Several intangibles could be at work Saturday which could result in a "Code Blue" as the Northeastern A&M Golden Norsemen open the 2012 football season at 7 p.m. on Robertson Field by hosting the Scotties of Highland (Kan.) Community College.
First intangible would involve the remnants of Hurricane Issac bringing heavy amounts of rain to Robertson Field.
While that remains to be seen, both coaches are dealing with the intangible of how their respect teams are going to perform.
NEO head coach Dale Patterson must wonder about how his team will play in the first game of the regular season.
"Our approach is that we just try to control what we can control," Patterson said. "Going into the first game, I always believe as a coach that the game is ‘lost and not won.'
"By that I mean that usually in the first game, the amount of turnovers by either team determines the outcome," Patterson said. "What we’ve stressed all week the importance of execution by our offense, defense and special teams the way they are supposed to be run."
First-year Highland head coach Ryan Held has something a little different to focus on as his Scotties take the field.
Highland suffered a 21-7 loss last Saturday to Fort Scott, Kan., in the Kansas Jayhawk Conference opener for both years at Highland’s Kessinger Field.
The Scotties are still trying to discover themselves offensively after netting only 35 yards rushing against Fort Scott. They also had only 37 yards passing.
Sophomore tailback Brian Handley (5-10, 205 from Montecello, Ark.) rushed for 41 yards on nine carries.
Last season Handley led the Scotties with 321 yards on 95 carries for a 3.3 average-per-carry.
Freshman Tre Root (5-8, 165 from Olathe, Kan.) will backup Handley at running back.
Shunquez Stephens (6-4, 245 from Flowery Branch, Ga.), who originally had been recruited by Alabama State, starts at quarterback for Highland.
He completed only one pass for 20 yards in his debut.
Sophomore Cody Trimble (6-1, 205 from Blue Rapids, Kan.) is a backup signal caller after completing 19 of 60 passes for 228 yards and one touchdown with five interceptions a year ago. He added 63 yards on 32 carries.
The Highland receiving corps is led by sophomore Cliff Robinson (5-10, 205 from Atchison, Kan.). Last year Robinson caught four passes for 40 yards and one TD.
Although the Scotties average 293 pounds across their interior offensive line, right guard Austin Thomas (6-1, 275 from Whiting, Kan.) is the lone returning sophomore.
A bright spot for the Scotties was the fact that its defense allowed only 283 total yards and did not surrender an offensive touchdown.
The Scotties defensive front is comprised of four freshmen.
Led by sophomore linebackers Terrell Jordan and Tevin Hanley, the Scotties defense recovered two of three fumbles by the Greyhounds and recorded three quarterback sacks for a total of minus-41 yards.
Jordan (6-0, 200 from Atchison, Kan.) made 11 unassisted tackles and seven assists while Hanley (5-11, 210 from Riverdale, Ga.) finished with eight solos, eight assists and one interception from the middle linebacker spot.
Sophomore strong side linebacker Dalton Marcotte (6-0, 190 from Eskridge, Kan.) had six solo tackles and five assists with a fumble recovery.
Veteran Marwin Evans (6-1, 190 from Milwaukee, Wis.) and freshman Contereze Pierce (5-9, 170 from Jonesboro, Ga.) start at cornerbacks for the Scotties.
Pierce scored the only Highland points against Fort Scott with a 90-yard interception return in the first quarter.
Sophomore Brandon King (6-2, 205 from Alabaster, Ga.) is joined by freshman Peyton Doramus (6-3, 195 from Haysville, Kan.) at the safety positions for Highland. Doramus, a converted receiver, recorded 11 total tackles in the loss to Fort Scott.