TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology football team has been picked to finish second in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference this season, in a preseason poll of league coaches released August 10.
The Fightin' Engineers return most of the starting lineup from a team that finished 8-2 for its most wins since 1988 last fall. Rose-Hulman returns six offensive and 10 defensive starters after a season that included five team school records, three individual school records and nine career school records.
The Rose-Hulman football team is also receiving votes in the D3football.com preseason national top 25 poll, marking the first time in over 25 years that the Fightin' Engineers have received votes in a national preseason poll.
The returnees include one first-team all-conference and all-region honoree in junior defensive back Alec Thompson (41 tackles, 5 INT, 4 PBU). Other returning first-team all-league award winners include senior wide receiver Alec Fisher (46 rec., 701 yards, 10 TDs), junior linebacker Kaelen Garner (60 tackles, 6 TFLs, 1 INT, 1 sack) and graduate student defensive lineman Connor Kispert (38 tackles, 19.5 TFLs, 9.5 sacks).
The squad also features five returning second-team all-conference selections, led by senior quarterback Austin Swenson (196-287, 68%, 2,374 yards, 26 TDs, 3 INTs). Other second-team all-league returnees include junior Tyler Brutofsky (32 tackles, 5 INTs, 1 FR); junior running back Kevin Dufauchard (945 rush yards, 4.3 avg., 7 TDs); junior linebacker Mike Henry (53 tackles, 6 TFLs, 3 sacks, 1 FR); and senior receiver Joe Moehrle (34 rec., 550 yards, 7 TDs).
Franklin was picked to earn its seventh consecutive conference title in the coaches poll with six first-place votes. Rose-Hulman was narrowly picked second over Mount St. Joseph, followed by Bluffton as remaining teams receiving first place votes.
The poll order included Franklin with 78 points and Rose-Hulman with 68. Mount St. Joseph was picked to finish third, followed by Bluffton, Manchester, Defiance, Hanover, Anderson and Earlham.
The Fightin' Engineers open the 2016 season at home against Illinois College on Sept. 3. Rose-Hulman opens the conference schedule at Hanover College on Sept. 17. The Homecoming game against Anderson University is set for Oct. 1.
2016 HCAC FOOTBALL PRESEASON POLL
|Finish||Team||First Place Votes||2015 Overall Record||2015 HCAC Record|
|3||Mount St. Joseph||66 (1)||7-3||6-2|