89th: Division I
2017 In A Sentence: Another year where head coach John Grass’ Jacksonville Gamecocks pulverized the rest of their OVC competition and experienced only two losses – one to an FBS team early in the year, and another after a loss in the playoffs, this time at home to upstart Kennesaw State.
Biggest Shoes to Fill: DE Darius Jackson was the OVC Defensive Player of the year last season, and for good reason: with 55 tackles and 20 1/2 tackles for loss, Jackson’s efforts helped the Gamecock defense on yield on average 15 points per game.
Key Player: From one OVC preseason defensive player of the year to another, DB Marlon Bridges steps into a huge role for the Gamecock defense. With 81 tackles, 6 tackles for loss and 3 interceptions, he’ll be expected to continue being a dominating force on the best defensive unit of the OVC.
Fearless Prediction: It seems like every year it’s death, taxes, and a Jacksonville State OVC Championship, and this season feels no different. The question is whether the Gamecocks can make another run at the FCS Championship game again – and this time, win it.
Chuck has been writing about Lehigh football since the dawn of the internet, or perhaps it only seems like it. He’s executive editor of the College Sports Journal and has also written a book, The Rivalry: How Two Schools Started the Most Played College Football Series.
Reach him at: this email or click below: