Hornets Fourth In Coaches Poll

By: esuhornets.com
By: esuhornets.com

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A 19-4 record over the last two years and ten returning starters on offense pushed Emporia State to #3 in the MIAA Preseason Media Poll for football and #4 in the Coaches Poll. The Hornets garnered one first place vote in the media poll.

Emporia State has exceeded expectations in each of the last four years. The last three seasons the Hornets have been picked seventh and finished in second place in the conference in both 2012 and 2013. They placed sixth in both 2011 and 2010 after being slated for seventh and ninth respectively.

The Hornets have laid a good foundation for continued success with a total of 21 players back that started at least two games for last year's 9-2 squad. The defense returns seven players with at least five starts while the offense brings back ten players with at least four starts last season.

Four of five starters on the offensive line return for an offense that ranked 15th in scoring offense and 20th in total offense in the nation last season. Offensive guard Jarret Stastny was a first-team All-MIAA selection while quarterback Brent Wilson and receiver Austin Willis were both second-team All-MIAA picks. Tackle Aaron Blount earned third-team All-MIAA honors while running back Antonio Brown was the MIAA Offensive Freshman of the Year.

Defensively the Hornets led the MIAA and ranked fourth in the nation with 22 interceptions. Seven players return that started at least five games last year, including five of the top six tacklers.

Emporia State has had a different player earn first-team All-MIAA at linebacker in each of the last two years. With two senior starters back this year, there is a good chance that streak could continue. Deshawn Dinwiddie was the second leading tackler for the Hornets last year with 70 stops in ten games. Tariq Allen was right behind him with 64 tackles in ten games.

Emporia State opens the season on Thursday, September 4 against Missouri Southern. Kick-off from Jones Field in Welch Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m.

2014 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Northwest Missouri (11) 121
2. Pittsburg State (1) 106
3. Central Missouri 94
4. Emporia State 88
5. Missouri Western 82
6. Washburn 79
7. Missouri Southern 67
8. Fort Hays State 50
9. Lindenwood 39
10. Central Oklahoma 26
11. Nebraska-Kearney 23
12. Northeastern State 17
2014 MIAA Preseason Media Poll
1. Northwest Missouri (37) 466
2. Pittsburg State (1) 422
3. Emporia State (1) 353
4. Missouri Western 348
5. Washburn 306
6. Central Missouri 285
7. Missouri Southern 258
8. Fort Hays State 191
9. Lindenwood 142
10. Nebraska-Kearney 109
11. Central Oklahoma 96
12. Northeastern State 66
(1st Place Votes)

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