Head coach: Brad Talich, third season (13-9)
2013 record: 4-6 (3-2 Southeast League, third)
Returning lettermen (starters): 15 (six offense, six defense)
Base offensive set: Spread
Base defensive set: Multiple
Top offensive players: QB John Farella (Sr.); WR Tanner Gorski (Sr.); C Alex Epstein (Jr.); WR Mike Simpson (Sr.); TE Travis Boman (Jr.); T Josh Jurgensen (Sr.)
Top defensive players: CB Wade Jacobs (Sr.); S Koy Harris (Sr.); LB Aaron Cotton (Sr.); LB Kianoa Granstrom (Sr.); LB Jordan Rude (Sr.); DE Myles Holland (Sr.)
Top special teams players: K Spencer Cofer (Jr.)
Top newcomers: RB Jordan Patterson (Jr.); WR D.J. Davis (Jr.)
Key losses: QB Jackson Cofer
Outlook: After advancing to the Sunrise Region title game in Talich’s first season, the Cougars regressed last year and finished below .500.
Replacing Cofer, who was an All-Southeast League pick on both sides of the ball will be difficult.
Farella split time with Cofer at quarterback, and completed 61.5 percent of his passes for 756 yards and seven TDs.
He’ll have a strong group of receivers to work with, led by second team All-Southeast League pick Gorski (39 catches, 327 yards) and Simpson (29 catches, 342 yards).
But Cofer (927 rushing yards) was really the team’s only ground threat, so someone must step up to provide at least some sort of running game.
Jurgensen was a first team All-Southeast pick and is back to anchor the offensive line.
Cotton led the team with 78 tackles and earned first team All-Southeast honors.
Talich said key losses on both sides of the line could hurt.
If linemen emerge and the running game develops, the Cougars could end up challenging for a home playoff game.