BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — The Jackrabbits return 19 of 22 starters from last year’s squad, as they’re hoping to be even better this season.

The three starters were big pieces, including tight end, Tucker Kraft and defensive linemen, Caleb Sanders and Reece Winkelman.

Despite their loss, the jackrabbits still have plenty of returning power, as they get ready for their first game on August 31.

“I’m obviously super excited to get back out here in front of the fans, to celebrate the National Championship with them and whatever else. Ultimately, I’m ready to play ball against other guys and my roommates and other teammates. We’re very excited,” SDSU offensive lineman Mason McCormick said.

“I can’t wait to show what this team’s got. Everybody keeps talking about last year’s team, but this year’s team can probably be even better. Getting to play on a Thursday night, at a packed house at Dana J., it’s going to be very exciting for us,” SDSU senior cornerback DyShawn Gales said.

SDSU will open the season on Thursday, August 31 against Western Oregon. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m.