COACH: Jim Sanderson, fifth year, 21-22-4
LAST SEASON: 2-3, fourth in Western Football Conference, 4-7 overall.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Robert Perez (5-10, 180, junior) started eight games at quarterback last season and completed 108 of 193 passes for 1,547 yards and six touchdowns. Tailback Jim Gleed (5-10, 190, senior) led the team in rushing with 814 yards and eight touchdowns on 160 carries. Lance Martin (5-7, 165, junior) had 23 catches for 424 yards and one touchdown. John Fassett (6-2, 230, junior), a defensive tackle, had 26 tackles, two quarterback sacks and an interception. Linebackers Tom Carey (6-2, 225, sophomore), Tom Gallo (6-2, 225, senior) and Rich Bosselmann (6-2, 225, senior) combined for 150 tackles, five sacks and one interception.
OUTLOOK: The Mustangs have 13 starters back--more than any team in the WFC except for Cal Lutheran. Seven offensive starters are back, including quarterback Perez, top running back Gleed and receiver Martin. Six starters return on the defense, led by Bosselmann who led the team with 88 tackles (41 unassisted).
COACH: Pokey Allen, first year
LAST SEASON: 2-2-1, third in Western Football Conference, 4-5-1 overall.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Brian Coushay (6-1, 180, senior), an all-conference selection at wide receiver, was second in the WFC with 47 catches for 743 yards and five touchdowns. Roland Aumueller (6-3, 285, senior) was first team All-WFC at offensive tackle. Barry Naone (6-2, 223, sophomore) was honorable mention all-conference at tight end, catching 36 passes for 495 yards and four touchdowns. Tim Corrigan (6-1, 190, sophomore) caught 34 passes for 537 yards and three touchdowns. Kevin Collson (6-2, 220, sophomore), a defensive end, had 31 tackles and two sacks. Skee Bernhardt (5-11, 235, senior), a three-year starter at defensive tackle, had 31 tackles and one sack in eight games.
OUTLOOK: Chris Crawford is the latest in the long line of talented Portland State quarterbacks. The 6-1, 180-pound sophomore completed 14 of 27 passes for 100 yards in a backup role last season. He replaces Terry Summerfield, a two-time All-WFC selection. Crawford completed 22 of 36 for 213 yards and a touchdown against Division I-AA Idaho last week. Coushay, Naone and Corrigan combined for 11 catches in the 32-point loss. Running backs Kevin Minnis and Kevin Johnson, two junior college transfers from Northern California, should add balance to the Vikings’ offensive attack.
COACH: Bob Mattos, ninth year, 41-44-1
LAST SEASON: 4-1, second in Western Football Conference, 8-3 overall.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Tailback Don Hair (5-9, 175, sophomore) rushed for 1,097 yards and 11 touchdowns on 161 carries last season. He also caught 25 passes for 232 yards and blocked well enough for the team’s fullbacks to average more than six yards a carry. John Gesek (6-5, 280, senior), an offensive tackle, is considered a professional prospect. Lin Klinkhammer (5-11, 175, senior) had 23 receptions for 562 yards and three touchdowns. Fullback Rob Harrison (6-2, 225, senior) rushed for 590 yards and two touchdowns on 94 carries. Greg Dockweiler (6-2, 225, senior), an inside linebacker, had 102 tackles, 8 1/2 sacks, and three interceptions. He was the WFC’s Defensive Player of the Year. Strong safety Lorenzo Lynch (5-11, 200, senior) had three interceptions and 106 tackles in 10 games. Cornerback Robert Holland (5-11, 185, senior) had 69 tackles and two interceptions. Nose tackle Dave Panzer (6-2, 260, senior) is the only starter returning on the defensive line. He had 39 tackles last season.
OUTLOOK: The Hornets were the preseason choice of conference coaches to win the WFC. Last season, Sacramento State finished second, losing only to champion Santa Clara, 17-14. Hair, Gesek and Dockweiler were all selected as preseason All-Americans by the Football News. The Hornets won the only three games quarterback Oliva started last season. Sacramento State lost its opener, 31-7, to Pacific, a Division I team forecast to finish second behind Fresno State in the Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. The Hornets scored more points (326) last season than any other team in the WFC. Hair led the conference in rushing and Harrison had 534 yards in his six games as a starter.
COACH: Terry Malley, second year, 8-2-1
LAST SEASON: 4-0-1, first in Western Football Conference, 8-2-1 overall.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Quarterback Greg Calcagno (6-3, 185, junior) completed 185 of 307 passes for 2,509 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. He threw six touchdown passes against San Francisco State. Kevin Collins (6-1, 180, senior) had 27 catches for 528 yards and eight touchdowns. He has 85 catches for 2,090 yards in three seasons as a starter. If he maintains that pace, he’ll set a Division II career record.
OUTLOOK: If Santa Clara doesn’t have the best team in the WFC, it certainly should have the most explosive. Calcagno might be the top quarterback in Division II. He was second in the nation in passing efficiency last season and set school single-season records for completions and yardage. Collins missed several games at the end of last season with a sprained ankle, but he’s healthy again, which is bad news if you’re a WFC cornerback. Collins has averaged 24.6 yards a catch in his three seasons as a starter.
So. Utah State
COACH: Jack Bishop, sixth year, 30-17-2
LAST SEASON: 2-4-1, fifth in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, 3-5-1 overall.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Kyle Wilson (5-10, 195, sophomore), was third on the team in rushing last season with 166 yards and four touchdowns on 37 carries. He was also second in the nation with a 27.8 average on punt returns. Rob Edwards (6-0, 175, senior), has nine catches for 231 yards and two touchdowns in the Thunderbirds’ first two games this season. Chad Richard (6-0, 180, junior) has completed 18 of 42 passes for 426 yards and two touchdowns to begin the 1986 campaign. He has also rushed for 107 yards.
OUTLOOK: In a preseason poll, WFC coaches picked Southern Utah State to finish last in the seven-team conference, but if the vote were taken again the results would probably be different. SUSC opened with a 27-17 upset of Division I-AA Northern Arizona, then topped Fort Lewis, 39-24, last week.