GLENVILLE - David Hutchison's second year as the head football coach at Glenville State College once again will see the gridiron boss face a trio of non-conference road opponents as the other eight games all will be contested versus fellow members of the West Virginia Conference.
Only one of those teams - Carson-Newman - returns to the schedule in 2012, which happens to be GSC's season opener set for a 7 p.m. Thursday kickoff on Aug. 30 in Jefferson City, Tenn. The other two non-conference tilts will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13 when the Pioneers, who went 5-6 overall a year ago, face Southern Conference foe Chattanooga and another 7 p.m. start on Friday, Sept. 22 when the G-men head to St. Charles, Mo., to square off with future Division II foe Lindenwood.
Just like GSC, the Eagles will be trying to rebound from a 5-6 campaign in 2011. Veteran head coach Ken Sparks, now in his 33rd season, will be looking to make the opener against Glenville State a special milestone as he goes for career victory No. 300.
C-N, a member of the South Atlantic Conference, might have its biggest question mark at quarterback, but that's not the case when it comes to the backfield.
The Eagles averaged less than 84 yards a game passing last year, but made up for that by rushing for better than 277 stripes a contest. Returning to that mix is Tyron Douglas, who came on due to injuries and amassed 731 yards rushing and scored a dozen touchdowns while averaging a robust 6.6 yards a carry. Also expected back in the tailback fold is Brandon Baker, who went down with an ankle injury during the second game of the year. He still rushed for 191 yards and four scores.
Douglas rolled up 132 yards and scored twice on 10 totes during the spring game.
The Eagles are also expected to have a strong group of linebackers this year to lead the defense.
The task at hand versus UTC, which opens its season on Sept. 1 at South Florida, will be anything but easy.
A Football Championship Subdivision member, the Mocs return 46 lettermen from a year ago - 26 on offense, 19 on defense and a kicker. That total includes 17 starters.
Last season, Chattanooga led the Southern Conference in both scoring defense and total defense and they should be strong on that front once again this year. Not only do the Mocs return defensive lineman Josh Williams, who led the conference with 9.5 sacks in 2011, but linebacker Wes Dothard is also back. As a sophomore, Dothard averaged nearly nine stops a game to finish seventh overall in tackles for the conference.
Tailback Denodus O'Bryant, who had 85 yards and a score on six attempts in the spring game, is expected to lead the rushing attack.
However, the biggest question for the Lions will be who is going to start at quarterback. Incumbent signal-caller John Uribe passed for more than 2,200 yards last year, had 19 touchdowns and a near 61 percent completion percentage, but there are plenty of other challengers heading into camp. Tops among those is Saddleback College transfer Ben Gomez, who was tabbed as the California Junior College offensive player of the year after throwing for 33 touchdowns and 3,651 yards last season.
Another player the G-men will need to contend with is Lindenwood's top wideout Andrew Helmick, who had 12 touchdown catches and 901 yards receiving. In the spring game, Helmick hauled in a 65-yard scoring strike from Gomez and tallied four receptions for 105 yards.