"I think we have a completely different team from last year," Tabor said. "And I think we proved that we are better."
The Cards lost two quarters and tied another in the jamboree, but walked away confident, especially seeing senior running back Dontae White pick up 123 yards on 12 carries after injuries shut him down in 2012.
"The guy is a great story. He tears his ACL and MCL in week nine last year, and I've never seen a kid work harder to get back to this moment. And I'm very, very, very proud of him," Tabor said.
White and the rest of the Benton seniors are back to put last year's one win campaign behind them.
"Last season, it was tough, but you just have to let that go," White said. "We can't let the past affect us. I think our team's doing a very good job of that, moving forward and really understanding what they're doing."
That includes sophomore quarterback C.J. Reynolds who made two starts last season.
"He's a little slow in the decision-making process, but those are things that can be corrected," Tabor said. "Mechanically he's very, very good and I like him."
And if he gets into some trouble, he has a familiar face in the backfield to lean on.
"As a senior to a sophomore, you try to just make sure we have his back, and make sure he feels comfortable around us. We trust that he can make plays," White said.
White knows the struggles of playing in the MEC as an underclassman , but he's put that behind him.
"We had a lot of young guys who hadn't had any varsity experience. This year, everybody has a year under their belt at least, and I think we're ready to move on from last year."
Benton opens the season August 31st at home against Ozark.