Location: North Andover, MA
Coach: Dan Curran (29-35), 4th season at Merrimack
Stadium: Duane Stadium (Capacity: 3,500)
2nd: Independent (*: NEC)
231st: Division I
2018 In a Sentence: A 31-14 win over Southern Connecticut (D-II) brought the Warriors time in Division II to a close with a 5-5 record. Merrimack announced they would be beginning their transition to becoming a Division I athletics program in 2019, where their final destination will be the NEC.
Biggest Shoes to Fill: Team captain DL Jesse Jones finished his playing career with 58 tackles and 3 sacks, second-most on the Warriors.
Key Player: You know Merrimack head coach Dan Curran, former UNH running back under head coach Sean McDonnell and offensive coordinator Chip Kelly, is going to run an offense with a lot of firepower. Last year true freshman QB Christian Carter had a great first season with a 57.32% completion percentage, 465 yards rushing, 1,681 yards passing, and 18 TDs in only 10 games. He will continue his development at the Division I level this season, building on his great foundation.
Fearless Prediction: If you think Merrimack is going to be a “bye” on the schedule simply because they are transitioning from Division II, think again. Though their schedule is a hodge-podge of Division I and non-Division I opponents, this is a young, talented yet experienced team that could very well finish over .500 in their first transitional year. Technically, they are ineligble for the NEC title.
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: