JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. - This is the second part in an 11-part series breaking down all of Carson-Newman football's opponents for the 2017 season. This feature analyzes the Eagles' week-two opponent, Saint Augustine's.
Carson-Newman and Saint Augustine's collide in week two for the fourth all-time meeting between the programs.
The Eagles topped the Falcons last year 48-14 in a game in which it led 14-0 before the offense even touchdown the ball.
Current New York Giant Kevin Snead housed the opening kickoff from 90 yards out before C-N's defense forced SAU into a three-and-out on its opening possession. Ben Davenport blocked the Falcons' punt and Darius Williams scooped it up for a 15-yard score.
The Eagles took a 21-point lead six minutes into the game when Montavious Taylor burst over left guard to complete a three-yard score.
The Falcons look to be vastly improved from last year's 2-8 club. Tim Chavous returns a whopping 20 starters from last year's club, the most of any Eagle opponent this season.
As such, the Falcons were Saint Augustine's University was picked to finish third in the Southern Division in the preseason CIAA poll.
The preseason prediction is the highest for the Falcons since 2013 when they were chosen second in the division. The Falcons were voted sixth in the division the past two seasons.
In 2016, the Falcons exceeded expectations when they tied for fourth in the division standings. They enter this season with 65 returnees including preseason All-CIAA selections Aaron Linen (tight end), Sam Boyd (wide receiver) and Chasz Cosby (defensive lineman) . The preseason choices are the most for the Falcons since 2012 when they put three student-athletes on the squad.
Boyd, a wide receiver, ranked third in the CIAA in touchdown catches (7) and led the team in receptions (43) last season despite missing the last two games due to injury. Cosby, a defensive lineman, was the team leader in total tackles (64) and Linen, a tight end, averaged 14 yards per catch in addition to scoring two touchdowns.
The Falcons are expected to be the eighth-best team in the league this season, moving four spots from 12th a year ago.
Boyd was a particular thorn in Carson-Newman's side last season and arguably SAU's top offensive threat against the Eagles. The burly 6-3, 250-pound wideout grabbed 10 passes for 66 yards and a score against C-N.
Meanwhile, Cosby proved to be the top defensive stopper, making eight tackles on the day.
The Better Know the Opponent Series continues July 28 with Wingate.