Yukon and Mustang will open the 2017 football season with the annual Bedlam matchup between the two rival schools at 7 p.m. Friday at Bronco Stadium.
Recently, Mustang has dominated the series against Yukon but the Millers are headed in a new direction under head coach Jeremy Reed.
Here are five reasons why each team will win Friday’s game:
- New coach Jeremy Reed
– Jeremy Reed was hired in January to get Yukon football back to winning again. The Millers have struggled mightily the past three seasons and with the new culture and mindset Reed has instilled in his players, look for Yukon to play much better against Mustang this year.
- New offensive system, flex bone
-With the hiring of Reed, Yukon will now shift from the spread offense they have been running over the past several years to the flex bone system. The flex bone system is a modern day version of the old wish bone and will confuse many opponents the Millers face this year. This could pose problems for the Broncos, especially with the young defense they will have in 2017.
- Special teams
-Reed made one thing very clear throughout the preseason camp, and that was Yukon will not get beat on special teams. Special teams are the forgotten facet of the game from time to time but the Millers look to make it one of their strengths. If Yukon can make a splash in the special teams game Friday night, that could give them an advantage over Mustang.
- Players are tired of losing
-If this senior class at Yukon loses this game at Mustang, they will go all four years without beating the Broncos. The Miller players are tired of getting whipped by their rival south of I-40, so look for Yukon to play with more intensity than they have in several years.
- Yukon has nothing to lose
-Everyone across the state expects Mustang to win this game. The Broncos are widely considered the better team and one of the best teams in the state in Class 6A-1, so all the pressure is on them. Yukon could use this to its advantage and play loose and relaxed. If the Millers can start fast Friday, they have a good chance to pull off the upset.
- Powerful offense
-Mustang’s offense is going to be one of the best in the state this season. They have all the ingredients to be a great offense, including a returning starting quarterback, running back, wide receivers and a monstrous offensive line. They could be too much for Yukon to handle Friday night.
- Offensive line domination
-The Broncos’ offensive line is up there with anyone in the state. They are big, powerful and most importantly, athletic. If Mustang’s offensive line starts to dominate the trenches and take over the game, it will be tough for the Millers to pull off the upset in this match up.
- Good experience
-Mustang has the experience over Yukon in the past three years. The Broncos have played in more big games, including the playoffs. The Broncos have a lot of returning starters from last year’s group that went to the 6A-1 semifinals and they will use that experience Friday against Yukon.
- Mustang knows how to win
-The Broncos have dominated this series over the past three years and they understand what it takes to win in this rivalry. There is not one player on Yukon’s roster that has beat Mustang in this rivalry. That could be a huge factor in this game Friday.
- Home turf
-This Mustang senior class has a chance to go 4-0 against Yukon. They aren’t going to want to see that streak snapped, especially on their home turf at Bronco Stadium. The Broncos will be ready to go, as will Yukon but Mustang will have the advantage with the home crowd behind them Friday night.