#11 Sacramento State FCS Football 2022 Preview

Sacramento State Hornets
Overall Rank: #11
#3 Big Sky
 Sacramento State Logo
Sacramento State is coming off a great season in which they won the Big Sky title with a perfect 8-0 record. The conference slate could have been more difficult, but the Hornets won the games that were in front of them. That did not result in playoff success though. Sacramento State earned the #4 overall seed in the playoffs, but lost in their opener 24-19 against South Dakota State.
2021 Record: 9-3, 8-0
2021 Postseason: FCS Playoffs
Coach: Troy Taylor (18-7 at Sacramento State, 18-7 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Troy Taylor
Defensive Coordinator: Andy Thompson
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Asher O’Hara, QB, 662 yards
Passing: Jake Dunniway, QB, 2,576 yards
Receiving: Pierre Williams, WR, 764 yards
Tackles: Marte Mapu, DB, 65
Sacks: Killian Rosko, DL, 2.0
Interceptions: Marte Mapu, DB, 4
Other Key Returnees: RB Cameron Skattebo, RB Marcus Fulcher, TE Marshel Martin, WR Jared Gipson, WR Chris Miller, OL Brandon Weldon, S Abel Ordaz, LB Jeremy Harris, DL Tyler Hardeman, S Cameron Broussard
Key Losses: RB BJ Perkinson, OL Thomas Parker, OL Kooper Richardson, LB Marcus Hawkins, DL Josiah Erickson, CB Munchie Filer, LB Taylor Powell, DB Malik Jeter, DB Dominick Sanders
The Sacramento State offense was consistent in 2021. With so much of the skill position players returning, the hope is that the Hornets can become an even more explosive offense. Quarterback Jake Dunniway threw for 2,576 yards and a dozen touchdowns. Fellow quarterback Asher O’Hara does most of his damage with his legs where he led the team with 662 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground, but he also threw for 899 yards and seven touchdowns. With a deep and experienced group of pass catchers, highlighted by Pierre Williams and tight end Marshel Martin, the Hornets will be very dangerous in the air from both of their quarterbacks. When Sacramento State hands the ball off, it will go to Cameron Skattebo and Marcus Fulcher. Skattebo was very productive freshman campaign, rushing for 520 yards on just 57 carries.
The Sacramento State defense was solid once again in 2021. The one place they were lacking was in the pass rush. Marcus Hawkins and Josiah Erickson are gone after accounting for 15 of the team’s paltry 23 sacks last season. That leaves pressure on players like Killian Rosko and Tyler Hardeman to lead a defensive front line that needs to find a way to get into the backfield. Jeremy Harris will be the new leader at linebacker after a bit of a down 2021 campaign following a very promising 2019 season. The secondary has the most experience returning and that is never a bad thing in the pass heavy Big Sky. Marte Mapu is the playmaker of the unit and tallied 65 tackles and a team high four interceptions.
The Bottom Line:
After a season opener against Utah Tech, Sacramento State will hit the road for three straight weeks and face Northern Iowa, Colorado State and Cal Poly. While that will prove to be a difficult stretch of games, it is October matchups against Eastern Washington and Montana that could prove to be the most important games when it comes to whether the Hornets reach the playoffs or not.
Projected Postseason:  FCS Playoffs
2021 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 172.2 (30th in nation, 4th in conference)
Passing Offense: 291.7 (12, 2)
Total Offense: 463.9 (9, 2)
Scoring Offense: 30.3 (33, 3)
Rushing Defense: 121.6 (25, 3)
Pass Defense: 208.1 (39, 3)
Total Defense: 329.7 (22, 3)
Scoring Defense: 19.1 (15, 3)
Turnover Margin: 0.50 (26, 5)
Sacks: 1.92 (68, 11)
Sacks Allowed: 1.50 (31, 3)