2014 record: 6-5, 1-4 in Big South.
Coach: Kevin Callahan, in his 23rd season.
Starters returning: Six on offense, nine on defense.
Offensive system: Pro.
Defensive system: 4-3.
Three significant stats last year:
- Monmouth outscored their opponents by a combined total of 322-282, but were out scored 93-61 in the 4th quarter.
- The Hawks scored 50 or more points 3 times in nonconference games, but failed to score more than 31 against Big South opponents.
- They threw for over 250 yards passing per game, which ranked in the top 30 in the nation and was tops in the Big South.
Key starters returning:
- Lavon Chaney returns from all-conference campaign where he rushed for 835 yards and 8 touchdowns, but also was 2nd on the team in receiving with 359 yards and 2 touchdowns.
- Darnell Leslie led Monmouth last season with 12.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.
- Mike Basile burst onto the scene as a freshman, finishing with 78 tackles, 4 tackles for loss and 4 interceptions.
How does Monmouth match up
The Hawks will have to find a way to replace leading receiver Neal Sterling, who was drafted in the 7th round by the Jacksonville Jaguars, and quarterback Brandon Hill who threw for nearly 2,500 yards and 19 touchdowns a season ago. Two huge losses, but other than that, they return all major contributors from a season ago.
The fact that the Hawks were outscored significantly in 4th quarters of games makes sense seeing as they were operating under the FCS maximum of 63 scholarship players. They should be much closer to that number this season. It’s hard not to compare Monmouth to Stony Brook, who made significant improvements in their 2nd year in the Big South. The Hawks do have a larger hill to climb than the Seawolves did, so expecting them to end the season in a 3-way tie following their 2nd Big South season is unlikely. But Monmouth should see improvements.
With this being the 4th and final game of a midseason road trip, Liberty will be tested.