Football Picked Fourth in CC Preseason Poll

Wednesday, August 7, 2013
 

Joe Hogh
Senior H-back Joe Hogh is one of three co-captains for the 2013 Mules.
After a runner-up finish in the Centennial Conference and a trip to the ECAC South Atlantic Bowl last fall, the Muhlenberg football team begins the 2013 season picked fourth in the CC’s annual preseason poll.

Despite losing 13 starters to graduation, including eight on offense, the Mules were still ranked in the top half of the 10-team conference by its coaches and sports information directors.

Four-time defending CC champion Johns Hopkins received 17 of 20 first-place votes and topped the poll with 161 points. Franklin & Marshall nabbed the other three firsts and sat second with 139 points, while Ursinus was tabbed third with 122. Muhlenberg was right behind with 120 points, and Gettysburg (98) was chosen fifth.

Susquehanna (86), Juniata (57), Dickinson (54), Moravian (39), and McDaniel (24) rounded out the poll, which has correctly predicted the conference champion in 13 of the last 15 years.

This marks the third time in the last seven years that Muhlenberg was picked lower than third in the preseason poll. The first two times, the Mules won or tied for the conference championship and played in the NCAA Tournament. Muhlenberg was picked to finish third in the conference a year ago, but wound up 7-2 and just a game behind the Blue Jays. This year, the Mules will look to outperform expectations again.

The Mules bring back senior quarterback and co-captain Joe Carlucci, who threw for 597 yards and five touchdowns last year, and seven starters from a defense that finished 19th in the nation in scoring defense. Junior Ian Gimbar, who set a school record with 14.5 sacks a year ago, and leading tackler and senior co-captain Kory Crichton headline what coach 17th-year head coach Mike Donnelly hopes will be another shut-down unit.

The Mules open the season at home on Saturday, September 7, against The Apprentice School before traveling to Franklin & Marshall in their CC opener a week later.