HUGO, Oklahoma (KTEN)- You’d be forgiven for not recognizing Hugo at first glance this season.

“We went from spread to splitback veer," head coach Krystopher Gross said. "That’s night and day. We’re turning loose as many people as we can and make you pick which speed demon you’re going to cover."

But as fast as the Buffaloes will be this year, execution will be key.

“We got to have our head screwed on right, know our assignments, got to know how to read," Gross said. "We’re about to play some option football.”

Hugo returns just four starters on each side of the ball, but they certainly don’t lack talent in the backfield.

“LaMarcus Davis will be back in the backfield for us. He was a little bit last year but predominantly he was there the year before. Heck, he rushed for 1,800 yards as a sophomore," Gross said. "And Da’Shon Simms, we call him quadzilla. Looks like a miniature Herschel Walker. Kid is bought in and we expect him to get a lot of touches."

Hugo’s last three seasons have ended in first round playoff exits. And the Buffaloes are sick of it.

“We’re looking for revenge," Hugo senior lineman Ethan Sparks said. "We want to win a playoff game. Take it as far as we can. Just revenge."

In order to do so, Gross said his team’s mindset must be right.

“We’re going to have to learn how to play in week 11," Gross said. "Teams that aren’t used to it, they get to week 10 and they’re like ‘hey’, and it’s over with. No, you got to get used to the fact that week 11 is when your season actually starts."

And as the season approaches, the message among Hugo’s players is clear.

“Stick together and work hard every day," Hugo senior receiver/defensive back Da'Marion Ramsey said. "Whatever everybody else is saying, don’t matter. Just stick together."

Hugo will open its 2023 season this Friday Aug. 25 at home against Dickson.