Monday, August 7, 2017

Bloomsburg Football Picked To Finish Fourth In PSAC Preseason Coaches' Poll

Courtesy of Bloomsburg University Sports Information
PSAC East Poll Release | PSAC West Poll Release | PSAC Football Preseason Notes | 2017 Bloomsburg Schedule
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - The Bloomsburg University football team has been picked to finish fourth in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division according to the annual preseason coaches' poll released late Monday morning.

West Chester was the unanimous favorite to capture the PSAC Eastern Division crown this season after receiving all eight first-place votes. Last year's divisional champion, Kutztown, was picked to finish second while Shippensburg captured the third spot in the poll. East Stroudsburg was tabbed fifth while Lock Haven, Millersville, and Cheyney rounded out spots six through eight.

In the west, IUP garnered six of the eight first-place votes to grab the top spot in the preseason poll. California earned the other two first-place nods and was picked to finish second. Slippery Rock and Edinboro came in third and fourth while Gannon, Seton Hill, Clarion, and Mercyhurst rounded out the division.

The Huskies, who finished tied for third in the division a year ago, are coming off of a 6-5 overall record and a 4-3 mark in divisional play. The six victories snapped a streak of 17 straight seasons of seven or more victories but extended the program's streak to 18 straight years of having a winning season. The Huskies have recorded a winning record in 22 of the last 23 seasons.

"One of the things we have realized a long time here is that there is a fine line between winning and losing," said head coach Paul Darragh, who enters his fifth season as the head coach and sports an overall record of 34-13. "Sure, we had a winning season last year, but it wasn't quite what our expectations were."

Bloomsburg returns six starters on offense, including redshirt sophomore wide receiver Michael Allen (Oley, Pa./Oley Valley) who was an All-PSAC East Second Team honoree last season. Redshirt senior fullback Eric McCracken (Bloomsburg, Pa./Central Columbia) was a Don Hansen All-Super Region One Second Team member a year ago and also returns for his final year. On defense, the Huskies return five starters including their top two cornerbacks - redshirt juniors Dexter Jordan (Wernersville, Pa./Conrad Weiser) and Marquis Seamon (Philadelphia, Pa./Father Judge) - who combined for seven interceptions and 18 passes defended a year ago.

Redshirt junior Chris Gary (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Wood), who did not start a single game last season, also returns after leading the PSAC in sacks with 12.5. He was a Don Hansen Second Team All-American and an All-PSAC First Team honoree last season and was named a preseason Second Team All-American by Lindy's Sports entering 2017.

"Our emphasis since the final game last year was to make sure we take care of the little things because that's what really ends up getting a team over the hump in those close games," added Darragh. "We came out of the season and into the spring with a renewed sense of taking care of the little things and having a great work ethic. Hopefully, it will carry over into the fall and help us win those games that we have been able to win in the past."

The Huskies are scheduled to open the 2017 regular season with a home contest against Stonehill on Saturday, September 2. Kickoff from Danny Hale Field at Redman Stadium is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.

1. West Chester (8)
2. Kutztown
3. Shippensburg
4. Bloomsburg
5. East Stroudsburg
6. Lock Haven
7. Millersville
8. Cheyney

1. IUP (6)
2. California (2)
3. Slippery Rock
4. Edinboro
5. Gannon
6. Seton Hill
7. Clarion
8. Mercyhurst

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