#33 Sacramento State FCS Football 2013 Preview

Sacramento State Hornets

Overall Rank: #33
#5 Big Sky
#33 Sacramento State FCS Football 2013 Preview
Sacramento State Team Page


Keep your eyes open for the Sacramento State Hornets in 2013. Coach Marshall Sperbeck returns 17 starters from a year ago including some very important positions. Quarterback Garrett Safron returns as well as RB/WR Ezekiel Graham, who came on late last season to lead the team in rushing. After a pair of FBS opponents to open the season on the road, Sacramento State starts the FCS slate of their schedule with four of the next five at Hornet Stadium. Heading into a November game against the Montana Grizzlies, also looking for a bounce back season, the Hornets could be in contention for the Big Sky title.

2012 Record: 6-5, 4-4
2012 Postseason: None
Coach: Marshall Sperbeck (30-37 at Sacramento State, 139-90 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Paul Peterson
Defensive Coordinator: Anthony Parker

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Ezekiel Graham, RB, 861 yards
Passing: Garrett Safron, QB, 2,540 yards
Receiving: Morris Norrise, WR, 777 yards
Tackles: Osagie Odiase, DB, 47
Sacks: Trent Eskew, DE, 4
Interceptions: Osagie Odiase, DB, 3

Other Key Returnees: WR DeAndre Carter, WR Blake Robertson, OL Tyler Worthley, OL Aleksandar Milanovic, DB Josh Armstrong, LB Todd Davis, DB Markell Williams

Key Losses: OL Clay DePauw, OL Devonte Martin, LB Jeff Badger, DL Matt Lawrence, DB Ryan McMahon, DL Avery White

The Hornets return nine of their 11 starters on offense from a season ago and that includes their young explosive QB, Garrett Safron, who completed 65 percent of his passes in 2012 while throwing 22 touchdowns. Safron has a comfortable group to work with as four of his top five targets from last season return in 2013. Sacramento State also returns a pretty solid defense that just needs a little tweaking to make a stronger run through the Big Sky. In that run, the Hornets miss facing Montana State and get the Grizzlies at home late in the year. They also get North Arizona, Northern Colorado and Southern Utah at home for a schedule about as pleasing as one could ask for in the Big Sky Conference.

Sacramento State returns 17 starters from a year ago which should build a strong foundation to improve on from a 6-5 campaign in 2012. Coach Sperbeck needs to really concentrate on tightening up the defense because this offense has the potential to keep the Hornets in most of the games, including a season opener against San Jose State, but not if the defense allows the opponents blow the games open by halftime. They’ll need to have someone step up and replace Ryan McMahon who was a leader on the defensive side of the ball in 2012. The Hornets have a relatively favorable schedule but need to take care of business early with three of their final five games on the road as they try to make a playoff push.

The Bottom Line:
The Hornets are a legitimate contender for the postseason and don’t be surprised if after October they’re still in the Big Sky race with games in November remaining against Montana, Cal Poly and UC Davis. Safron needs to have another strong showing and should be able to with a familiar supporting cast and with the help of Graham out of the backfield.

Projected Postseason: None

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 163.27 (49th in nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 241.91 (31, 7)
Total Offense: 405.18 (38, 8)
Scoring Offense: 27.00 (55, 10)
Rushing Defense: 145.09 (47, 6)
Pass Defense: 248.55 (100, 9)
Total Defense: 393.64 (77, 5)
Scoring Defense: 28.18 (68, 6)
Turnover Margin: -0.91 (109, 12)
Sacks: 3.00 (9, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 1.64 (37, 4)

Madness 2013 FCS Football Recruit Rankings:
#57 Jihad Vercher


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