2021 FCS Season Preview: East Tennessee State

ETSU quarterback Tyler Riddell hands off to Quay Holmes. It was a good plan as Holmes rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns. (Dakota Hamilton/Johnson City Press)

CSJ Projected Finish: 5th

East Tennessee State entered the 2019 season with high expectation after a strong 2019 season. The Buccaneers faltered and went 4-7. Because of that, expectations were varied coming into the spring season. The Buccaneers had a solid season at 4-2 and was in the hunt for the league title, defeating conference winner VMI. The Buccaneers will be a factor in the SoCon title race this year.

If you can run the ball and play solid defense, you have a chance – this is exactly what ETSU does well. They have a top back in Quay Holmes who can score in just about every game. The defense holds teams under 20 points per game. So where is the hole? It’s the quarterback position. The Buccaneers need better quarterback play. If they get it, theyre a contender.

Impact Players

RB Quay Holmes is the leader of this offense. He has improved his yards per game each season. He has the ability to go over 1300 yards for the season.

LB Jared Folks is the tackles leader on the defense.  He anchors a strong defense that allowed 18 yards per game in the spring.

LB Donovan Manuel is a versatile player for ETSU. He can get into the backfield, as evidenced by his 6 tackles for loss in the spring and 535 in 2019. But he can also drop into coverage as needed, shown by his 2 interceptions in the spring.

Key Game: October 16 at Chattanooga

Worst Case: The quarterback play is subpar and teams stack the box on Holmes, leading to a .500 finish.

Best Case: The offense finds some improvement, and the Buccaneers win the Southern Conference and make their first football postseason bid since 2018.

One comment

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *