Philadelphia: We are less than 48 hours away from the start of the 2019 College Football season and this year is going to be an exciting one as it will also mark the 150th Anniversity of College Football.
Jason Knapp is play by play announcer for CBS Sports Network and will be on the call of the first game of the 2019 College Football season which is Villanova Wildcats take on Colgate Raiders on Saturday August 24 at 12PM from Andy Kerr Stadium in Hamilton, NY.
Recently, Philly Sports Network had the opportunity to speak to Jason Knapp as he prepres to call the game.
How does it feel to call the first College Game of the 2019 season?
Jason Knapp “It is awesome to be Game 1 of Season 150! Kevin and I and our fabulous CBS Sports Network crew can’t wait to bring all of the excitement, action and just the scene of a college football game to those who love it like we do. I love being in the booth and hearing all the sounds through my headset, popping of the pads, QBs calling cadences, the bands performing, all of it, while it unfolds in front of us.”
Your initial thoughts on Villanova vs Colgate:
Jason Knapp “I think this is a compelling match-up on a lot of levels. First off, Colgate, is coming off such a tremendous season with that record setting defense, and a sneaky potent, low mistake offense. Can they replace some unbelievable play-makers on both sides of the ball and be as good right from the start of this season? Will be fun to find out. And for Villanova, just all the frustrations of the injury issues of the past couple of years. Can whoever steps in as the starting QB, give this team steady guidance in the attack? Will be really fascinating to see how the Wildcats look with new coordinators on both sides of the ball. I’m sure that is a bit problematic for Colgate in preparing in this game, in trying to figure out how exactly Nova will look with a new OC and DC.”
Your thoughts on the 2019 Villanova Wildcats?
Jason Knapp “I know the CAA has so much depth, but still strange to see the Wildcats ranked 9th in the league pre-season poll considering the potential this team seems to have. Again, the QB issue will be key. Crazy to think they had 7 QBs at their camp. I think new OC Chris Boden would like to settle in on someone, but would not surprise me to see multiple guys in the opener. The 3 listed on the depth chart(Smith, Ismail, Schetelich) all have differing skill sets. Will be curious to see how this plays out. Clearly that’s critical to the Cats success on offense. On defense, some key returners are there at CB and LB, but can the DL jump up to the next level. Derek Fisher has put up some good numbers, but some untested guys around him. If they can be good there, can only add to a Top 20 overall defense from last year. And finally, special teams, particularly field goal kicking, has to improve….Villanova 115th in Red Zone scoring last year out of 124 teams in FCS. Made less than 50% of their field goal tries. In this day and age of high scoring college football, you can’t waste scoring chances.”
What was the best game you ever called??
Jason Knapp “I call a lot of sports, have had the chance to do 4 Olympics so far, nothing beats those moments at the ultimate sporting event. As far as college football, goes a couple stand out to me as being memorable. Once did a game in few years back, where I said touchdown 14 times! Tulsa-Southern Miss, back and forth, wild play after wild play, 56-50 the final in regulation. Just incredible action.
Also did a D2 Playoff Game in Duluth MN one year, in mid Dec, at night. Game time Temp at the start was 6 degrees, with 20+ mile an hour winds. The game recap has a weather listing…the description:” bone chilling”. It was brutal. Got colder and colder with wind chills well below zero. I’ve never had more respect for players, coaches, fans and our TV crew that night, all performing their rolls in unbelievably difficult conditions. I called the game from the press box–I was basically sitting on a heater and still freezing, trying to make sure the words were coming out of my mouth clean, in between shivers. Came down to a 4th down stand to decide the game. 1 of those you never forget. Psyched to see the forecast for Hamilton is plenty warm!”
You can Follow Jason on Twitter at @JasonKnapp44
Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports