State schools' previews and schedules

August 24, 2013 


Coach: Perry Thomas (27-30 in five seasons)

Last season: 3-8 overall; 2-4 and finished fourth in the Mid-South West Division

Outlook: The Tigers have high hopes based on speed and maturity.

"I think our speed in the skill positions, on offense and defense," Thomas said when asked about his team strengths. "I think we have a group that can run. A couple of big linemen but, for the most part, it'll be our speed.

"And our experience. We return a lot of guys. We had a poor year last year, and some of that was due to our youth. But we have quite a few guys returning, so experience should help us some."

The Tigers run a multiple one-back set on offense and will run as often as throw.

Questions include depth in the secondary and a smallish defensive line.

"Size doesn't kill us as much on defense because our defense is kind of predicated on speed," Thomas said of his 3-3-5 look. "But it does hurt us when you're playing against teams like Georgetown that can knock you off the ball."

All-conference linebacker Blake Young, a fifth-year senior, will move to defensive back. Another returning all-MSC talent is Jarrod Harrington, a sophomore wide receiver.

Key players: LB Nick Reed; DB Blake Young, WR Demytreus Gipson, OT Caleb Croney, WR Jarrod Harrington

Tigers' schedule

Date Opponent Time

Aug. 31 at Lindsey Wilson 8 p.m.

Sept. 7 at Murray State 7 p.m.

Sept. 21 at Bethel 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 BELHAVEN 1:30 p.m.


Oct. 12 at Georgetown 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 26 CUMBERLAND 2:30 p.m.

Nov. 2 CUMBERLANDS 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 9 at Faulkner 2:30 p.m.

Nov. 16 REINHARDT 1:30 p.m.


Coach: Andy Frye (93-57 in 15 seasons)

Last season: 6-4; 1-3 and tied for fourth in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference

Outlook: The Colonels look to bounce back after injuries nagged them during what they consider a disappointing 6-4 season.

Frye said that if the team can stay healthy this year, it will be competitive.

"That's my job, to make sure our backups are prepared and ready to play," Frye said. "Injuries are always going to be a part of the game."

Centre will push the pace more with an up-tempo offense.

Frye said that the pace will not only put pressure on opposing defenses, but will also give his defense more repetitions in practice.

With good health in their favor, the Colonels should be able to compete for an NCAA playoff berth.

Key players: QB Heath Haden; RB Monte Scotton; DL Paul Megilligan; DB Erich Vogelsang; LB Rue Hockensmith

Colonels' schedule

Date Opponent Time

Sept. 7 BETHANY 1:30 p.m.

Sept. 14 at Rose-Hulman 7 p.m.

Sept. 21 WASHINGTON AND LEE 2:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 at Washington (Mo.) 2 p.m.

Oct. 12 at Berry 1 p.m.

Oct. 19 SEWANEE 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 26 at Rhodes 3 p.m.

Nov. 2 HENDRIX 2:30 p.m.

Nov. 9 at Millsaps 2 p.m.



Coach: John Bland (57-20 in eight seasons at Cumberlands)

Last season: 10-2 overall; 4-1 and second place in Mid-South East. Lost in the second round of the NAIA playoffs, 35-21 to Saint Xavier University.

Outlook: The Patriots are coming off one of the best seasons in school history and look to build on that foundation. They will do so without graduated QB Jay Bright and key offensive lineman Colby Hitchcock, but Bland is confident his playmakers will step up.

Cumberlands returns All-American running back Terrance Cobb, who set school records with 1,991 rushing yards and 26 rushing touchdowns last season.

Bland said having Cobb, along with wide receiver Willie Gibson, will make the quarterback transition easier for whoever wins the starting spot.

"If we can get the ball (to our playmakers) then we'll help our new quarterback with our offense," Bland said.

The Patriots are ranked No. 7 in the NAIA pre-season poll, and No. 2 in the Mid-South Conference East.

Key players: RB Terrance Cobb; WR Willie Gibson; LB Weston Hazelhurst; DB Adrian Hightower; DL Nick Smith.

Patriots' schedule

Date Opponent Time

Aug. 31 UNION Noon

Sept. 7 CUMBERLAND 1:30 p.m.

Sept. 14 at Belhaven 7 p.m.

Sept. 28 at Pikeville 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 LINDSEY WILSON 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 GEORGETOWN 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 26 at Reinhardt Noon

Nov. 2 at Campbellsville 1:30 p.m.


Nov. 16 at Bluefield 1:30 p.m.


Coach: Bill Cronin (155-36 in 16 seasons)

Last season: 10-1 overall; 5-0 and first place in Mid-South East. Lost in the first round of the NAIA playoffs, 45-44 to Bethel.

Outlook: Georgetown lost 26 seniors, but has 23 seniors back.

"I'd say we lost probably the least on the defensive side, and I thought we had a pretty strong defense a year ago," Cronin said. "I think we'll continue that."

Coming off back-to-back undefeated conference seasons, the Tigers are picked No. 8 in the NAIA and No. 1 in the MSC East.

"I think we've got some strong players in this class (and) that we're very capable of winning every game on our schedule. Mentally, I think we've got to grow up a little bit, show the maturity that it takes to be a consistent winner. ... This group wants to get back to the national championship game, and it's very feasible, but we've got a lot of work ahead of us."

Question marks: "The area that we really got hit the worst on is the wide receiver and skill areas on offense," Cronin said. A key loss is All-American wide receiver Chris Gohman.

The clear leader on offense is junior quarterback Neal Pawsat, who is "stronger than ever and had a good spring and a good off-season," Cronin said. "We've got four of our offensive linemen back and that experience, I hope, is going to help us out quite a bit."

Five players to watch

LB Brock Messina: A 6-foot, 220-pound senior out of Louisville Trinity, "he's one of the top linebackers in the country," Cronin said. "He's an outside linebacker; he blitzes; he's a real threat."

LB D.J. Lemons: A 6-3, 225-pound senior from Georgia, "he might have the chance to play at the next level," Cronin said. "He's a guy who's a very solid player and, week-to-week, comes to play."

LB Josh Downing: A 5-9, 221-pound senior from Kansas, "I don't know that there's anyone faster than him from sideline to sideline," Cronin said. "A solid player. A good student of the game."

FB Zach Sowder: The 5-9, 195-pound senior out of Covington Scott is "probably the strongest and most athletic kid that we have on the football team," Cronin said. "Very competitive and a solid player."

QB Neal Pawsat: A 6-3, 230-pound junior from Mason County, "Neal's the catalyst for us on the offensive side, and he's got to make good decisions," Cronin said. "(He) has proven himself to be a very good, solid player at the college level. I look for him to be even stronger than a year ago."

Tigers' schedule

Date Opponent Time

Sept. 5 OHIO DOMINICAN 7 p.m.

Sept. 14 at Bethel 1:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 at Kentucky Christian 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 at Faulkner 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 12 CAMPBELLSVILLE 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Cumberlands 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 26 PIKEVILLE 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 2 BLUEFIELD 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 9 at Union 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 16 LINDSEY WILSON 1:30 p.m.

Ky. Christian

Coach: Gene Peterson (first season)

Last season: 7-4 overall; 3-2 and third place in Mid-South East

Outlook: "We're starting our sixth year of football, and we got a new football field last year," said Peterson, who was quarterbacks coach the last two seasons. "The program is young, the program is growing, and a lot of people didn't know that KCU even had football. But we're getting a lot of calls now about our program and a lot of kids interested in coming to KCU."

Peterson says the Knights' strength is defense, where several starters return. "If we can keep everyone healthy, we'll have a good shot at hopefully getting to the playoffs and maybe making a run," he said.

KCU opens with a road trip to defending national champion and top-ranked Marian (Ind.), then returns home to face No. 9 Bethel. Later come games against No. 8 Cumberlands, No. 9 Georgetown and No. 28 Faulkner.

The Knights are No. 26 in the NAIA pre-season poll, No. 3 in the Mid-South East.

"The Mid-South Conference, week in and week out, there's no gimme games," Peterson said. "Someone gave a term to it: it's the SEC of the NAIA. ... You've got to have a little luck to win these ballgames on Saturday afternoon."

Key players: C Blake Clowes; NT Marvin Newkirk; QB Graham Johnston; DE Darryl Jones; WR Marcus Hicks

Knights' schedule

Date Opponent Time

Aug. 31 at Marian 6 p.m.

Sept. 7 BETHEL 1:30 p.m.

Sept. 14 REINHARDT 1:30 p.m.

Sept. 21 at Bluefield 6 p.m.

Sept. 28 GEORGETOWN 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 at Campbellsville 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 12 at Lindsey Wilson 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 26 at Union 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 2 PIKEVILLE 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 9 at Cumberlands 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 16 FAULKNER 1:30 p.m.

Kentucky St.

Coach: Josh Dean (first year as head coach)

Last season: 2-8 overall; 0-7 in Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

Outlook: Interim coach Dean served as special teams coordinator and defensive assistant last year. With nine starters back on the pro-style offense, Dean expects the Thorobreds to have a strong running game.

"We have returning, pretty much, a senior offensive line. We have quite a few players on that line who have been three-year starters," he said. "And we have a couple of very talented running backs."

The backs are juniors Jacquise Lockett and Justin Williams. The powerful Lockett ran for more than 1,100 yards in his first two seasons. Williams, an explosive type, also has been used as a receiver, quarterback and kick returner.

One question area is quarterback. Mid-year transfer Adam Robinson will get a shot, along with other transfers.

KSU has eight starters back on a 4-3 defense. Cornerback Ed Dunaway is the heart and soul of the unit, and is touted as a conference Player of the Year candidate.

"We definitely want to bounce back from a 2-8 season," Dean said. "Our goal is to always be up there competing for a championship ... but our mind-set is one game at a time."

Key players: RB Jacquise Lockett, RB Justin Williams, DB Ed Dunaway, LB Terry Horton, NT Deshawn Ross

Thorobreds' schedule

Date Opponent Time

Sept. 5 at Kentucky Wesleyan 7 p.m.

Sept. 14 at Central State 1:30 p.m.

Sept. 21 at Virginia State 4 p.m.

Sept. 28 STILLMAN 7 p.m.


Oct. 12 FORT VALLEY STATE 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Miles 4 p.m.

Oct. 26 TUSKEGEE 1 p.m.

Nov. 2 at Lane 2 p.m.

Nov. 9 MOREHOUSE 1 p.m.

Ky. Wesleyan

Coach: Brent Holsclaw (20-66 in 10 seasons)

Last season: 2-9 overall; 0-8 in Great Lakes Valley Conference.

Outlook: Holsclaw, who performed the Heimlich maneuver to save a man from choking at Disney World last month, doesn't think his Panthers will need saving at quarterback or in the secondary.

"We've got a lot of guys back at those positions and we've got a lot of experience," he said. "That should really help us this year."

Will Barnes is the quarterback, while Kevin Farris and Cuda Dimmett head up the secondary.

"Up front, last year we struggled up there on both sides of the ball — rush offense, rush defense," Holsclaw said. "I think we've done a pretty good job this off-season of addressing those issues in terms of recruitment and, obviously, the athletic development side of the guys who are back. It's my hope that turns out to be a strong suit."

The Panthers are picked last in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, having gone winless in their first try in the league.

"We just want to be more competitive. ... Hopefully, to win some conference games and do really well in our non-conference games," Holsclaw said.

Key players: RB/WR Jeff Ward, QB Will Barnes, DB Cuda Dimmett, DB Kevin Farris, WR Brandon Gant

Panthers' schedule

Date Opponent Time

Sept. 5 KENTUCKY STATE 6 p.m.

Sept. 14 LINDSEY WILSON 6 p.m.

Sept. 21 at Lindenwood-Belleville 6 p.m.

Sept. 28 at Liberty 6 p.m.

Oct. 5 at St. Joseph's Noon

Oct. 12 MISSOURI S&T 3 p.m.

Oct. 19 QUINCY 1 p.m.

Oct. 26 at Indianapolis 6 p.m.

Nov. 2 TRUMAN STATE 1 p.m.

Nov. 9 WILLIAM JEWELL 1 p.m.

Nov. 16 at McKendree 6 p.m.

Lindsey Wilson

Coach: Chris Oliver (15-17 in three seasons)

Last season: 3-8 overall; 1-5 and fifth place in Mid-South West

Outlook: The Blue Raiders, picked fourth in Mid-South East, return their entire offensive line.

"We always want to increase our depth, but we've got a Jon Smith, who's been an all-conference guy a couple times for us at center," Oliver said. "The two guards on each side of him are each seniors and returning starters, so we certainly anticipate our offensive line to be one of the strengths of our team, which is always a nice thing."

On the other side of the ball, Lindsey Wilson is young in the secondary. But Oliver says he has some newcomers who may make the backfield the most talented area of his defense.

"We've got to get off to a good start; we've got to get some confidence," he said. "We struggled last year turning the ball over and not forcing turnovers. That was just a key issue for us, was not winning the turnover battle, which is something that had not plagued us the previous few years. So we've got to get that remedied. ... If we do those things, then I think we're going to have a chance to be very good. But we've got to go out and prove that.

"It's Year Four — we've got our first real group of (20) seniors, ... our first group of guys that have been through the program. So the expectations for these guys are certainly high."

Key players: C Jon Smith, QB Branden Cresap, LB Sam Wilson, DT Corrion Cooper, DB Eric Shaw

blue raiders' schedule

Date Opponent Time


Sept. 7 at Reinhardt Noon

Sept. 14 at Kentucky Wesleyan 6 p.m.

Sept. 21 PIKEVILLE 1:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 FAULKNER 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 at Cumberlands 12:30 p.m.

Oct. 12 KENTUCKY CHRISTIAN 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 26 at Belhaven 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 2 at Union 12:30 p.m.

Nov. 9 BLUEFIELD 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 16 at Georgetown 12:30 p.m.

Morehead St.

Coach: Rob Tenyer (first season)

Last season: 4-7 overall, 3-5 and tied for sixth in the Pioneer Football League

Outlook: Longtime assistant Tenyer moves into the head coaching spot, replacing Matt Ballard.

His offense is "the old Tony Franklin stuff," Tenyer said. "So, we're going to spread it out and we're going to be a tempo-oriented team. We're going to try to snap the ball 80 times a game."

On the other side, "we're going to be an attacking-style defense," Tenyer said. "We want to run to the football. We want to get to the quarterback. And also, obviously, limit big plays in the pass game, which has kind of been a downfall to us in the last couple years."

Morehead lost three games by a total of 14 points last season, the difference between going 4-7 and 7-4.

"When I took over in December, we talked a lot about a few things," Tenyer said. "No. 1, our image. No. 2, our mentality regarding football. And there's culture change that needed to take place.

"We want to be a tough football team; we want to be a mentally tough football team. We want to be physical at the point of attack, and our defense needs to be that. I hope that we can score points just because of what we do offensively. But it's a mentality thing."

Question marks: The Eagles must replace the prolific offensive trio of Zach Lewis, who passed for 72 career TDs and 10,251 yards; Donte Sawyer, who had 24 career TD catches and 2,555 yards; and Rainer Duzan, who broke school records with 36 career field goals and 150 PATs.

Junior Boone Goldsmith and redshirt freshman Logan Johnson are the top candidates to replace Lewis.

Five players to watch

RB Rees Macshara: A 5-10, 185-pound junior from Danville, he carried 173 times for 1,023 yards and six touchdowns last season. He also caught 39 passes for 307 yards, earning all-conference honors. He is the Eagles' first 1,000-yard rusher since 2000.

S Michael Jackson: A 5-11, 180-pound junior from Cincinnati, Jackson earned honorable-mention all-PFL last season when he totaled 57 tackles, including 5½ for losses and three sacks. He is a pre-season all-league pick by two organizations.

LB Jordan Hendrix: The 6-0, 205-pound junior from Columbus, Ohio, has been named pre-season all-conference by three organizations. Last year, he made a school-record 123 tackles, recovered two fumbles and had one interception. He ranked 10th in the Football Championship Subdivision with 11.2 tackles per game.

OL Kalvin Harrington: The 6-1, 255-pound fifth-year senior from Seville, Ohio, has been tabbed as pre-season All-PFL by two organizations. An honorable mention pick after last season, he blocked for a unit that led the league in points per game (38.4), total yards (471.5), passing yards (305.4) and fewest sacks allowed (1.0).

DL Aaron Meadows: A 6-1, 240-pound senior from Salt Lick, he earned second-team all-PFL honors last season and is picked by two organizations as pre-season all-league. Last year, he totaled 43 tackles, including 12 for losses and six sacks.

Eagles' schedule

Date Opponent Time

Aug. 29 PIKEVILLE 7 p.m.

Sept. 7 at Youngstown State 4 p.m.

Sept. 14 at Jacksonville 1 p.m.

Sept. 21 EASTERN KENTUCKY 7 p.m.

Sept. 28 DAVIDSON 1 p.m.

Oct. 5 at Campbell 1 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Valparaiso 2 p.m.

Oct. 26 DAYTON 1 p.m.

Nov. 2 at Drake 2 p.m.

Nov. 9 SAN DIEGO 1 p.m.

Nov. 16 BUTLER 1 p.m.

Nov. 23 CHARLOTTE 1 p.m.Murray St.

Coach: Chris Hatcher (18-15 in three seasons)

Last season: 5-6 overall; 4-4 and sixth in the OVC

Outlook: "I really think that our strong suit is going to be our defense," Hatcher said. "And that's pretty hard to say, because we've been at the bottom of every defensive category last season. But we've got a new defensive staff, new scheme — we switched over to a 3-4 — and we've got a lot of good players on that side of the ball. So I'm really thinking that those guys are going to take some people by surprise."

Offensively, the Racers have a nice 1-2 punch at running back in Jaamal Berry and Duane Brady.

"I think we have a chance to compete for the OVC championship; I really do," Hatcher said. "Some things are going to have to fall our way. We're going to have to get consistent play out of the quarterback position. But I feel good about where we're at right now and with our team and our program. We've just got to win some close games that we haven't been winning these past couple years."

Question marks: The key is who will replace All-American quarterback Casey Brockman, who threw for 3,729 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior. Top candidates are K.D. Humphries, who played in five games as a freshman; Ole Miss transfer Maikhail Miller; and junior-college transfer Parks Frazier.

Five players to watch

RB Jaamal Berry: Half of the Racers' 1-2 punch in the backfield, "he's more of a power runner but has great moves," Hatcher said. An Ohio State transfer, he ran for 675 yards and seven TDs for Murray last year.

RB Duane Brady: He rushed for 589 yards and eight TDs as a junior. "Brady's more of a scatback, catches a lot of balls out of the backfield," Hatcher said.

WR/return specialist Walter Powell: He caught 94 passes for 1,213 yards and 10 TDs last season. "He's got to continue to be a playmaker not only as a receiver, but he was an All-American return man as well," Hatcher said.

CB Josh Manning: "He's a little undersized (5-9, 175)," Hatcher said, "but he is a tremendous competitor. Very physical." He played in nine games as a junior.

CB Cadarious Sanders: He appeared in eight games as a junior last season, after transferring from South Carolina. "He has a lot of range," Hatcher said.

Racers' schedule

Date Opponent Time

Aug. 31 at Missouri 6 p.m.

Sept. 7 CAMPBELLSVILLE 6 p.m. Sept. 14 MISSOURI STATE 6 p.m.

Sept. 21 at Bowling Green 2:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 at Jacksonville State 3 p.m.

Oct. 5 TENNESSEE TECH 3 p.m.

Oct. 12 at Southeast Missouri 1 p.m.

Oct. 19 AUSTIN PEAY 3 p.m.

Nov. 2 at Tennessee-Martin 1 p.m.


Nov. 16 at Tennessee State 2 p.m.



Coach: Dudley Hilton (7-14 in two seasons)

Last season: 3-8 overall; 1-4 and tied for fourth in Mid-South East

Outlook: Asked about his team's strong suit, Hilton said, "I hope having juniors and seniors, finally. I hope that will help us." The Bears "played basically with freshmen and sophomores the last two years. Hopefully, now we've got some juniors and seniors that can play."

The Bears have a new defensive coordinator in former Kentucky defensive back Brian Williams. He'll be guiding a 3-4 look that is spearheaded by middle linebacker John Dudley Hilton, the coach's son.

Free safety Jade Haddix is a four-year starter, and Taylor Woods is a rock at defensive end.

On offense, UPike adds a pair of highly touted transfers in quarterback A.J. Graham from Marshall and wide receiver Nu'Keese Richardson from Tennessee. Graham will compete with Reese Browning for the starting role.

Leaders of the spread offense include receivers Jordan Amis and Shawntez Johnson, along with tackle Brandon Ball.

The Bears are out to snap a seven-game losing streak.

