The 2012 Georgia Southern Eagles came within one defensive stop of advancing to the FCS Championship game. They're looking to build on last year's success as they prepare for the 2013 season.
The Eagles are ineligible for the playoffs this year because they will be moving to the FBS Sun Belt Conference in 2014.
But the team still expects excellence.
Quarterback Jerick McKinnon returns to lead a potent option offense once again.
The senior rushed for 1820 yards and scored 27 total touchdowns last season.
Sophomore fullback Dominque Swope returns as well. He rushed for 1246 yards and 16 touchdowns last year.
Head coach Jeff Monken has concerns about the other side of the ball, though.
His defense loses All-American defensive tackle Brent Russell and will have a host of new faces in the backfield.
"Probably least experienced in terms of depth is the secondary. And that's an area where we've really got to focus and find a lineup that we're comfortable with," said Monken.
Monken also identified the kicking game as an area of concern, and incoming freshman YoungHoe Koo will compete for immediate playing time in that department.
GSU opens the season at home against Savannah State on August 31.
The rest of their schedule includes home games against The Citadel and Furman along with road trips to Wofford and Appalachian State.
Southern's final game as an FCS school will be against Florida in Gainesville.