2018 College Football Team Previews: Sacramento State Hornets

Sacramento State Hornets
Location: Sacramento, CA
Coach: Jody Sears (18-27 at Sac St., 22-46 overall) 5th Season
Stadium: Hornet Stadium (Capacity: 21,195)

CSJ Projections:
6th: Big Sky
7th: California
30th: FCS
145th: Division I

2017 In A Sentence: The Hornets had one of its best seasons in the Division I era for a team that moved up from DII in 1993–just narrowly missing out on a playoff berth despite a 7-4 overall record.

Biggest Shoes to Fill: DE Ben Sorensen was a third team All-American performer last year as well as an All-Big Sky first teamer.  He led the Big Sky and tied for fifth in the FCS with 10.0 sacks (1.00 per game).  He spearheaded a Hornet defense which set the school Div. I-era record with 43 sacks and led the FCS in sacks per game.

Courtesy of Sacramento Bee

Key Player: QB Kevin Thomson is back for his senior season after a remarkable 2017 season.  He was a big part of changing an offense that went from tying for last in scoring in the Big Sky in 2016 to averaging 37.6 points (5th best in FCS) a year ago. Thomson, who was injured in and forced to sit the last three games, set a Hornet school record with a 171.80 passing efficiency rating.  He totaled 26 touchdowns with just three interceptions.

Fearless Prediction: The Hornets have all the ingredients to make a run at a playoff berth this year.  The key will be keeping Thomson healthy and to keep the defense at its high performing self as well as overcoming a schedule that includes NAIA St. Francis of Illinois, which likely means the Hornets will need an 8-win campaign.

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