EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) — It is about to be Friday Night Lights in Evanston, and the Northwestern Wildcats are officially in game week mode as they prepare to open the season against Michigan State.

The Wildcats are returning just four starters on both sides of the ball, and will be led by senior quarterback Hunter Johnson.

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Johnson transferred from Clemson in 2018 and last started in 2019.

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“Just excited for the opportunity, just because, you know, it’s not guaranteed – and I’m just excited to go out and cut loose,” Johnson said.

“Now, this is my 16th opener, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned – no matter what happens in your preparation, you need to get prepared to adjust,” said Northwestern Wildcats Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald. “You don’t have, you know, the video understanding of how a team has prepared in the offseason. It’s definitely a challenge in the opener, and you know, one that as a coach, I think you look forward to.”

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The game Friday is set to be a revenge game for the ’Cats, whose only regular-season loss last year was to the Spartans.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff