(Radio Iowa) -- A confident Upper Iowa football team opens the season with a visit to Bemidji State in Northern Sun Conference play Thursday night (Sept. 1, 2016).

The Peacocks finished 6-5 overall in 2015, their third-straight winning season. The program only had a total of three winning seasons between 1966 and 2013.

“Our guys think when they go into a ballgame they have a chance to win and it does not matter who we are playing”, said head coach Tom Shea, who's starting his eighth season at Upper Iowa. “In the past when we first got here is was more like let’s hope we can get a win.”

Senior quarterback Dimitri Morales returns after passing for more than 2,200 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. The California native suffered a season-ending injury in a week eight victory over Winona State in 2015.

“He can read defenses and he throws so doggone quick," Shea said of Morales. "He can get rid of the ball quick and when you do that it makes everybody’s job a little bit easier.”

Bemidji State is coming off a 7-4 record in 2015.

The Beavers own a 5-1 edge in all-time meetings against Upper Iowa. Bemidji State won the first five games played in the series, before the Peacocks broke the streak with a 47-30 victory two years ago in Fayette.

BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) — Bemidji State will be playing its season-opener without Head Coach Jeff Tesch roaming the sideline.

The university has confirmed that Tesch has been placed on leave because a complaint has been filed against him. Scott Faust, the university's communications director, would not disclose the nature of the complaint or how long Tesch might be on leave.

Assistant coach Brent Bolte has been named interim head coach. He'll be in charge of the program when the Beavers take the field against Upper Iowa on Thursday.

Under Tesch, the Bemidji State Beavers have compiled 126 victories in the past two decades, which is more than the team managed in the 30 years before he took over.

AM-950, KOEL is the official home of Upper Iowa football during the 2016 season, with all 11 games airing live. Pre-game coverage of the Peacocks' season-opener at Bemidji State on Thursday begins at 5:35 p.m.

For more insight on the match-up and a preview of Upper Iowa's season, click on the audio below featuring Upper Iowa play-by-play announcer Joe Stasi.