Last season, the Montana Tech football team opened the 2021 season at home — it's first game in nearly two years and the first for head coach Kyle Samson — with a narrow two-point loss to a then-No. 18 Eastern Oregon team.
That defeat sparked a two-game skid that then saw the Orediggers then battle to get to .500 by the end of October.
Tech now is eager for a season-opening rematch with the Mountaineers in La Grande, Oregon, on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Mountain Time.
"It's a new year, you put the past behind you," said center Max Anderson, one of four returning starting offensive linemen for Tech. "You can learn from it but you either win or you learn, you don't lose. Whatever we got to do to beat these guys I believe we can do it."
Tech ended the 2021 season at 5-5, including a sweep over a ranked Rocky Mountain College program. It was nevertheless a disappointing finish and Tech will take on an EOU squad that also ended 2021 in disappointment after dropping six straight games after winning its first three.
Saturday's opener in La Grande will pit two teams against each other who are both determined to prove they're more than last seasons records indicate.
"We know it's gonna be a heck of a challenge," said Samson. "Coach (Tim) Camp does a great job, they've got a great team out there. But definitely we want to avenge the loss we had last year and our goal is to start off with a win on Saturday night."
FRONTIER CONFERENCE WEEK 1 SCHEDULE
MSU-Northern at College of idaho
Montana Western at Carroll College
Rocky Mountain College at Southern Oregon
Montana Tech at Eastern Oregon