Football Championship Subdivision 2011 season preview

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Don't forget to catch Tim Brant's College Football Preview tonight at 9 on ABC7.

William & Mary running back Jonathan Grimes is regarded as one of the top players in the CAA. (Photo: Associated Press)

2011 College Football Preview Schedule:
Maryland: Aug. 30
Virginia Tech: Aug. 31
Virginia: Sept. 1
FCS schools: Sept. 2

James Madison Dukes

Head coach: Mickey Matthews, 13th season at James Madison
2010 record: 6-5 overall, 3-5 in the Colonial Athletic Association
2010 NCAA playoffs: Did not qualify
2011 CAA media poll prediction: 2nd place

The Dukes, coming off a 3-5 season in CAA play, are picked to bounce back and make a push for the playoffs in 2011. One of their wins last season was a stunning victory at Blacksburg over the nationally ranked Virginia Tech Hokies, and they’ll take on another ACC foe this season when the open their schedule at North Carolina. The Dukes’ stout defense allowed just over 14 points per game last season, and head coach Mickey Matthews says that this year’s unit could be one of the most athletic defenses he has coached. However, major turnover within the offense, including the departure of eight starters, has played into several position battles heading into 2011.

2011 Schedule (All home games played at Bridgeforth Stadium, Harrisonburg, Va.)
Sept. 3: at FBS North Carolina
Sept. 10: vs. Central Connecticut State
Sept. 17: at Liberty
Sept. 24: at William & Mary
Oct. 1: vs. Richmond
Oct. 8: vs. Maine
Oct. 15: vs. Villanova
Oct. 29: at Old Dominion
Nov. 5: at New Hampshire
Nov. 12: vs. Rhode Island
Nov. 19: at Massachusetts

William & Mary Tribe

Head coach: Jimmye Laycock, 32nd season at William & Mary
2010 record: 8-4 overall, 6-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association
2010 NCAA playoffs: Lost to Georgia Southern in the 2nd round
2011 CAA media poll prediction: 1st place

William & Mary enters 2011 with high expectations from not only themselves but from national observers. The Tribe ranks 3rd in the preseason The Sports Network/ FCS poll and is among the favorites to make a deep run into the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. Led by longtime head coach Jimmye Laycock, William & Mary is anchored by senior quarterback Michael Paulus and All-American running back Jonathan Grimes, who led the CAA by averaging 135 all-purpose yards per game. The defense is led by a pair of 2010 All-CAA selections in defensive end Marcus Hyde and linebacker Jake Trantin.

2011 Schedule (All home games played at Walter J. Zable Stadium, Williamsburg, Va.)
Sept. 3: at FBS Virginia
Sept. 10: at VMI
Sept. 17: vs. New Haven
Sept. 24: vs. James Madison
Oct. 1: at Villanova
Oct. 8: at Delaware
Oct. 15: vs. New Hampshire
Oct. 22: vs. Towson
Nov. 5: at Rhode Island
Nov. 12: vs. Old Dominion
Nov. 19: at Richmond

Old Dominion Monarchs

Head coach: Bobby Wilder, 4th season at Old Dominion
2010 record: 8-3 overall as an independent
2010 NCAA playoffs: Did not qualify
2011 CAA media poll prediction: 10th place

The Monarchs are entering their 3rd season of football after the program was dormant for 69 years and are hoping to continue their run as the best start-up in FCS history. ODU has recorded a 17-5 record since restarting the program under head coach Bobby Wilder. The offense is led by Thomas DeMarco, who is one of 20 players on the preseason Walter Payton Award watch list. The strong-armed senior averaged over 250 yards of passing per game in 2010. This will be the Monarchs first season in the Colonial Athletic Association after spending their first two years back in college football as an independent.

2011 Schedule (All home games played at Foreman Field, Hampton Roads, Va.)
Sept. 3: vs. Campbell
Sept. 10: at Georgia State
Sept. 17: vs. Hampton
Sept. 24: at Delaware
Oct. 1: vs. Massachusetts
Oct. 8: at Rhode Island
Oct. 15: vs. Towson
Oct. 22: at Villanova
Oct. 29: vs. James Madison
Nov. 5: vs.Richmond
Nov. 12: at William & Mary

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