Sacramento State Hornets defeated the Oregon State Beavers in overtime at Reser Stadium last season and will face Colorado on September 8th in Boulder. Photo Credit: Jim Z. Rider-US PRESSWIRE.

Know the Opponent: Sacramento State Hornets

We return to the FCS ranks for our 27th ranked team in the know the opponent with the Sacramento State Hornets of the Big Sky Conference, where previously previewed Northern Colorado plays also. Last season the Hornets went 4-7/3-5 in conference play in 2011.

Pac-12 teams might recognize Sacramento State since they knocked off Oregon State 29-28 in overtime at Corvallis to begin the season. They’ll face the Colorado Buffaloes on September 8 in Boulder at high noon pacific/1 pm mountain.

Sophomore Garrett Safron will get the first look at quarterback with a transfer and a few freshmen listed on the roster. Safron got into five games throwing for 394 yards, three TD’s with a 42.1 completion percentage.

An area the team will be looking to replace the most talent is at running back needing to replace their top three rushers. The Hornets brought in two transfers A.J. Ellis who was at Fresno State and Ezekiel Graham from LA Southwest JC in addition to more freshmen.

Leading receiver junior Morris Norrise returns who had 471 yards with an 12.4 yards per catch average, however he didn’t catch a TD. Senior T.J. Knowles will also bring experience to another position that Sacramento State will be young at.

Defensively junior linebacker Todd Davis is back after recording 96 tackles, 47 solo and assisting on 49 last year. He also had a sack and interception while forcing two fumbles with five tackles for loss. Senior defensive back Ryan McMahon who was second on the team also returns off an 86 tackle season (47 solo/39 assist) with one sack and a blocked kick.

Rounding out the defense is another senior linebacker Jeff Badger who was third in tackles in 2011. Badger had 85 tackles 45 solo with two sacks and seven tackles for loss which was second on the team last year.

Sacramento State looks like it will be a young team on offense with a veteran defense that might be able to keep them a float. Head coach Marshall Sperbeck is in his sixth season and has had success previously at the school. They open their season at New Mexico State before going to Colorado week two of the season.

2012 Sacramento State Rams Schedule –

@New Mexico State 8/30
@Colorado 9/8
Northern Colorado 9/15
North Dakota 9/22
@Idaho State 9/29
@Southern Utah 10/6
Weber State 10/13
@Eastern Washington 10/20
Cal Poly 10/27
Montana State 11/3
@UC Davis 11/17

Previous Previewed Teams -
July 2 – Nicholls Colonels (32)
July 6 – Northern Colorado (31)
July 12 – UNLV (30)
July 13 – Duke (29)
July 16 – Colorado State (28)

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Tags: Big Sky Conference Colorado Colorado Buffalo Football Colorado Buffaloes Oregon State Beavers Oregon State Beavers Football Pac 12 Football Pac-12 Pac-12 Conference Reser Stadium Sacramento State Saramento State Hornets

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