August 31st, 2022 12:00pm
The PSAC is back! Welcome to Week 1 of the 2022 Division II College Football season. Opening week for the teams of the PSAC will span over three days starting on Thursday 9/1/22 through Saturday 9/3/22. We will see 15 of the 16 PSAC teams in action over this three-day period. IUP (PSAC West) is the only team idle this week. The D2.Football.com #6 ranked team, Shepherd (PSAC East), will hit the field first this season with a 5:30 PM scheduled start at Southern Connecticut State on Thursday, 9/1/22. Here is the preview for all 15 games being played in Week 1 and my predicted winner for each game.
#6 Shepherd (PSAC East) at Southern Connecticut State (NE10) - 5:30 PM
Shepherd: Ernie McCook returns for his 5th Season as head coach with a 31-8 overall record. Shepherd went 13-2 overall in 2021 and finished 6th in the final D2Football.com On offense, the 2021 Harlon Hill Trophy winner, QB Tyson Bagent, OT Joey Fisher, both of whom were D2Football.com “Elite 100” Team selections at the end of last season, and 1st Team All PSAC East WR Ryan Beach are back. On defense, DE Kyle Smith, is a player to watch this upcoming season.
Southern Connecticut State: Tom Godek enters his 9th season as head coach. The Owls were picked to finish 6th out of the 8 team field in the NE10. On offense, WR Tylon Papallo, on defense LB Robert Nunez, and on special teams, PK Szymon Gawlick all return in 2022.
My Prediction: #6 Shepherd – The Rams dominate and win big.
West Liberty (MEC) at Clarion (PSAC West) – 6 PM
Clarion: Raymond Monica enters his first season as head coach. Previously, Monica was the head coach at Kutztown in the PSAC East from 2006-2012. On offense, 2nd Team PSAC West RB Khalil Owens is returning. On defense, 2nd Team All PSAC West LB Kareem Hamdan is back this season.
West Liberty: Roger Walalae is in his 18th season as head coach. The Hilltoppers were 4-7 last season and are picked to finish 10th out of 12 teams in the MEC preseason poll. RB Tyler Moler, DE Trevor Hoosier, DE David Gilcreast and DB Elijah Hardy are key returning players.
The Pick: Clarion – The Golden Eagles pull this one out.
Fairmount State (MEC) at #23 California (PA) – 6:30 PM
#23 California: Gary Dunn enters his 7 the season as head coach with a 43-13 overall record. On offense, the Vulcans are returning QB Noah Mitchell, the 2021 PSAC West Offensive Player of the Year. Heading into his fourth year as the starter, he has already thrown for 8,160 yards in his career. WR JaQuae Jackson, who had 58 receptions for 744 yards last season, and All PSAC West 1st Team Center Bryce Perkins are returning as well. On defense, ALL PSAC West 1st Team DL Derick Korboi and ALL PSAC West 1st Team LB Noah Dillow return this season. On special teams, D2Football.com “Elite 100” Team selection PK Anthony Beitko returns.
Fairmont State: Jason Woodman is entering his 10th season as head coach. The Fighting Falcons were picked 6th of 12 teams in the MEC preseason poll. Fairmount State returns the following ALL MEC conference seletctions: QB Michael Floria on offense and LB Brocton Blair, DL Randy Robinson, and DB Devin Jackson on defense.
My Prediction: California (PA) – The Vulcans make a statement in this game at home.
East Stroudsburg (PSAC East) at Pace (NE10) – 7 PM
East Stroudsburg: Jimmy Terwilliger is entering his 3rd Season as head coach with a 12-12 overall record. East Stroudsburg has six offensive linemen returning who have starting experience. OG Anthony Capitini was a ALL-PSAC 2nd Team Selection a year ago and All PSAC East 1st Team RB Gunner Anglovich is also returning for the offense. On defense, leading tackler LB Paul Carreras returns along with ALL PSAC East 1st Team DB Tyler Watson. The most notable returner for ESU is D2Football.com “Elite 100” Team selection DE Deshawn McCarthy.
Pace: Head Coach Andy Rondeau is returning 59 players from last year’s team. The Setters are picked to finish 4th this season in the field of 8 teams in the NE10 preseason poll.
My Prediction: East Stroudsburg – The Warriors pass their first test in 2022.
Charleston WV (MEC) at Gannon (PSAC West) – 7 PM
Gannon: Erik Raeburn enters his 3rd Season as head coach with a 6-9 overall record. On offense, All PSAC West 1st team selection RB Melvin Blanks, All PSAC West 1st Team OG Montana Nietert, and QB Kory Curtis are all returning from last year’s team. The defense returns All PSAC West 1st Team Selection DE Nick White.
Charleston: Quinn Sanders is in his 1st year as head coach. The Golden Eagles are picked 3rd of the 12 teams in MEC preseason poll.
My Prediction: Gannon – The Golden Knights win a close one at home.
Millersville (PSAC East) at Saint Anselm (NE10) – 7 PM
Millersville: J.C. Morgan is entering his 5th season as head coach with a 6-27 overall record. QB Jack Staggard along with three experienced WR’s in Hakim Melvin, Christian Dayton III, and Mekhi Alexander on offense. On defense, the Ville returns three ALL PSAC East selections in LB Isaiah Onuschak, DT Tyler Tate, and DB Steve Sweeney.
Saint Anselm: Joe Adam is entering his 7th season as head coach for the Hawks with a 11-39 overall record. They were voted #5 out of 8 teams in the NE10 preseason poll. RB Vincent Wagner and 1st Team NE10 WR Anthony Brown are back as well as the 2021 NE10 Rookie of the Year, QB Drew Willoughby , on offense.
My Prediction: Saint Anselm – The Hawks win a close one at home.
Seton Hill (PSAC West) at Wheeling (MEC) – 7 PM
Seton Hill: Dan Day is entering his 4th season as head coach with a 7-14 overall record at Seton Hill. QB Jack McCormick is back along with four of his offensive linemen. Defense should be a strength for the Griffins. DB Damonte Pratt is a playmaker leading the PSAC with 7 interceptions in 2021.
Wheeling: Zac Bruney enters his 6th year as the head coach. The Cardinals are picked to finish 8th out of the 12 teams in the MEC. RB Sy Alli returns on offense. He rushed for over a 1,000 yards last season. DE Brandon Munoz and OLB Jason Simon will lead the defense.
My Prediction: Wheeling – The Cardinals gut this one out at home.
Bentley (NE10) at West Chester (PSAC East) – 6 PM
West Chester: Bill Zwaan enters his 20th Season with a 150-67overall record at WCU. On offense, 2nd Team All PSAC East QB Shane Dooley and 1st Team All PSAC East RB Ja’Den McKenzie return this season. On defense, Jackson Taylor, the PSAC East Defensive Player of the Year and a D2.Football.com “Elite 100” Team selection in 2021is back for the Golden Rams.
Bentley: Alvin Reynolds in his 1st season as the head coach of the Falcons. Bentley is ranked 3rd of 8 teams in NE10 preseason poll. The Falcons will have a new QB this season. On defense, Bentley will be led by D2Football.com “Elite 100” watch list LB Cedie Dashiell II.
My Prediction: West Chester The Golden Rams take this one as an early season must win.
#14 Kutztown (PSAC East) at Assumption (NE10) – 12 PM
#14 Kutztown: Jim Clements enters his 9th season with a 59-22 record overall at KU. The Golden Bears were the PSAC Champions last season. WR Jerome Kapp and RB Jordan Davis are two key returners on offense. Donny Blaine is looking to be the starter at QB. The defense has some key returning players returning this season including LB Amani Justice.
Assumption: Andy McKenzie is entering his 5th season as head coach with a 17-13 overall record. The Greyhounds are ranked 2nd of the 8 teams in the NE10 preseason poll. The Greyhounds should be strongest on the defensive side of the ball.
My Prediction: Kutztown – The Golden Bears come out on top in a tight game.
Lock Haven (PSAC East) at Post – 12 PM
Lock Haven: Dan Mulrooney enters his 1st season as head coach. The Bald Eagles return their top four receivers and top two rushers including RB DeAndre Wakefield. LHU is returning ALL PSAC East LB Shane Scott and playmaker DB Darryl Pollard on defense.
Post: Adam Schultz was named Head Coach of the Eagles for it’s inaugural season in 2021.
My Prediction: Lock Haven – Coach Mulrooney gets his 1st Win at LHU in his hometown.
