HERO Sports welcomes you to "Two-a-Days", where we will preview every single one of the 125 FCS programs, with two being released each day from June 18 to August 18 (with the final day having three in one day). Today we give you … Sacramento State.
SACRAMENTO STATE (7-4 IN 2017)
Big Sky (Sac State was 4th in 2017)
COACH: Jody Sears – 5th year (18-27 record)
2017 OFFENSE: 37.6 ppg. (5th in FCS)
2017 DEFENSE: 29.7 ppg. (94th in FCS)
SUM IT UP: The playoff bubble was packed last November. One of the teams left out of the bracket was Sac State, who went 7-4 overall and 6-2 in the Big Sky Conference considered to be the third best in the FCS. There's sure to be some motivation for the Hornets, aided by the fact they were picked to finish fifth by the coaches and seventh by the media in the preseason poll. This is a team that has the second most returning starters in the Big Sky with 15.
Offensively, this unit could be special. It already was last year and finished fifth in the FCS in scoring. Senior quarterback Kevin Thomson enters his second year as a starter after starting his career at UNLV. His main target Andre Lindsey is back at receiver along with one of the top running backs in Elijah Dotson. If Sac State wants to compete at the top of the improving Big Sky, improvements on defense are needed. Having its seven top tacklers back will help.
BEST-CASE SCENARIO: A trip to the playoffs should be the goal here. There's a fair argument to be made the Hornets should have gotten in last year. But the Big Sky has only had three teams in the postseason lately and Eastern Washington also had a case last year to make the bracket. The problem for Sac State was its conference wins last year were against teams at the bottom of the Big Sky standings. The schedule beefs up this year with more quality opponents. Another 6-2 record should be good enough to make the playoffs.
TOP RETURNEE: DE George Obinna (First Team All-Big Sky)
THE NEXT BEST: S Mister Harriel (Preseason All-Big Sky); WR Andre Lindsey (Preseason All-Big Sky, 756 yards, 7 TDs ); QB Kevin Thomson (1,828 yards, 17 TDs, 3 INT.); DB Dre Terrell (61 tackles, 5 INT.); DB Austin Clark (73 tackles)
TOP NEWCOMER: DL David Perales (JuCo transfer, Golden Coast Conference DPOY)
DID YOU KNOW?: In 2003 and from 2005 to 2007, Portland State hosted the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Hornet Stadium.
THE QUOTE: "A year ago going into the season we were awful statistically. The two things that really stood out that we need to continue to build on is our run game and our run defense." — Head Coach Jody Sears said at media days
SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTLIGHT
THE HASHTAG: #HornetFootball
FOOTBALL TWITTER: @SacHornetsFB