Believe it or not, Youngstown State University has never defeated the University of Dayton in football.
That’s right. The Flyers, not known for their football, are 9-0 all time against the Penguins. Granted, the two teams haven’t met since 1977, well before YSU enjoyed its run of success, but the unblemished mark by Dayton doesn’t sit well with the Penguins, who square off with the Flyers at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Stambaugh Stadium.
The Colonels can’t change the past. They know that. So, there’s no point in wasting time thinking about the disappointing way last season ended.
The Colonels won eight games (8-3), finished second in the Ohio Valley Conference (6-2) and earned a tough road win over the Big South Conference champion, but they didn’t get an at-large bid to the Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs.
“I think that’s the best team we’ve had since I’ve been here,” sixth-year EKU head coach Dean Hood said. “I felt terrible for the seniors and I felt terrible that we didn’t make it.”
That snub still stings.
The Idaho State football team starts its season at home Sept. 7 against Division II Dixie State. Here are five things to look for as the season nears.
North Dakota State returns 18 starters from a team that has won 28 of 30 games the last two years and claimed back-to-back Football Championship Subdivision titles.
Coach Craig Bohl started this year’s campaign with a history lesson.
Elon is 0-5 in their previous five FBS contests, with the closest result coming in a 41-27 defeat at the hands of Duke University in 2010.
Unlike the National Football League, college football does not have preseason games. There are no exhibitions to get game experience without worrying about a win-loss record. However, the setup of NCAA Division I football permits the next best thing for big-name teams.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga ran 763 plays on offense last football season. Quarterback Jacob Huesman ran the ball, threw it or caught it on 459 of them. Terrell Robinson, the Mocs’ other run-throw-catch triple threat, was involved in 136 plays.
When the 25th-ranked Mocs open their season Thursday against UT-Martin at Finley Stadium, those two again will be heavily involved in making the offense go. But they should have a lot more help under new offensive coordinator Jeff Durden.
Winning isn’t always everything. For McNeese State, winning this weekend’s season opener isn’t expected but it sure would be a plus.
Like last year, the Cowboys will begin this campaign with a game against a Football Bowl Subdivision foe. McNeese will travel to Tampa where it will play South Florida Saturday evening, one year after opening with a victory over Middle Tennessee State.
Nov. 18, 2012 will not be remembered fondly by Rob Ambrose. That was the day the Towson football coach’s worst fears were confirmed when the NCAA selection committee did not invite the program to the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs despite the Tigers finishing with a 7-4 record and a share of the Colonial Athletic Association title.
Limited tickets for the 2014 NCAA Division I Football Championship game go on sale Wednesday.
Penn football coach Al Bagnoli would rather not have his team be the favorite to win the Ivy League this season. The 22-year veteran of the Franklin Field sidelines doesn’t like the increased spotlight or expectations, and he has enough of both to deal with already.
But if a place atop the preseason poll comes with fifth-year senior starters at quarterback and running back, as well as a new generation of leaders on defense, he’ll bear the burden.
By any measure, Dustin Wharton’s sophomore season with the Georgetown football team in 2011 was a resounding success. The former safety seamlessly moved to linebacker, flourished with 104 tackles, the third-most in the Patriot League, and was voted all-conference.
One season later, in 2012, Coach Kevin Kelly and defensive coordinator Rob Sgarlata figured they could extract even more from Wharton given his rare combination of strength and speed at the FCS level. Not only had he set teen division world records in several power-lifting events before his sophomore season, but Wharton also ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds.
University of Maine football coach Jack Cosgrove quipped that it was getting “a little bit lonely” up in the north during football season in the Football Championship Subdivision.
But Cosgrove and University of New Hampshire football coach Sean McDonnell both expressed their pleasure with the addition of New York schools Stony Brook and Albany to the Colonial Athletic Association. They start league play beginning this fall, while the University of Rhode Island subsequently decided to remain in the conference.
The schedule. It’s the biggest ally this fall for a VMI football program that has won only nine of 44 games the past four years.
A menu that includes home dates with a pair of Division II schools — Glenville State and North Greenville — and a pair of eminently winnable home games against fellow FCS foes Robert Morris and Bucknell has the Keydets flowing with optimism heading into their final season in the Big South.
Certainly, the Big South has been nothing but big trouble for VMI football. Since joining the league in 2003, the Keydets are 11-38 in conference play.
That said, VMI would like to deliver a parting shot or two before packing up and filing to the Southern Conference next summer.
Coming off a disappointing 2-9 season in 2012, the Weber State Wildcats’ football program is trying to make the leap back to being one of the top teams in the Big Sky Conference.
In 2008, former head coach Ron McBride led the Wildcats to a 10-4 overall record, a 7-1 record in conference play, which is the best single-season record in school history, and a first-round playoff victory.
Since McBride’s departure from the ’Cats in 2011, Weber State has amassed just a 7-15 record overall and has failed to even qualify for the playoffs.
At one point earlier this summer, Tennessee State University football coach Rod Reed moved his team’s practice to the TSU indoor facility and asked the building manager to turn off the air conditioning to make it hot.
With early-season games scheduled in locales like Memphis and Tallahassee, Fla., Reed knew the Tigers would be facing some miserably hot weather — and since Mother Nature wasn’t providing the proper conditions for his team to prepare, he decided to take matters into his own hands.