#29 William & Mary FCS Football 2022 Preview

William & Mary Tribe
Overall Rank: #29
#5 CAA
 William & Mary Logo
On October 30th William & Mary moved to 6-2 overall with a nice win at Villanova. One more win in their last three games would all but clinch their first playoff appearance since 2015. They were not easy contests against Delaware, James Madison and Richmond, but the Tribe lost all three and finished at a disappointing 6-5 and missed out on the playoffs. That was a tough way to end the season, but it was the best campaign William & Mary have had under Coach Mike London and they are heading in the right direction.
2021 Record: 6-5, 4-4
2021 Postseason: None
Coach: Mike London (12-14 at William & Mary, 74-74 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Christian Taylor
Defensive Coordinator: Vincent Brown
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Bronson Yoder, RB, 622 yards
Passing: Darius Wilson, QB, 1,205 yards
Receiving: Lachlan Pitts, TE, 129 yards
Tackles: Trey Watkins, LB, 78
Sacks: Nate Lynn, DL, 12.0
Interceptions: Tye Freeland, DB, 2; Marcus Barnes, S, 2
Other Key Returnees: RB Donavyn Lester, RB Malachi Imoh, WR JT Mayo, OL Colby Sorsdal, CB Ryan Poole, LB Kevin Jarrell, LB Isaiah Jones, LB John Pius, DB Malcolm Spencer, LB Brayden Staib, DL Zyquan Bessant
Key Losses: WR Cole Blackman, WR Zach Burdick, OL Andrew Trainer, S Gage Herdman, DL Will Kiely, LB Tyler Crist
The Tribe boasted the CAA’s top rushing attack in 2021 and they will not likely change in 2022. Bronson Yoder led the way, rushing for 622 yards and four scores, but Donavyn Lester was right behind him with 519 yards and five trips to the end zone. Malachi Imoh had a promising redshirt freshman campaign, rushing for 384 yards on 67 carries. He has a bright future, but will find getting too many more carries difficult. But the best freshman on W&M, and in the CAA, last year was Darius Wilson. The quarterback threw for 1,205 yards and six touchdowns and completed nearly 60 percent of his pass attempts. He also added 386 yards on the ground. Top receivers Cole Blackman and Zach Burdick need to be replaced, but tight end Lachlan Pitts is a steady option, and JT Mayo has the potential to be a threat down the field.
The Tribe did a great job defensively when the ball was on the ground. They allowed the opposition to rush for just 107.5 yards per game. Much of the front seven returns too, led by leading tackler Trey Watkins. Fellow linebackers Kevin Jarrell, Isaiah Jones and John Pius will add plenty of help around Watkins. The front line will again be led by Nate Lynn, who recorded 12.0 sacks in 2021. The secondary has plenty of experience, but they will need to take advantage of that experience and be more productive.
The Bottom Line:
In the end, this should be a better team than last season. However, that may not be enough to catch up to the top teams in the Colonial. And the schedule is not easy. A brutal gauntlet starts on October 8th that includes games against Delaware, Rhode Island, Villanova and Richmond.
Projected Postseason:  None
2021 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 205.3 (17th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 135.2 (113, 12)
Total Offense: 340.5 (81, 6)
Scoring Offense: 22.3 (85, 7)
Rushing Defense: 107.5 (12, 2)
Pass Defense: 249.2 (98, 11)
Total Defense: 356.6 (45, 7)
Scoring Defense: 22.1 (26, 4)
Turnover Margin: 0.55 (21, 3)
Sacks: 2.64 (26, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 1.00 (8, 1)