The Sacramento State football team will begin its 2019 season on Friday, Aug. 2, as the team will hold its first official practice from 6-8 p.m. Per NCAA rules, the team will practice without pads for the first four days and will conduct its first practice in full gear on Wednesday, Aug. 7.
Fans and media are welcome to attend all practice sessions. The team will hold most practices inside Hornet Stadium but could also use the grass practice field located north of the stadium.
A pair of scrimmages are scheduled during the preseason camp. Both will take place on Saturdays (Aug. 10 and 17) beginning at 10:45 a.m. The Sacramento State College Football Kickoff will be held on Saturday, Aug. 24, at 6 p.m. The event, which is free to public, will allow fans to interact with Hornet players and coaches, take part in football drills and tailgate games, and enjoy craft beers from local breweries.
The 2019 season will be the first under head coach Troy Taylor who was hired in December. Taylor comes to the Hornets after serving as the offensive coordinator at Utah and Eastern Washington as well as head coach at Folsom High School. While he will call the plays on offense, he will be joined by Assistant Head Coach Kris Richardson who will also coach the offensive line. Former Hornet Bobby Fresques returns as the quarterbacks coach and Jeremy LaPan joins the staff as the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. James Montgomery is the lone returning coach for the Hornets and will once again mentor the running backs. Tyler Osborne completes the offense staff as the wide receivers coach.
On the defensive side of the ball, Andy Thompson takes over as the defensive coordinator after spending the last 10 seasons leading the Northern Arizona defense. Cherokee Valeria is the team’s passing game coordinator and oversees the secondary. Former Montana defensive coordinator Kraig Paulson will serve as the defensive line coach and Sam Cole will coach the safeties.
Sacramento State returns 13 players who have made at least six career starts. Six of those players will come on offense where quarterback Kevin Thomson, running back Elijah Dotson and offensive lineman Wyatt Ming of Acampo will all play a large role. Thomson was granted two additional seasons of eligibility by the NCAA during the offseason which will allow him to continue his climb up the school record board. In his 15 starts over the last two seasons, he has thrown for 3,208 yards and 25 touchdowns with just four interceptions.
Dotson was named first team all-Big Sky Conference last season after rushing for 1,154 yards and nine touchdowns in 10 games. He became the first Hornet running back to earn the honor since Charles Roberts in 2000.
Ming will anchor an offensive line which also returns a pair of other starters. The senior had his 2018 season cut short as he suffered a broken leg in the opening game. He returned in the spring where he played center as well as guard.
Sacramento State will play its first game in 2019 on Saturday, Aug. 31, against Southern Oregon. The team will also have home games against Northern Colorado, Eastern Washington, Montana, Weber State and UC Davis.
– Sac State