TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology football team has been picked to finish fourth in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference this season, in a preseason poll of league coaches released in August.
The Fightin' Engineers earned a share of their conference football championship in 25 years last season, finishing 7-3 overall and 7-1 in league play. Rose-Hulman returns 43 letter winners, seven offensive starters and five defensive starters from last season's squad.
Franklin was picked to earn its seventh consecutive conference title in the coaches poll. Mount St. Joseph received the remaining two first-place votes, with Hanover selected third.
Rose-Hulman and Defiance tied for the fourth spot in the preseason poll, with Bluffton, Defiance, Manchester, Earlham and Anderson rounding out the list.
Rose-Hulman must replace three first-team all-conference selections from last season for a squad that paced second in the league in total offense at 426.1 yards per game. Juniors Jacob Dye (Tipton, Ind./Tipton) and Aaron Abbott (Lebanon, Ohio/Lebanon) combined for over 85 receptions and 950 receiving yards to lead the offensive returners, while sophomore Kevin Nowak (Naperville, Ill./Central) led the defense with 77 tackles and four interceptions.
The Fightin' Engineers open the 2014 season with a trip to Kalamazoo College on Saturday Sept. 6. The home opener is Sept. 13 against Illinois College, and the annual Homecoming Game is October 4 against Anderson.
2014 HCAC FOOTBALL PRESEASON POLL
|Finish||Team||First Place Votes||2013 Overall Record||2013 HCAC Record|
|2||Mount St. Joseph||65 (2)||6-4||6-2|