2013 Season Preview
For the first time since 1993, the Huskies begin a season with someone other than Danny Hale as head coach. The Huskies all time winningest coach stepped down in February and long time assistant coach Paul Darragh was named interim coach. Darragh inherits a team that returns 11 starters including six all conference picks from a team that finished 10-2 last season and made it to the NCAA playoffs.
The Huskies averaged an impressive 37.6 points a game last season, and there is enough firepower returning to equal or exceed those numbers. Senior tailback Franklyn Quiteh was the nation’s leading rusher with 2121 yards. He needs just 361 yards to become the PSAC’s all time career leader. Eddie Mateo rushed for over 1000 yards in 2012, but he is no longer in school, so the Huskies will search someone to complement Quiteh. One candidate is sophomore Dai’Shon Munger who averaged over six yards last season on 33 carries.The Huskies have two strong capable fullbacks in senior Matt Wenrich and junior Brody Meyers.
The offensive line should be a real strength. Four starters return including three all conference picks in 6-7, 325 pound senior tackle Matt Feiler, 6-1, 285 pound senior center Chris Steck, and 6-3 290 pound senior Brian Clarke. Clarke may move to tackle this season. The other returning starter is guard Alex Buchert, a 6-2, 285 pound senior.
Tight end should be a strength with three capable players- sophomores Jack Sandherr and Shane Quinn and redshirt freshman Aaron Allison.
Sophomore quarterback Tim Kelly returns as the starting quarterback. Kelly had a good season in 2012 throwing for 1793 yards and 22 touchdowns. The backup spot is a competition between junior Brady Knerr and redshirt freshman Chad Hoffman.
The question mark on offense is at wide receiver where only senior Glen Hutton returns. Sophomore Connor Gades and junior Tony Pergrin are candidates and several freshmen have a chance to contribute
The Huskies hope to improve on this side of the football. In 2012 they gave up 29.6 points a game. They do have two all conference picks returning in defensive end Larry Webster and linebacker Justin Shirk.
Webster, a former Husky basketball standout, set a school record for sacks in his first season of football since high school. The Huskies have two other quality ends in juniors Dave McFadden and Tony David. First team all conference pick Chris Kennedy, a 6-3, 280 pound senior returns at tackle. The Huskies have two other solid returners at tackle in sophomore Jeremiah Lowery and junior Shawn Mitchell.
Justin Shirk should have an outstanding season at linebacker. A second team all conference pick as an outside linebacker in 2012, the 6-1, 240 pound junior moves to the inside this season. On either side of him will be junior Dylan Spangler and sophomore Garrett Pope. Redshirt freshman Andrew Harris should also be in the mix.
Senior safety J.P Patrick and sophomore cornerback D.J. Robinson are returning starters in the secondary. Junior Tyler Knoblauch is a candidate for the other starting safety spot. Sophomore Gary Postell could start at corner opposite Robinson. Two other players in the rotation are likely to be sophomore Damin Finley and junior Tomas Cabrera, a transfer from Temple.
Senior Dan Fisher did all of the kicking last season, and he is outstanding. He needs just five field goals and 19 points to be the all time PSAC career leader in both categories. Long snapper Ian Murray and holder Braden Drexler also return. Freshman Will Wagner is a strong candidate to take some of the punting load off Fisher.
The return game should be strong with D.J. Robinson leading the way.
Hale will be missed, but Darragh is in his 17th season with the program and the rest of the coaching staff returns. That experience plus some outstanding returning talent should make the Huskies a PSAC contender.