The ETSU football team was ranked No. 11 in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) FCS Top 25 Preseason Poll, which was announced on Monday.
The Bucs, who were also ranked No. 11 in the Stats Perform Preseason Top 25 Poll, are coming off a historic season in 2021, as ETSU finished with an overall record of 11-2 and won the Southern Conference after finishing 7-1 in league play.
ETSU returns 37 lettermen from a year ago, including seven starters on both sides of the ball. Senior running back Jacob Saylors (Jasper, Tenn.) was tabbed SoCon Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while the Bucs had 10 players earn preseason all-conference honors two weeks ago at Media Day.
The Bucs were one of three SoCon schools ranked in the preseason coaches’ poll with Chattanooga – the league’s preseason favorite – being slotted No. 13 and Mercer – who ETSU defeated in the winner-take-all de facto conference title game last November – being ranked No. 23.
North Dakota State, the reigning FCS National champion, was pegged No. 1, with Montana, South Dakota State, Montana State and Villanova rounding out the top five.
ETSU finished the season ranked No. 7 in the final AFCA Top 25 Poll last season.
The Bucs open the 2022 season at home on Thursday, Sept. 1 when ETSU takes on Mars Hill at 7:30 p.m. inside Greene Stadium. For tickets, call 423-439-3878 or visit ETSUTickets.com.