|Norwich junior RB Andrew
Fulford ran for 703 yards and
nine touchdowns a year ago.
Norwich athletics photo
NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University football team, the 2009 Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) champions, was picked to defend its crown in 2010 according to the league's preseason coaches' poll, which was released on Wednesday.
The Cadets, who picked up seven of the eight first-place votes in the poll, compiled an 8-3 overall record last season and completed their inaugural ECFC slate with a perfect 6-0 mark. NU excelled in all three phases of the game a year ago, outscoring its conference opponents by a whopping 167-64 margin.
Norwich, which enters the 2010 campaign riding an eight-game win streak, returns 17 starters and 42 letterwinners from last season's championship squad. The Cadets, who averaged 277.7 rushing yards per game in league contests, return their entire offensive line and their top four rushers from a year ago.
NU's defense, which yielded a mere 10.7 points per game against conference foes, brings back seven starters, including all four starting linebackers from last season's unit. The Cadets figure to be strong in the kicking game once again with the return of all-conference punter Brian Segit and kicker Ryan Kelly.
Mount Ida, last season's runner-up to Norwich in the ECFC, was picked second in the preseason listing. The Mustangs, who picked up the last remaining first-place vote, were defeated twice by Norwich a season ago, including a 49-14 setback in the ECFC Championship Game.
New York Maritime, Husson and Gallaudet were picked third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Castleton State, Becker and Anna Maria rounded out the poll, listing sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.
Norwich kicks off its 2010 campaign on Saturday, Sept. 4, when the Cadets host Western New England College in a non-league contest at Sabine Field. The game, which will be a rematch of last season's 28-27 WNEC victory, is slated to kick off at 1:30 p.m.
To read more about the ECFC's upcoming season, click HERE.