Mercer played three games in the fall including two against FBS opponents and lost all three. Knowing that makes their 5-6 overall a little more palatable. The Bears wound up going 5-3 in the spring. Going in to their last game against Samford, the Bears had an outside chance to win the Southern Conference if a couple games broke their way. Mercer wound up losing that game, but it gives them hope that they can take the next step this year.
In order to take that next step, Mercer has to find more consistency on offense, especially passing the ball. The defense does need to take steps forward but coach Drew Cronic has some optimism there with the linebackers that he has on hand. That showed in the 90 yard per game improvement from 2019 in the run game.
QB Carter Peavy was able to get his feet wet in the spring as a freshman and played ok for Mercer. If he can improve, the Bears can start to move up the standings.
LB Isaac Dowling was a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award in the spring and is on the Buck Buchanan watch list for this year. Dowling racked up 90 tackles with 7.5 for loss and 6.5 sacks. Expect those numbers to continue to climb as he gains more experience.
DL Solomon Zubairu is the anchor of the defensive line for Mercer. He is only a sophomore and had 9.5 tackles for loss last season.
Key Game: October 2 vs Samford
Worst Case: The Bears continue to struggle overall and finish mid pack in the Southern Conference again.
Best Case: Both sides of the ball continue to improve and Mercer contends for the Southern Conference title.
Jamie is a proud 2002 graduate of James Madison University. He’s witnessed the growth of the program from no one in the stands in 1998, to the hiring of Mickey Matthews, to the 2004 National Championship, to the 2008 team, to the struggles in the early 2010s, and finally the rebuild under Mike Houston. He also allegedly really enjoys Washington, DC-based Stanley Cup winners.
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