Football: 2019 Season Win/Loss Predictions

The Post-Laycock / London era officially gets underway this Saturday against the Lafayette Leopards. [photo via tribeathletics.com]
Start paying attention everyone — IT’S GAME WEEK! Remember when you were but a wee freshman, and you attended your first game at Zable Stadium?

Well, there’s a whole new batch of freshies ready to go to their first game to root on the Green and Gold, and we’re excited to say that the W&M Sports Blog will be there in person.

With that being said, we’ve written this article for the past 3 years now, and we’re not about to stop — our game-by-game predictions. And yes, we’re homers; of course we’re going to give our beloved team the benefit of the doubt.

But we’re realistic as well, and think that the below predictions are certainly possible for our William & Mary squad this season. LET’S GO TRIBE.

2018-19 Tribe


Last Year’s Record: 4-6 (3-4 CAA)

Picked to Finish This Year: #11 out of 12 in the CAA

2019 Preseason All-League Candidates to Watch:

  • FB Tyler Crist¬†
  • S Isaiah Laster¬†
  • OL Mark Williamson¬†
  • DL Bill Murray¬†
  • DB Corey Parker¬†

Having completed the required research for this article now, we can tell you that W&M boasts a surprisingly high number of preseason all-league candidates relative to its low predicted finish spot this season (#11 of 12). That bodes well for W&M’s new, hungry coaching staff, who will certainly look to maximize its talent and shock the league this season.

2019 Season Predictions


Game 1 (August 31): vs. Lafayette (6:00 PM)

Lafayette’s 2018-19 Season [via espn.com]
Last Year’s Record: 3-8 (2-4 Patriot)

Picked to Finish This Year: #6 out of 7 in the Patriot

2019 Preseason All-League Candidates to Watch:

  • WR Nick Pearson¬†
  • OL Jake Marotti¬†
  • DL Malik Hamm¬†
  • DB Yasir Thomas¬†

Lafayette was not a great team last season, and it looks like they’ll continue to be a not-so-great team this season. W&M should see this as an opportunity to work out any remaining kinks from the offseason, specifically to figure out which man should take over at the QB position. Fans should figure to see a couple different QBs thrown into the fire in the Season Opener this weekend; may the best man win! Either way, we see the Tribe coming out on top.

Prediction: WIN (1-0)

Game 2 (September 6): at Virginia (8:00 PM)

UVA’s 2018-19 Season [via espn.com]
Last Year’s Record: 8-5 (4-4 ACC)

Picked to Finish This Year: #2 out of 14 in the ACC

2019 Preseason All-League Candidates to Watch:

  • CB Bryce Hall¬†
  • QB Bryce Perkins

Unfortunately, we can no longer laugh at the joke that is the “football” program in Charlottesville (…okay, we can still laugh about them) — but seriously, this team is good. Picked to finish second in the conference, second only to Clemson, who by the way won the National Championship last year, is this the year that Virginia finally beats Virginia Tech? Only time will tell, but W&M would be incredibly hard-pressed to come out on top in this one. Fun fact: this game will mark new W&M Head Coach¬†Mike London‘s first return to UVA following his stint as Head Coach there, which ended in 2015.

Prediction: LOSS (1-1)

colgate logo.png
Game 3 (September 14): vs. #14 Colgate (6:00 PM)

Colgate’s 2018-19 Season [via espn.com]
Last Year’s Record: 10-2 (6-0 Patriot)

Picked to Finish This Year: #1 out of 7 in the Patriot

2019 Preseason All-League Candidates to Watch:

  • QB Grant Breneman
  • RB Alex Mathews
  • TE Nick Diaco
  • OL Jack Badovinac
  • OL Jovaun Woolford

An absolute powerhouse last year (until they ran into North Dakota State in the Playoffs), Colgate’s defense was one of the best units in all of the FCS a season ago. However, this season, the Raiders graduated several players on that side of the ball — leaving big holes to fill. In fact, during “Week 0” of the football season, which actually kicked off last week, Colgate dropped its first game against the CAA’s Villanova, 34-14. This certainly isn’t last year’s Colgate, which will have to improve dramatically if it wants to make waves across the country again this season. W&M will come out ready to go, showing the Raiders an offense they haven’t seen before. We like our chances.

Prediction: WIN (2-1)

Game 4 (September 21): at ECU (Time TBD)

ECU’s 2018-19 Season [via espn.com]
Last Year’s Record: 3-9 (1-7 American)

Picked to Finish This Year: #10 out of 12 in the American 

2019 Preseason All-League Candidates to Watch:

  • PK Jake Verity

After pulling an early season upset of in-state rival North Carolina, ECU would go on to win just two more games the rest of the way last year. Suffice to say, the Pirates found themselves looking for new leadership at year’s end: enter former JMU Head Coach, Mike Houston. Having coached the Dukes the last two seasons, Houston, now the Head Coach at ECU, has intimate knowledge of William & Mary — but not of the Tribe’s new offensive and defensive schemes. Either way, we trust Houston will have the Pirates (FBS) ready to go for the Tribe this season.

Prediction: LOSS (2-2)

albany logo.png
Game 5 (September 28): at Albany (3:30 PM) 

Albany’s 2018-19 Season [via espn.com]
Last Year’s Record: 3-8 (1-7 CAA)

Picked to Finish This Year: #12 out of 12 in the CAA

2019 Preseason All-League Candidates to Watch:

  • WR Dev Holmes
  • LB Levi Matheny
  • SPEC Eli Mencer

Last season, W&M squeaked out a 25-22 victory over Albany within the friendly confines of Zable Stadium. This season, the Green and Gold will have to travel to the great state of New York for the ball game. But we’re not concerned — Albany is picked to finish #12 of 12 in the CAA this season, and for good reason. They’re missing key pieces on both sides of the ball, and will look to rebuild as best they can in 2019. Tribe soars in this one.

Prediction: WIN (3-2)

villanova logo.png
Game 6 (October 5): vs. Villanova (3:30 PM)

Villanova’s 2018-19 Season [via espn.com]
Last Year’s Record: 5-6 (2-6 CAA)

Picked to Finish This Year: #9 out of 12 in the CAA

2019 Preseason All-League Candidates to Watch:

  • TE Simon Bengelis¬†
  • LB Drew Wiley¬†
  • CB Jaquan Amos¬†

This game will tell us a lot about our boys. if our predictions hold to this point, the team will either pull to .500 with a loss, or increase its win total to two games over .500. Villanova, as mentioned, knocked off the defending Patriot League Champions (Colgate), in “Week 0” of the season last Saturday. While the Wildcats might be better than their predicted #9 of 12 preseason selection, we also think that the Tribe is better than its preseason selection at #11 of 12. Luckily for the Green and Gold, it draws Villanova at home this year, which will surely help. Because of that, we’ll give W&M the edge.

Prediction: WIN (4-2)

JMU
Game 7 (October 19): vs. #2 JMU (3:30 PM)

JMU’s 2018-19 Season [via espn.com]
Last Year’s Record: 9-4 (6-2 Patriot)

Picked to Finish This Year: #1 out of 12 in the CAA

2019 Preseason All-League Candidates to Watch:

  • OL Liam Fornadel
  • DL Ron’Dell Carter
  • LB Dimitri Holloway¬†
  • S Adam Smith¬†
  • CB Rashad Robinson¬†
  • PR D’Angelo Amos¬†
  • OL Mac Patrick¬†
  • DL John Daka¬†

The undisputed powerhouse program in the CAA in recent years, the JMU Dukes come into the season ranked #2 in all of the FCS — behind only North Dakota State. This team is strong, but with less offensive firepower than in recent years, this year’s Dukes may rely even more on their star-studded defense and stellar offensive line play. Expect a strong ground-and-pound attack, anchored by a stingy defensive front when the Dukes come to Williamsburg in October — and a team hungry for another National Championship.¬†

Prediction: LOSS (4-3)

maine logo 1
Game 8 (October 26): at #7 Maine (1:00 PM) 

Maine’s 2018-19 Season [via espn.com]
Last Year’s Record: 10-4 (7-1 CAA)

Picked to Finish This Year: #3 out of 12 in the CAA

2019 Preseason All-League Candidates to Watch:

  • WR Earnest Edwards¬†
  • OL Liam Dobson¬†
  • DL Kayon Whitaker¬†
  • LB Taji Lowe¬†
  • LB Deshawn Stevens¬†
  • CB Manny Patterson¬†
  • KR Earnest Edwards¬†
  • QB Chris Ferguson¬†
  • DL Charles Mitchell

Talk about a bad draw in back-to-back games for the Tribe — this year’s Maine Black Bears are stacked on both sides of the ball. Having come one game short of the FCS National Championship a season ago, the Black Bears’ lone conference loss came against — you guessed it — your William & Mary Tribe. Maine will play angry, looking to avenge last year’s contest, while it also draws William & Mary in its own stadium.

Prediction: LOSS (4-4)


Game 9 (November 2): at #21 Elon (2:00 PM) 

Elon’s 2018-19 Season [via espn.com]
Last Year’s Record: 6-5 (4-3 CAA)

Picked to Finish This Year: #4 out of 12 in the CAA

2019 Preseason All-League Candidates to Watch:

  • RB Jaylan Thomas
  • TE Matt Foster¬†
  • QB Davis Cheek¬†
  • CB Greg Liggs

Last year’s W&M vs. Elon contest was cancelled due to weather, so the two will reconvene this Fall. Checking in with several all-league candidates on their offensive unit, the Phoenix are led by stellar play on that side of the ball. This will be yet another strong test for the W&M defense, after facing Maine and JMU in back-to-back weeks (ouch). No rest for the weary! We think W&M rights the ship in a hard fought contest against Elon this week. But it won’t be easy.

Prediction: WIN (5-4)

Rhode Island Logo
Game 10 (November 9): vs. Rhode Island (1:00 PM)

Rhode Island’s 2018-19 Season [via espn.com]
Last Year’s Record: 6-5 (4-4 CAA)

Picked to Finish This Year: #8 out of 12 in the CAA

2019 Preseason All-League Candidates to Watch:

  • WR Aaron Parker¬†
  • OL Kyle Murphy¬†
  • FB Joey Kenny¬†
  • DL Brandon Ginnetti¬†
  • KR/PR Ahmere Dorsey¬†

Last year’s early surprise team in the CAA, the Rams sputtered after some key injuries last season, most notably to its starting quarterback. But Rhode Island was known for putting up points last year, even in losing efforts — and Tribe fans should expect the same this year. But with the Rams’ overall depth lacking, especially in its defensive unit, W&M’s offense should capitalize at home.

Prediction: WIN (6-4)

towson
Game 11 (November 16): vs. #12 Towson (1:00 PM)

Towson’s 2018-19 Season [via espn.com]
Last Year’s Record: 7-5 (5-3 CAA)

Picked to Finish This Year: #2 out of 12 in the CAA

2019 Preseason All-League Candidates to Watch:

  • QB Tom Flacco
    (CAA Preseason Player of the Year Selection)
  • RB Shane Simpson¬†
  • WR Shane Leatherbury¬†
  • LB Robert Heyward¬†
  • PK Aidan O’Neill¬†
  • WR Jabari Allen¬†
  • OL Aaron Grzymkowski¬†
  • DL Bryce Carter¬†
  • LB Keon Paye¬†

Picked to finish second in the conference this year, and led by this season’s CAA Preseason Player of the Year in Tom Flacco (yes, the younger brother of the NFL’s Joe Flacco), the Tigers are serious National Championship contenders. In a true late-season test for the Tribe, the Tigers will likely be in full playoff-mode, looking to advance their case for home field advantage. It’ll be tough, and the Tigers will come more than motivated for this one.

Prediction: LOSS (6-5)

richmond spider
Game 12 (November 23): at Richmond (12:00 PM)

Richmond’s 2018-19 Season [via espn.com]
Last Year’s Record: 4-7 (2-6 CAA)

Picked to Finish This Year: #10 out of 12 in the CAA

2019 Preseason All-League Candidates to Watch:

  • DL Maurice Jackson
    (CAA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Selection)
  • S Daniel Jones¬†

Let’s face it, the Spiders weren’t great last year — but neither were our Tribe. And unfortunately, the Green and Gold lost the Capital Cup to its biggest rival in the final game last season, but we don’t expect that to happen this year. The Spiders lack depth, especially on offense, and the Tribe defense should be able to take advantage. Fun Fact: new W&M Head Coach Mike London¬†both played and coached at Richmond, winning a National Championship with the Spiders in the 2008 season.

Final Season Prediction: WIN (7-5)

 

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