It has been over 600 days since official NCAA DII soccer has been performed. That streak lastly involves an finish with the return of the 2021 season.
Kentucky State and Central State obtained the official ball rolling within the first-ever Basic for Columbus this previous Saturday. The Thorobreds took down the Marauders 20-6 behind a 322-yard speeding day.
FULL OPENING WEEKEND SCHEDULE: Here are the games we’re watching Week 1
Now, it’s everybody else’s flip.
Listed below are 10 video games we’ll be watching intently on the primary full weekend of DII soccer.
Thursday night time throw downs
Shepherd at Ohio Dominican, 7 p.m. (all occasions Jap)
Rams quarterback Tyson Bagent is on our 23-man list of Harlon Hill Trophy hopefuls for 2021. He, after all, was a Harlon Hill Trophy hopeful in 2019 when he led DII in passing yards per recreation. Ohio Dominican has been a really regular competitor the previous decade, posting a 78-27 document over that span. Dauson Dales — the G-MAC document holder for tackles — will look to make Bagent and the Rams night time a forgettable one.
Findlay at Ferris State, 7:30 p.m. ET
It is a nice opening check for Ferris State, a program which has change into synonymous with the nationwide semifinals the previous 5 seasons. The Bulldogs enter 2021 with one other new quarterback underneath heart, and if Mylik Mitchell reaches his potential, we’re wanting on the DII newcomer of the yr. This staff returns a slew of playoff-experienced veterans in Sy Barnett, Xavier Wade and Marvin Campbell. That is additionally a giant check for Findlay, a staff which just about all the time finishes above .500 however has a number of new faces this season.
Texas A&M-Commerce at CSU Pueblo, 8 p.m. ET
This has recreation of the week written throughout it… and may very well be a preview of a late-December event recreation. We really feel Texas A&M-Commerce is the team to beat in their Super Region, however the ThunderWolves are going to be very powerful. Each defenses are extremely proficient and must take care of athletic playmakers within the Lions’ Miklo Small and CSU Pueblo’s Michael Roots on offense. We must always contemplate ourselves fortunate to have this on opening night time.
Northwest Missouri State at Fort Hays State, 8 p.m. ET
The Bearcats entered the season at No. 7 in our preseason Energy 10 rankings however could have moved up earlier than enjoying a recreation with the late switch of Al McKeller. The GLVC record-holding working again takes this potent offense to a brand new degree and can make them a handful. Talking of switch working backs, Fort Hays State introduced in Tristan Tucker from Harding and can complement quarterback Likelihood Fuller very effectively. It is a huge first problem for each groups and an effective way to kick off MIAA play.
3 DII soccer groups taking over FCS foes to look at
West Florida at McNeese State, Saturday, Sept. 4, 1 p.m.
The Argos are placing themselves to the check early. First, they’ve an FCS opponent after which a 2017 nationwide championship rematch in opposition to Texas A&M-Commerce two weeks later. This week, Austin Reed — our preseason frontrunner for the Harlon Hill Award — takes the sphere for the primary time since he threw for 523 yards and 6 touchdowns within the championship recreation. This will likely be a very good have a look at the Argos’ new-look offense and what they will do with the soccer.
Bowie State at Delaware State, Saturday, Sept. 4, 4 p.m.
The Bulldogs are poised for an enormous season and the Hornets will likely be a very good begin to see how all the pieces gels after a yr off the soccer subject. Don’t get us mistaken — Ja’Rome Johnson and Calil Wilkins are thrilling items on offense and will likely be a handful to lock down for any protection. However defensive again Demetri Morsell and quarterback-rushing Joshua Pryor are going to do huge issues in 2021 and make Bowie State a top-10 staff.
Virginia Union at Hampton, Saturday, Sept. 4, 6 p.m.
This will likely be a tough opening day for the Panthers however actually the check they should show doubters mistaken. It is a staff with sufficient expertise to make some noise if all of it comes collectively. Quarterback Khalid Morris and large receiver Charles Corridor are a enjoyable duo, however Virginia Union can have some huge footwear to fill with Tabyus Taylor not within the backfield.
A very long time coming: The primary fall DII soccer Saturday since 2019
Ashland at Notre Dame (OH), noon
It’s a brand new period for Ashland soccer because the Eagles enter the season a part of the G-MAC convention. A highway check in opposition to probably the most dominant DII soccer groups of the previous 5 seasons is an efficient technique to gauge the place they stand. Working again Gei’Vonni Washington is a sleeper candidate for the Harlon Hill, and this recreation ought to see loads of nice working again play. Whereas Jaleel McLaughlin and Tabyus Taylor are gone, you will need to assume whoever earns the beginning nod at RB1 for the Falcons goes to be nice. Keep in mind, the final time this staff began a freshman working again, he shattered each DII freshman document with a 2,000-yard, 18-touchdown season.
Lenoir-Rhyne at Virginia State, 6 p.m.
The Bears come into 2021 with championship aspirations after a powerful spring underneath first-year head coach Mike Jacobs. Grayson Willingham and Dareke Younger are again to tempo the offense, however freshman working again Dwayne McGee will be the breakout star of the season. Rogers Stadium, the house of the Trojans, is all the time a tough spot to play — they’re 15-3 at house since 2016 — and with all-conference defensive lineman Javon Frazier seeking to disrupt that Bears backfield, this needs to be a enjoyable one to look at.
Savannah State at Valdosta State, 7 p.m.
Savannah State returned to DII soccer in 2019 and completed its season winners of 4 in a row. The Tigers now head to Valdosta, Ga. seeking to proceed that streak. The Blazers had been six seconds away from an opportunity to repeat as nationwide champions, falling within the closing seconds to West Florida in a memorable 2019 playoff recreation. They are going to have a brand new look underneath heart, however there are returners everywhere in the subject that Valdosta State shouldn’t miss a beat. Enjoyable reality: Final time these two met (1996), present Blazers head coach Gary Goff was a student-athlete for Valdosta State.
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