JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Red Wolves football fans are already howling with excitement for Saturday's season opener.
Preparations for the game continued Friday with the Arkansas State University band practicing, the tents going up in Tailgate Town and tailgaters arriving in Jonesboro.
Joel Thomas, his wife and ASU's two biggest fans on four legs got front row seats at Friday's band practice.
"Got the band pre-day show," said Thomas, a class of '91 graduate.
This family also drove a long way to see it.
"Live in Silver Springs, Texas," Thomas said. "It's 380 miles to the southwest from here. We are season ticket holders as well."
They plan to make all but one home game.
"We usually make one road game a year, too," Thomas said.
Few things can keep Thomas away from Red Wolves football.
"I love college football," Thomas said. "Friends here in town, the band, just the whole atmosphere of college football."
He said there is a lot to look forward to this season.
"Should be a good year," Thomas said. "Fourth bowl in a row, a new coach, defense should be awesome with Qushaun Lee. He's my favorite player."
As far as tailgating goes, Thomas said they keep it simple.
"We're kind of old and boring," Thomas said. "Basically we just eat and play with bean bags, watch the band practice and just talk to friends."
When he cannot tailgate and watch his team in Red Wolf country, Thomas is still a die-hard fan at home in Texas.
"I have a den at home that we call the 'Wolf Den,'" Thomas said. "It's covered with Red Wolves stuff. Got a red pool table, too."
For those planning to drive to Tailgate Town or other spots near Centennial Bank Stadium, the Jonesboro Police Department offered some reminders: drive slow and with caution, especially on Johnson and Red Wolf Blvd, and plan for extra travel time since traffic is always heavy around that area.
For those not going to the game, the department advised drivers to avoid the area.
Before fans fill the bleachers, Thomas has message for his team.
"Beat the Bobcats!," he said. "One game at a time and end of the year, go bowling again. Four-peat."
Kickoff is Saturday at 6 p.m.