2010 Football Season Preview: Presbyterian College

by - Senior Writer -
Redshirt junior Brandon Miley threw for 1736 yards, 11 touchdowns and 16 interceptions last season.

CLEMSON – The Presbyterian Blue Hose will take to the field inside of Clemson’s Death Valley on Sept. 11th in the second game of the season for both teams, and it will be notable in the fact that Blue Hose head coach Harold Nichols will become the first Presbyterian coach to take his team into Death Valley since 1957.

In 1957, the Presbyterian head coach was Lonnie McMillan, who actually coined the nickname “Death Valley” when he was describing the Tigers’ home to sportswriters in 1948.

For the Blue Hose, however, the environs haven’t gotten any friendlier, and Nichols’ squad will be hard-pressed to keep it a game much past the first quarter. The Blue Hose are outmanned on both lines of scrimmage and simply lack the playmakers to stay with the horses of Clemson for long.

Presbyterian is struggling to make the transition to the Football Championship Series and endured an 0-11 season in 2009, giving up just a tad over 40 points per game to teams like Stony Brook, Charleston Southern and Gardner-Webb.

The bright spot is that they have 17 starters returning – nine on offense and eight on defense, so they do have experience as Nichols tries to bring his alma mater back to their winning ways.

Redshirt junior Brandon Miley returns at quarterback to lead the offense after starting seven games last season. He completed 151-of-276 passes in 2009 for 1736 yards and 11 touchdowns, but he also tossed 16 interceptions. His favorite target is receiver Pat McKoy, a junior who caught 47 passes for 615 yards and four touchdowns last season.

Tailback Trandon Dendy rushed for 596 yards in eight games last season before he hurt his knee, and will more than likely be the starter, but he has capable backups in Lance Byrd and Seth Moreland.

The offensive line returns four starters in Grayson Sumner (6-2, 299), Jared Tavernier (5-10, 264), Andrew Newton( 6-1, 280) and Max Travis (6-3, 280).

The defense really relies on two playmakers – free safety Justin Bethel and linebacker Derek Brown. Bethel was an all-conference selection last season when he tallied 79 tackles, but he had just three passes-broken-up and no interceptions, so his value really comes in stopping the run.

Presbyterian College City/Zip: Clinton, S.C. 29325 Founded: 1880 Enrollment: 1,200 Nickname: Blue Hose School Colors: Blue and Garnet Stadium (Surface): New Bailey (Grass) Capacity: 6,500 Affiliation: NCAA FCS Conference: Big South President: Dr. John Griffith Director of Athletics: Brian Reese Overall record in 2009: 0-11 Conference record/finish: 0-6/6th Starters Returning: Offense: 9 Defense: 8 Special Teams: 5 Starters Lost: Offense: 2 Defense: 3 Special Teams: 1Letterwinners Returning: Total: 51 Off: 26 Def: 23 ST: 5 (threeare also letterwinners on off/def) Letterwinners Lost: 12 Off: 6 Def: 6 ST: 1 (also a starter on offense)

Brown was the second-leading tackler on the team with 60, one of which was a sack. Overall, the defense gave up 2648 yards on the ground and 2607 yards through the air. It also gave up an average of 6.8 yards per play.

2010 Schedule

Thursday Sep 02 Wake Forest at Winston-Salem, N.C. 7 p.m.

Saturday Sep 11 Clemson at Clemson, S.C. 3:30 p.m.

Saturday Sep 18 The Citadel at Charleston, S.C. 7 p.m.

Saturday Sep 25 North Greenville Clinton, S.C. 1:30 p.m.

Saturday Oct 02 VMI * at Lexington, Va. 1:30 p.m.

Saturday Oct 16 Coastal Carolina * Clinton, S.C. 2 p.m.

Saturday Oct 23 Gardner-Webb * at Boiling Springs, N.C. 1:30 p.m.

Saturday Oct 30 Liberty * Clinton, S.C. 1:30 p.m.

Saturday Nov 06 Stony Brook * Clinton, S.C. 1:30 p.m.

Saturday Nov 13 Charleston Southern * at North Charleston, S.C. 1:30 p.m.

Saturday Nov 20 Davidson Clinton, S.C. 1 p.m.

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