2021 FCS Season Preview: Sacramento State Hornets

Sacramento State had a magical 2019 championship run, but the Hornets have not played since then. Despite the wonderful season they put together, the Hornets have seen players come and go since then including starting quarterback Kevin Thompson. Elijah Dotson has award aspirations, but can the Hornets get him there if he is the most marquee of a player that they have by far?


Sacramento State

HomeAwayVenueMatch Day TV/Streaming Highlights
Greater Zion Stadium
St. George, UT - -
Hornet Stadium
Sacramento, CA - -
California Memorial Stadium
Berkeley, CA - -
Holt Arena
Pocatello, ID - -
Hornet Stadium
Sacramento, CA - -
Washington-Grizzly Stadium
Missoula, MT - -
Hornet Stadium
Sacramento, CA - -
Nottingham Field
Greeley, CO - -
Hornet Stadium
Sacramento, CA - -
Hornet Stadium
Sacramento, CA - -
UC Davis Health Stadium
Davis, CA - -
Hornet Stadium. Capacity 21,195. Photo via Sacramento State Athletics.

Key Players

Elijah Dotson – Running Back – 6’0″ 193 lbs. – Senior

Dotson is an accomplished runner with 742 yards and 5 touchdowns to his name in 2019. The Hornets lost playmaker quarterback Kevin Thompson so now Dotson will be the main offensive attraction for Sacramento State. Dotson has been mentioned as a preseason All-American and award list honorable mention, but the amount of focus on him may make it hard to gain the yards needed for that goal.

Marcus Hawkins – Linebacker – 5’11” 227 lbs. – Senior

Hawkins tallied 81 tackles, 5 sacks, 9.5 TFL, 1 forced fumble, 1 INT, and 3 pass breakups in 2019. While Hawkins Senior season was put on hold there is a perfect opportunity to write his spot into the elite linebacker lineup that the Big Sky is currently producing. Hawkins may be just outside of a top ten linebacker, but he does not have far to go to cement his name as a contender.

See the source image
Coach Troy Taylor. Coaching Record 9-4 (All Sac. State). Photo via Sacramento Bee.

Predicted Finish

Sacramento State’s magical 2019 will need a lot of magic fairy dust to happen again. Elijah Dotson is the most talented offensive player for the Hornets, but can he carry the whole team week-to-week? Defensively the Hornets were fiesty in 2019, but they will need a whole lot more than that as they face FBS Cal, Idaho State, Montana and UC Davis. Sacramento State avoids Eastern Washington, Weber State, and Montana State which will help their odds.

Best: 8-3
Worst: 3-8
Predicted: 6-5 (5-3)