Edinboro (PSAC West) at Franklin Pierce (NE10) – 1 PM
Edinboro: Jake Nulph enters his 3rd season as head coach with a 4-6 overall record. On offense, QB Isaac Bernard and leading rusher Anfreenee Williams are back in 2021. DB Malcom Johnson and LB Clay Cunningham should lead the way for the Fighting Scots on defense.
Franklin Pierce: The Ravens were 0-10 overall and 0-8 in their conference last year. On offense, QB Bryce Macina, the starter at the end of last season, and RB EJ Burgess return this season.
My Prediction: Edinboro – The Scots will control the game start to finish.
Shippensburg (PSAC East) at West Virginia State (MEC) – 1 PM
Shippensburg: Mark “Mac” Maciejewski is entering his 12th season with a 75-38 record. The Raiders had an impressive 9-2 record in 2021. On offense they will have a new QB but do return All-PSAC East WR Ian Sheehan. On defense, All-PSAC East DT Jacoby Sherard is back this season. All-PSAC East PK Jaxson Montross is also returning for the Raiders.
West Virginia State: John Pennington is in his 6th season as head coach. The Yellow jackets are picked 5th of the 12 teams in the MEC preseason poll. QB Donovan Riddick returns in 2021 and he will be looking to connect with WR’s Keedrick Cunningham and Barry Hill. DB Ibrahim Sesay is a returning leader on defense.
My Prediction: Shippensburg – The Raiders take control as the game goes on.
Stonehill (NEC) at Bloomsburg (PSAC East) – 2 PM
Bloomsburg: Frank Sheptock returns for his 2nd season as head coach with a 3-9 overall record at Bloom. On offense, All PSAC 2nd Team RB Kaleb Monaco returns for the Huskies as well as QB David LePoidevin. The defense is led by All PSAC East 1st Team DB Quentin Gaskill.
Stonehill: The Skyhawks are now DI FCS in the NEC. They finished their final season in the NE10 last year in 2021 with an 8-2 overall record.
My Prediction: Stonehill makes the trip from Massachusetts and takes care of business.
Mercyhurst (PSAC West) at Alderson Broaddus (MEC) – 6 PM
Mercyhurst: Ryan Riemedio is entering his first season as head coach. TE Jason Armstrong and last year’s leading rusher RB David Alize are key returners on offense. Defensively, All PSAC West honorees DL Jerhod Gregory, LB Jacob Hall, and LB Thomas Zacharyasz all return for the Lakers.
Alderson Broaddus: Head Coach Travis Everhart took over as head coach of the Battlers in 2019. They lost to Mercyhurst on the road last season. This year’s team gets to face the Lakers at home in Philippi, WV. AB was picked 11th out of 12 teams in the MEC preseason poll.
My Prediction: Mercyhurst – Ryan Riemedio gets his first win as head coach of the Lakers.
Wayne State (GLIAC) at #24 Slippery Rock (PSAC West) – 7 PM
Slippery Rock (PSAC West) Shawn Lutz is returning for his 7th season with a 48-14 overall record. On offense, Slippery Rock is looking for QB Noah Grover to pick up where he left off after assuming the starting job at the end of the 2021 season. Among the seven starters projected to return this season is 2nd Team All PSAC West selection RB Tim Smith. The defense looks to be solid up front with DT Muncie Johnson, who started every game in 2021, and DT Jeff Marx, who missed 2021 due to injury, both set to return. DB Selvin Hayes, a 2022 Team Captain, will be called upon as a playmaker in the secondary. PK DJ Opsatnik, the 2021 leading scorer, returns to handle the kicking duties.
Wayne State (GLIAC) Head Coach Paul Winters is entering his 19th year at Wayne State with a an overall record of 93-96.The Warriors from Detroit Michigan were 2-9 in 2021. LB Julius Wilkerson was a 1st Team All GLIAC selection in 2021.
My Prediction: Slippery Rock – The Rock will control the game start to finish.
Idle This Week:
IUP (PSAC West) – First game is Saturday 9/10/22 at East Stroudsburg (PSAC East).
IUP: Paul Tortorella is entering his 6th Season as the head coach with a 38-9 overall record. WR Duane Brown, a PSAC West 1st Team selection in 2021 and a D2Football.com “Elite 100” Watch List Player in 2022, returns this season for the Crimson Hawks. DL Dajour Fisher, a PSAC West 2nd Team selection last season, will lead the charge up front on defense. P Dylan Grubbs returns on special teams, he averages 36.2 yards a punt.