the game and be almost perfect if we can be.”
Senior linebacker Tre’von Johnson also added that the team needs to be practicing as if it was a real game situation.
“Getting things right in practice is a key component in getting things right in the game,” Johnson said.
This matchup against Portland State is one that could pose a challenge for Weber State.
The Vikings are 2–3 on the season with an average of 31.4 points scored per game while allowing an average of 39.6 points per game.
Both the Wildcats and the Vikings are coming off of home game wins heading into this matchup.
While Weber State holds the series record of beating Portland State 20 of the 34 times they have played, the Vikings have topped the ‘Cats in the last two match-ups.
“Portland State is going to be a good opponent,” Clark said. “We’re going to have to prepare well and play a really good game. We believe in ourselves, and we think we can win.”