DAVIDSON – There’s a new look around the Davidson College football program. Hopefully, it will help spark a turnaround from the 2-19 combined record the past two seasons, including a 0-10 mark last year.

There’s nowhere to go but up for the Wildcats, who open their season at home against College of Faith at 7 p.m. Aug. 30.

"We've made significant upgrades in our football program," said coach Paul Nichols, beginning his second season. "There is new branding in the locker room. Virtually every piece of equipment in the weight room will be new. The uniforms are new. The helmets are new. The players have gotten brand new custom fit knee braces. We've got brand new, state-of-the-art on-field equipment. Almost everything you'll see in our football program has been elevated in the last 19 months. But all that does is give us a chance."

The Wildcats look sharp, now they need to play sharp.

The offense is under the direction of new coordinator Bush Hamdan. There also will be a new starting quarterback – either senior J.P. Douglas or sophomore John Cook. William Morris, an all-Pioneer Football League pick last season, is the top wide receiver.

Last year, Morris led the PFL and ranked 16th in the nation with 1,090 yards receiving – the third most in a season in Davidson history – on 67 catches with five touchdowns.

Wideout Tim Hines is fast and tight end Trey Huelskamp is a capable target. Nelson White returns as a two-year starter on the offensive line.

The key to the offense could be up front, where four of five starting linemen return, as well as three others that have started at least one game. Junior center Caleb Krause, a starter during his first two seasons, was a standout in preseason practices.

Davidson’s defense has several experienced returning starters, including linebacker Matt Casey and safety Bryant Bednarek.

Casey had a breakout season in his first year as a starter in 2013, earning a place on the All-PFL second team. He made team-high 106 tackles (9.6 per game), which ranks as the fourth-most in a season in Davidson history.

Bednarek, a senior, has been a starter since he was a freshman. He leads an experienced secondary that returns all four starters. Bednarek ranked fourth on the team last season with 64 tackles. Fellow safety Myles Atkins returns after a solid year where he ranked second on the team with 66 tackles. 

Season tickets are $60 for adults and $30 for youth. Single-game tickets cost $14 for adults and $7 for youth. Buy them at www.DavidsonWildcats.com or by calling the athletic ticket office at 800-768-CATS.

 

DAVIDSON SCHEDULE

Date

Opponent

Time

Aug. 30

College of Faith

7 p.m.

Sept. 6

Catawba

7 p.m.

Sept. 13

at VMI

1:30 p.m.           

Sept. 20

Morehead State

1 p.m.

Sept. 27

at Princeton

6 p.m.

Oct. 4

Dayton

1 p.m.

Oct. 11

at Drake

2 p.m.

Oct. 18

at Campbell

4 p.m.

Oct. 25

Stetson

1 p.m.

Nov. 8

Jacksonville

1 p.m.

Nov. 15

at Marist

1 p.m.

Nov. 22

at Valparaiso

2 p.m.