5th: Big Sky
140th: Division I
2017 In A Sentence: The Lumberjacks finished 7–5, (6–2 BSC) and in a three-way tie for third place in the Big Sky receiving an at-large bid into the FCS Playoffs where they were lost to San Diego in the first round.
Biggest Shoes to Fill: OT Tyler Shank started in 10 of 11 games this season and was named an All-BSC first team performer. He was the anchor of an NAU offensive line that helped the Lumberjacks rushing attack average nearly four yards a carry last season.
Key Player: QB Case Cookus directed an NAU offense that finished ranked 14th nationally in total offense (448.4 yards per game), 26th nationally in scoring offense (32.1 points per game) and eighth among FCS leaders in passing offense (312.3 yards per game) in 2017. The now-junior has posted 3,413 yards, while completing 58.4 percent (253-of-433) of his pass attempts and adding a total of 22 touchdowns against just six interceptions.
Fearless Prediction: The Lumberjacks return a total of seven starters on offense and nine defensively on a team that made the playoffs last year. This team has the talent to again return to the playoffs but will need to avoid its historical late season swoon to get there again.
Originally from LaMoure, North Dakota, Kent is a 1996 graduate of North Dakota State University. His prior writing experience is over 15 years having previously worked with D2football.com, I-AA.org, and College Sporting News before coming to College Sports Journal in 2016. His main focus is college football is the Missouri Valley Football Conference within the Division I FCS. And in 2017, he began also to look at the FBS Group of Five conferences of the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt.
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