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Scots Ranked in Preseason Football Polls
For the second straight year, the Monmouth College football team has been ranked in the nation's preseason top 20 by a pair of national magazines.

The Fighting Scots will enter the 2010 season ranked 16th and 19th by The Sporting News and Lindy's Sports Annuals, respectively. Monmouth had climbed as high as No. 8 last season in both the American Football Coaches Association and D3football.com regular season polls.

The Fighting Scots, with 32 letterwinners returning, lost the majority of their offensive line, but return senior quarterback Alex Tanney - named the nation's top Division III player in 2009 - and their top two receivers from a year ago, senior receivers Matt Shepherd and Mike Blodgett. Tanney has passed for more than 10,000 yards in three seasons and Shepherd became the first Scots' receiver to gain more than 1,000 yards in a season last fall. The offensive unit was second in two national statistical categories in 2009 - yardage and scoring. Monmouth averaged nearly 530 yards and scored more than 45 points per game.

Defensively, the Scots return six starters from a stingy defense. Monmouth was ranked eighth in the nation last season for scoring defense, allowing less than 13 points per game. They were third in pass efficiency defense and fifth in turnover margin. Twelve defenders accounted for the team's 18 interceptions and 11 players were in on 22 sacks.

Monmouth finished the 2009 season with a 10-1 record, winning their second consecutive Midwest Conference title. Head coach Steve Bell recorded his 78th win, tying him with Bill Reichow as the winningest coach in Scots' football history. Monmouth will open their home season Sept. 11 against Grinnell in the Scots' 1,000th game in school history. The season opens Sept. 4 at Wartburg.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Mount Union were ranked 1-2 by both magazines. Whitewater defeated Mount Union 38-28 last December in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl for the national title.

(Monmouth College Athletics)
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