#38 Bryant 2018 FCS Football Preview

Bryant Bulldogs
Overall Rank: #38
#1 NEC
 Bryant Logo
The NEC is consistently a wide open race. Since 2010 every team in the conference has gone to the playoffs…except Bryant. After finishing 4-2 in NEC play last season, this could be the year for the Bulldogs. Coach James Perry got his team going towards the end of his first season at the helm of the program, winning four straight to end the year. The Bulldogs hope to carry that momentum into 2018.
2017 Record: 6-5, 4-2
2017 Postseason: None
Coach: James Perry (6-5 at Bryant, 6-5 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Vinny Marino
Defensive Coordinator: Kevin Kelly
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Brenden Femiano, RB, 394 yards
Passing: Price Wilson, QB, 3,311 yards
Receiving: Tom Kennedy, WR, 888 yards
Tackles: Thomas Costigan, LB, 103
Sacks: Thomas Costigan, LB, 11.5
Interceptions: Zahir Williams, DB, 2; Andre Brackett, DB, 2
Other Key Returnees: RB Issac McCray, WR Jean Constant, LB Jesse Nemerowicz, DB Eulogio Portugal, DL Dillon Guthro, DL Kevin Lazo, K Gavin Rowley
Key Losses: FB Jake Wiswall, WR Matt Sewall, DB Torrey Dixon
This is a team that likes to throw the ball around and quarterback Price Wilson can certainly do just that. He threw for 3,311 yards and 24 touchdowns during his first year with the Bulldogs, setting single season school records for completions, attempts, passing yards and total offense. Wilson does need to reduce his 18 interceptions, but he has all the tools to break his own single season records in 2018. Tom Kennedy leads a deep group of wide receivers. The Lacrosse star returned to football last season and caught 57 passes for 888 yards and nine touchdowns. He also added three more scores on the ground. Jean Constant had a big year too, catching 48 passes for 594 yards and seven touchdowns. The ground game was not very good last year, but Brenden Femiano is back after leading the team with 394 yards and Isaac McCray is a promising sophomore.
Bryant’s defense was very disappointing last year. They ranked dead last in the NEC in pass defense, total defense and scoring defense. Most of the key pieces to the unit are back, but it remains to be seen if that is a good thing. It is certainly a good thing to have Thomas Costigan back. The senior linebacker tallied 103 tackles, 17.5 tackles-for-loss and 11.5 sacks. With linemen Dillon Guthro and Kevin Lazo also getting some pressure on the quarterback, Bryant should again be one of the best pass rushing teams in the conference. They just need to use that pass rush in order to create more turnovers in the secondary or at least slow down the opposing passing game.
The Bottom Line:
If the turnover battle can start going in Bryant’s favor, this group has the potential to win the NEC. Road games against Duquesne and Saint Francis will be tough, but those are the types of games that Bryant needs to win in order to win a conference title. If they can win one of those games, they will remain right in the mix to reach the playoffs for the first time ever.
Projected Postseason: FCS Playoffs
2017 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 117.5 (90th in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 305.8 (9, 1)
Total Offense: 423.4 (27, 1)
Scoring Offense: 30.3 (28, 2)
Rushing Defense: 166.5 (76, 5)
Pass Defense: 293.1 (120, 7)
Total Defense: 459.6 (114, 7)
Scoring Defense: 34.7 (109, 7)
Turnover Margin: -1.55 (121, 7)
Sacks: 2.36 (38, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 2.73 (97, 5)