HERO Sports wraps up the previews with "Two-A-Days" for each FCS conference through Friday, Aug. 24 (see full schedule below). Today, we feature the Pioneer Football League.
SUM IT UP
(NOTE: Team by team previews in this conference are below)
San Diego has dominated the PFL in recent years, winning at least a share of the title since the 2014 season and winning the last two outright by going a combined 16-0. The Toreros are still the team to beat, led by senior quarterback Anthony Lawrence. But the PFL looks to be more competitive this season.
There's a ton of experience coming back. Six teams have 12 or more starters returning. The league as a whole is going to be much better. USD made a name for the conference the last two seasons in the playoffs, knocking off a Big Sky opponent in the first round. If teams 2-5 can close that gap between them and the Toreros, this is going to be a fun and tough league every week.
Anthony Lawrence is finally a senior at quarterback for San Diego. (USD Athletics)
NAMES TO KNOW
THE VETERAN COACH: Jim Parady, Marist
The 2018 season is Jim Parady's 27th as head coach.
TOP PASSER: Anthony Lawrence, San Diego
Lawrence threw for 3,131 yards and probably most impressive was his 33-3 TD to INT. ratio.
TOP RECEIVER: Juston Christian, Marist
The playmaker totaled 1,096 receiving yards in 2017.
TOP SACK MAN: Bryce Perry-Martin, Davidson
His five sacks last year is the most returning in the PFL.
TOP FANBASE (*)
Drake – Drake tops the PFL list as far as fans engaging with our team-by-team previews this summer.
(*) – Based on fan engagement with our previews this summer.
RANKING THE PFL
|RK||HERO SPORTS (SAM'S POLL)||COACHES|
|1||San Diego||San Diego|
|7||Morehead St. (Up)||Marist|
THE DIFFERENCE: Valpo has a really nice looking squad this season and looks to have a breakout year. The Crusaders had their first winning season under head coach Dave Cecchini in 2017. They went 5-3 in conference play last year and return 16 starters in 2018, tied for the most in the conference. With their entire offense, led by quarterback Jimmy Seewald, returning after averaging 30 points a game, watch out for this team.
FCS PREVIEWS: The Rest Of The PFL
Drake | Jacksonville | Marist
Morehead State | San Diego | Stetson | Valparaiso