Chattanooga: Defending SoCon champions picked by coaches and the media as favorites for second straight year; Mocs return 16 starters, 12 named to preseason all-conference teams.
Samford: Bulldogs return 16 starters from team that tied for second in league in 2014, had SoCon’s second-best defense (19.7 points, 312.7 yards per game).
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Western Carolina: Catamounts return 23 starters their from surprise runner-up finish last season. Can teams first-ever SoCon title be in the cards in 2015?
Five To Watch
Jacob Huesman, Chattanooga, QB, Sr. (6-2, 220): SoCon’s offensive player of the year the past two seasons; he’s on several FCS preseason player of the year watch lists.
Michael Pierce, Samford, DL, Sr. (6-0, 309): SoCon’s preseason defensive player of the year, led conference’s second-ranked defense last season.
Alex Lakes, Mercer, RB, Soph. (5-10, 121): Bears’ top back led conference in rushing yards (1,107 yards), touchdowns (17) as a freshman.
Al Cobb, VMI, QB, Soph. (6-3, 190): Keydets’ quarterback was conference’s top passer (2,971 yards, 20 TDs, 247.6 yards per game) as a freshman.
Cory Magwood, Furman, LB, Sr. (6-2, 228): Paladins’ middle linebacker led SoCon in solo tackles (74), total tackles (123), tackles per game (11.2) last season.
Don’t Miss This Game
Oct. 24, Samford at Western Carolina: Last year’s 14-point loss in Birmingham, Ala., denied the Catamounts sole possession of second place in SoCon standings.
Last year, only Chattanooga finished the season ranked among the nation’s Top 25 FCS teams; Samford could join them this year, but can an experienced Western Carolina end its rankings drought (now at 21 years)?
Next: Sun Belt