Bulldogs get NO Respect from Prognosticators!

The Bulldogs will need to make the SoCon respect them in 2015!

The Bulldogs will need to make the SoCon respect them in 2015!

Spring SoCon Predictions
By Southern Pigskin Staff

1. Chattanooga Mocs:
The Mocs return the two-time SoCon Offensive Player of the Year in quarterback Jacob Huesman, who led Chattanooga to a record-breaking 2014 campaign. Anchoring the offensive line will be Jacobs Blocking Award-Winner Corey Levin. The Mocs led the SoCon and were No. 20 in the FCS in scoring offense (34.7). Defensively, the Mocs must replace All-American Davis Tull from a defense that led the SoCon and was fourth nationally in total defense, giving up 277.6 yards per game. Chattanooga returns 16 starters from 2014: six on offense, six on defense and both specialists. The Mocs open the 2015 season at home against Jacksonville State.
2. Western Carolina:
The Catamounts finished tied for second in the SoCon last year, with their seven wins being a program-high since 2001. Western Carolina returns nine starters on defense and all 11 starters on offense, including 10 All-SoCon performers from 2014. Leading the Catamount offense is unanimous first-team selection WR Spearman Robinson. On defense, DB Trey Morgan was a first-team selection in 2014.
3. Furman:
After an injury-riddled 2014 season, coming off the program’s first SoCon title since 2004 in 2013, the Furman Paladins, if they can stay healthy, look to challenge for the league crown in 2015. Furman returns 18 starters from 2014 and 36 players that have starting experience. Offensively, the Paladins will welcome back junior QB Reese Hannon, who missed virtually all of last season after fracturing an ankle in the season-opener against Gardner-Webb. Cory Magwood, an all-SoCon performer in 2014, will look to continue Furman’s deep tradition at linebacker. The Paladins open the 2015 season with a matchup against Coastal Carolina.
4. Samford:
Chris Hatcher takes over at Samford for Pat Sullivan, who engineered Samford to its greatest success since the 1960’s. Samford will be led on offense by first-team All-SoCon RB Denzel Williams, who rushed for 918 yards and led the SoCon in scoring (8.7 ppg) as a sophomore. Defensively, the Bulldogs will be led by LB Justin Cooper, a first-team All-SoCon pick in 2014. Samford returns seven starters on offense and seven starters on defense from the 2014 team that finished 7-4 overall and tied for 2nd in the SoCon with a 5-2 record.
5. Mercer:
Mercer, in its second season in the SoCon, will return all 22 starters from a 6-6 team in 2014. The Bears’ offense will be led by All-SoCon second-team performer Alex Lakes at RB, along with Wilson Heres anchoring the offensive line. Austin Barrett and Kyle Williams will lead the defense, with both being named to the SoCon All-Freshman team in 2014. FCS All-American return specialist Chandler Curtis also returns for Mercer, which opens its season at Austin Peay on September 5th.
6. Wofford:
The Terriers’ 6-5 finish in 2014 was their 11th winning season in the past 13 years. Wofford will suit up 21 returning starters in 2015: ten on offense and nine on defense. Coach Mike Ayers will have to decide between two quarterbacks that shared the duty last year – Evan Jacks started the first six games, and Michael Weimer got the nod in the final five games of 2014. Wofford opens 2015 at Clemson and has a favorable SoCon home schedule with Chattanooga, Western Carolina, Samford and Furman visiting Gibbs Stadium this season.
7. VMI:
The Keydets will line up in 2015 under new head coach Scott Wachenheim and will look to make some noise in their second season back in the SoCon after an 11-year absence. The Keydet offense will be led by SoCon Freshman of the Year QB Al Cobb. Cobb led the SoCon in passing with 2,791 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2014. Defensively, the Keydets are led by all three starters returning along the defensive line, including Joe Nelson and Denton Ensminger. VMI opens the 2015 season on Thursday, September 3rd at Ball State.
8. Citadel:
The Citadel returns 15 starters from last season’s 5-7 Bulldog squad. The Bulldogs will be relying on a pair of redshirt freshmen at QB in Shon Belton and Cam Jackson to lead the offense in 2015. The linebacking corps of Tevin Floyd, James Riley and Myles Pierce will be the strength of the Bulldogs’ defense. The Citadel has four of its first five games at home in 2015 starting with Davidson. The Bulldogs will travel to former SoCon rival Georgia Southern on September 19th and to Columbia to take on South Carolina to end the season.
* East Tennessee State does not play a full SoCon schedule until 2016, and was therefore not included in these predictions.


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