2010 Season: 10-3 (7-0 PSAC East, 1st; NCAA Division II Super Region 1 Semifinalist)
2010 Overall Offensive Rank: 3rd
2010 Overall Defensive Rank: 4th
Returning Letterwinners: 45
Returning Starters (Offense/Defense): 7/4
2011 Predicted Finish (PSAC Pre-Season Poll): 1st
Key games to watch: November 5, at Kutztown
After losing their opening game against Ashland last season, Bloomsburg swept through the regular season to capture the PSAC East title, capped off by a convincing 61-35 home thrashing of Kutztown. The Huskies would lose the PSAC State Game to Mercyhurst 56-35, however, they bounced back to defeat California (Pa.) in the opening round of the NCAA Division II playoffs before the Lakers ended their season 28-14.
As Danny Hale enters his 19th year as Bloomsburg’s head coach, the Huskies, ranked 9th in the pre-season AFCA Division II football poll, will have to rebuild their defense as only four starters return from the league’s 4th best defense. Mike Varanavage, the team’s leading tackler (98 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and three interceptions) and the PSAC East’s Defensive Player of the Year, graduated. Junior Jarrett Pidgeon is expected to pick up the slack in the linebacking corps.
Other key defensive losses for the Huskies include a pair of All-PSAC East first teamers (DL Marcus Zimmerman, who led the team with 11 sacks, and LB Thomas McFarland, who recorded five sacks) and a pair of second-teamers – DL Dave Huot and DB Alex Landis.
The defense is anchored by a trio of seniors, DE John Pettine, who led the team with 11 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks, CB Vince Browning, who led the Huskies with four interceptions, and all-PSAC East first team CB Oscar Rivera (53 tackles and a team-high 16 passes broken up).
Offensively, the Huskies are led by Franklyn Quiteh, whose freshman season turned heads with his 2,015 net rushing yards (in 13 games), leading all rushers in all divisions of NCAA football. Quiteh’s breakout season made life easier for senior QB Pat Carey, who returns for his second year as starting signal caller for Bloomsburg. Two of his top receiving targets from last season, junior Kyle Fisher and senior Tyler Guise, return to bolster the third best offense in the league.
While the lack of starting experience raises a few red flags for Bloomsburg, Quiteh won’t sneak up on the PSAC East as he did last year, but with the dangerous weapons at Carey’s disposal, Bloomsburg has the inside track on repeating as PSAC East champions.
The Huskies host Ashland tonight at Redman Stadium to start the season.
Sept. 1 vs. Ashland
Sept. 10 at Clarion
Sept. 15 at Indiana (Pa.)
Sept. 24 vs. Millersville
Oct. 1 at East Stroudsburg
Oct. 8 vs. Cheyney
Oct. 15 vs. Shippensburg
Oct. 22 at West Chester
Oct. 29 vs. C.W. Post
Nov. 5 at Kutztown
Nov. 12 vs. Lock Haven