"Our record might not show it," said Hilton, "but we've been in a lot of games. We've just got to get over the hump. We just haven't had depth the last two years, and now we feel like we've got some depth."

Key players: MLB John Dudley Hilton, FS Jade Haddix, DE Taylor Woods, WR Jordan Amis, OT Brandon Ball

Bears' schedule

Date Opponent Time

Aug. 29 at Morehead State 7 p.m.

Sept. 5 BLUEFIELD 7 p.m.

Sept. 14 at Edward Waters 2 p.m.

Sept. 21 at Lindsey Wilson 2:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 CUMBERLANDS 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 at Cumberland 2:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 BETHEL 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 26 at Georgetown 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 2 at Kentucky Christian 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 9 BELHAVEN 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 16 UNION 1:30 p.m.

Thomas More

Coach: Jim Hilvert (50-16 in six seasons)

Last season: 7-3 overall; 6-2 and third place in the Presidents' Athletic Conference

Outlook: "After finishing 7-3 last year, we're not happy about not winning the PAC championship," Hilvert said. In the 23-year history of the program, Thomas More has four league titles and six NCAA playoff berths.

The Saints are athletic on defense, according to Hilvert, and return nine "pistol" offense starters.

Add to that running back Domonique Hayden, a former Lexington Christian Academy star who tore a knee tendon off a thigh muscle in last year's season opener. He scored 19 TDs in 2011.

Quarterback Jensen Gebhardt played the last seven games as a freshman, winning the last six.

Hilvert says his line "needs to step up for us to be an explosive offense. I think we've got some skill guys from (receivers) Tyler Cohorn, Bobby Leonard, Ryan Winkler, Al Upshaw, guys like that. And then, with Domomique Hayden coming back, and Scootie Middleton, if our offensive line can gel ... we can be really explosive."

Leaders on the 4-3 defense include Alex Taylor, Erick Butler, Jake Fishburn, Adam Rauch and Tyler Combs.

Senior kicker Tim Gormly also returns.

Key players: QB Jensen Gebhardt, RB Domonique Hayden, OLB Alex Taylor, DE Erick Butler, S Adam Rauch

Saints' schedule

Date Opponent Time

Aug. 30 ROSE-HULMAN 5 p.m.

Sept. 7 at Capital 1:30 p.m.

Sept. 21 at Westminster 7 p.m.

Sept. 28 WAYNESBURG 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 GENEVA 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 12 at Washington & Jefferson 7 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Thiel 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 26 GROVE CITY 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 2 at Saint Vincent 1 p.m.

Nov. 9 BETHANY 1 p.m.

Nov. 16 at Mount St. Joseph 1 p.m.


Coach: Tommy Reid (48-76 in 11 seasons)

Last season: 4-7 overall; 1-4 and tied for fourth in Mid-South East

Outlook: Union returns eight starters on offense, nine on defense, and four on special teams.

"As far as our depth and things go, we feel like we've got a really strong receiving corps; we've got a lot of returning guys and a very talented group," Reid said. "The question mark is who's going to be the guy getting the ball to them. Our quarterback (Mike Brinkley) graduated and we've got a couple of young kids — one with minimal experience (Jon Combs) and a couple others with no experience (redshirt-freshmen Hogan Goodson and Austin Smith)."

The Bulldogs run a multiple-spread offense and a 3-3-5 defense.

Union lost all-MSC running back Rob Brown to graduation, but Leonard Dixon and Brian Clark return with game experience.

"We'd like to certainly be in contention for a conference championship and have a chance for post-season play," Reid said. "Is that realistic for us? I certainly think so. Obviously, we're going to have to play smart and play great each week, and just build one week at a time."

Key players: WR Domonique Jefferson, RB Leonard Dixon, LB Ryan Shipley, DL Seth Jones, DB Darius Thomas

Bulldogs' schedule

Date Opponent Time

Aug. 31 at Cumberlands Noon

Sept. 14 FAULKNER Noon


Sept. 28 at Virginia-Wise 6 p.m.


Oct. 12 at Cumberland 2:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Bluefield 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 26 KENTUCKY CHRISTIAN 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 2 LINDSEY WILSON 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 9 GEORGETOWN 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 16 at Pikeville 1:30 p.m.

Note: Homes games in all capital letters. All times are local to team, unless noted.

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