/seasons/2013/contrib/20130821pqdkd6

2013 Austin College Football Season Preview

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The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference landscape will have a different look in the 2013 football season, and the Austin College Kangaroos will be looking to get to the top of the mountain this season behind a deep and experienced defense as well as some strong returning talent on offense.

The 'Roos will help welcome two new programs in old American Southwest Conference rival Texas Lutheran, which begins its first season in the SCAC, as well as Southwestern, which brings its brand new varsity program to the conference this season. In a bit of a scheduling quirk, the 'Roos will actually get two shots at both TLU and Southwestern along with longtime SCAC rival Trinity this season.

Austin College returns eight starters on the defensive side of the ball, including seniors Nathan Packard and Stephen Young at linebacker as well as seniors De'Andre Holmes and Logan Estes in the secondary. Packard and Estes are expected to lead the defense after being selected as Preseason All-Americans this year. Packard led the 'Roos with 66 tackles with 5.0 for loss and 1.0 sack, and added an interception while Estes made 36 stops and picked off one pass from his cornerback position.

While the 'Roos are forced to replace a pair of seniors at defensive end, the team boasts several strong interior linemen who return from a year ago, including Tre Stewart and two talented defensive tackles both coincidentally named Brett Vaughn. Stewart made 47 stops last year while Brett T. Vaughn, a junior, had 37 tackles and Brett H. Vaughn, a sophomore, added 32.

The 'Roos will be looking to players such as Josh Uland, Madison Parkhill, and Casey Davis to shore up the defensive end spots in what will likely be one of the fiercest position battles in preseason camp.

The secondary should be the strength of the team with not only Holmes and Estes returning, but also fellow starter Scott Loy along with Colter Headrick and Shane Hodge, all of whom saw significant action last year. Holmes was second on the team with 59 tackles and Loy was third with 57, while Headrick had a team-high three interceptions and Hodge added two picks.

On offense, the 'Roos will be forced to replace six senior starters from a year ago but will lean heavily quarterback Noah Jesko, who enters his third season as the team's starter. Jesko completed 56.3% of his passes last year while throwing for 723 yards and five touchdowns. Also returning this season is Madison Ross, who earned SCAC Newcomer of the Year honors a season ago after rushing for 290 yards and two touchdowns and adding 12 receptions for 138 yards and two more scores.

Ross will get help in the backfield from James Nwankpah, Devin Smith, and Bryce Murphy. After Ross, Murphy is the second leading returning rusher after gaining 181 yards and two touchdowns last season while Nwankpah rushed for 124 and Smith added 94 and a touchdown. All three are expected to step into much larger roles in the offense this season.

Three of five starters return on the offensive line to help open up the holes for the talented stable of running backs, led by Hunter Womack, Chris Tanner, and Bradley Oh. Coach Loren Dawson expects Cole Caldwell and Cody Kovach to step up and help fill the void created by departed All-SCAC selections Tim Smith and Russell Gentry.

The 'Roos will also have to replace wide receiver PJ Fuller, who caught a team-high 30 passes last season for 491 yards and three touchdowns. Among the returning players, Ross has the most receptions but junior tight end Travis McClinton is back and Dawson also has high hopes for Gabe McCarthy and Kyle Crawford heading into the season. Mitch Trentman also returns to bolster the receiving corps.

Andrew Klink returns as the team's kicker this season after hitting on 9-of-11 field goals and 16-of-17 point after attempts last season, but the 'Roos will be forced to find a new punter with the graduation of Fuller, who had also performed that role in addition to being the team's go-to receiver. Freshmen Javier Reynoso and Ethan Smith will both be in the mix, while Dawson also says that Klink has the capability to perform a double role as the team's starting punter in addition to his duties as placekicker.

Austin College kicks off the season in Memphis on September 7 with a game at Rhodes College at 1:00 p.m. before returning home the following week to play host to East Texas Baptist with a 2:00 p.m. kickoff.

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
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at Framingham State 50, Massachusetts Maritime 7
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Muhlenberg 56, at Juniata 40
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at Dean 25, Becker 10
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Salisbury 27, at TCNJ 7
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MIT 38, at Catholic 21
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Merchant Marine 56, at Maine Maritime 31
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at Hobart 34, Endicott 17
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at Morrisville State 44, Nichols 22
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at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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at Albright 9, Widener 7
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Christopher Newport 16, at Montclair State 8
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at Westminster (Pa.) 41, Bethany 14
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Middlebury 41, at Bowdoin 14
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Williams 24, at Colby 7
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Amherst 36, at Hamilton 6
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Ursinus 35, at Moravian 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 51, at Bates 0
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at LaGrange 38, Brevard 28
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Geneva 33, at Thiel 24
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at Plymouth State 37, Mass-Dartmouth 7
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Kean 28, at Southern Virginia 14
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Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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Union 17, at Curry 14
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at Carnegie Mellon 37, Thomas More 17
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Lycoming 44, at King's 41
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at Western New England 21, Husson 14
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Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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at DePauw 51, Wooster 24
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at Ohio Wesleyan 37, Allegheny 21
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at Misericordia 43, Wilkes 14
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at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
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Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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at N.C. Wesleyan 35, Maryville (Tenn.) 25
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Huntingdon 31, at Ferrum 28
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at McDaniel 27, Gettysburg 20
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at Buffalo State 33, RPI 21
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Franklin and Marshall 27, at Susquehanna 24
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at Denison 45, Oberlin 17
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 10, Westminster (Mo.) 7
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at Eureka 44, Crown 20
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at Lebanon Valley 24, FDU-Florham 14
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at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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at Ohio Northern 35, Otterbein 7
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at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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at Rose-Hulman 37, Defiance 14
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at Marietta 49, Muskingum 25
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Franklin 59, at Bluffton 30
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at Hanover 64, Anderson 21
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Mount St. Joseph 31, at Manchester 14
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Worcester State 34, at Westfield State 10
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Coast Guard 13, at Norwich 9
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at Fitchburg State 31, Bridgewater State 29
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Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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at Millsaps 17, Sewanee 13
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at Rhodes 35, Birmingham-Southern 9
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at Hendrix 36, Austin 24
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at Martin Luther 34, Greenville 20
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at Trinity (Texas) 41, Chapman 35
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at Loras 73, Buena Vista 34
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at Wartburg 30, Washington U. 20
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at Gustavus Adolphus 51, Hamline 7
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Augsburg 48, at Carleton 28
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at Bethel 64, St. Olaf 7
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at Luther 21, Dubuque 17
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at Central 52, Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Simpson 38, at Coe 33
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Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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St. Norbert 66, at Grinnell 13
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at Knox 13, Ripon 6
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at MacMurray 32, Iowa Wesleyan 14
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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Southwestern 37, at Louisiana College 34
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Monmouth 26, at Macalester 0
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at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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at Springfield 42, WPI 10
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at Cornell 55, Beloit 36
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at Brockport 28, Utica 14
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at Hartwick 24, St. John Fisher 21
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at UW-La Crosse 41, Carroll 6
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at St. Scholastica 37, Minnesota-Morris 3
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at George Fox 44, UW-Eau Claire 0
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at Western Connecticut 37, Salve Regina 23
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at UW-Stevens Point 41, Adrian 28
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at Wesleyan 24, Tufts 17
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at Averett 35, Methodist 6
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at Berry 28, Centre 14
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at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
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at Grove City 24, St. Vincent 14
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at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
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at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
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Carthage 55, at Augustana 14
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Chicago 28, at Illinois College 7
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at Sul Ross State 35, McMurry 7
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at Wilmington 37, Capital 30
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Lake Forest 42, at Lawrence 26
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at East Texas Baptist 79, Belhaven 40
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Arizona Christian 56, at Whittier 38
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Sep. 28: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Shenandoah at Randolph-Macon
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Sep. 23: All times Eastern
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at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
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Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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at Brockport 28, Utica 14
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at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
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at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
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at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
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