Home » Conference Previews » Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference » Kansas Wesleyan University

<- Back Overview Forward ->

Kansas Wesleyan University

In 2012, the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes had a strong start to their season, only to see it all fall apart during the second half of the year.  After losing the Big River Bowl to then ranked #22 Cumberland University, the Coyotes then knocked off perennial KCAC power Ottawa, and strung together three more wins to finish the month of September with a mark of 4-1 and a #20 national ranking.  The remainder of the season proved to be disappointing to say the least, with the Coyotes only able to manage wins versus the lowly Bethel Threshers and a banged up Southwestern squad, finishing out the 2012 campaign with a mediocre 6-5 mark.

This year, the ‘Yotes start off the season in Nebraska, taking on Hastings College, a strong competitor in the GPAC conference, then, come home to host the Crusaders of Evangel University in the KCAC / HAAC challenge.  These two games will be a huge challenge for the Coyotes.   

In order for the Coyotes to improve enough to contend, they must address their defense.  In ’12, the Coyotes ranked 9th in the KCAC in overall defense, surrendering 455 yards per game, and 8th in points allowed giving up 29.1 points per game.  During the spring game, the defense was able to put some pressure on the quarterbacks and cause 4 interceptions.  Linebacker and first team all KCAC selection Brady Harwell, Vega, TX, was the leading tackler for the ‘Yote defense last year and was quoted as saying that the defense had “a heck of a day” and that the defense had “really come together as a team”.  Also slated to return to Salina for the defense are senior defensive back Mark Porras, Stockton CA, and junior defensive lineman Devan Atkinson, Spring TX.

Offensively, KWU is in a bit better shape, ranking #4 in scoring and #5 in yardage in 2012.  Starting QB Trey Dallas, Salina, KS, returns for his senior season.  His favorite target, Zach McClain from Santa Paula, CA, a first team all KCAC selection returns as well.  McClain had to sit out of the spring game due to injury, but will hopefully be ready to go come August.  New Offensive Coordinator Bob Saunders has reportedly not changed much on the KWU spread offensive scheme, but has expanded it and Trey Dallas was happy with the transition.  Running back wise, the Coyotes have to be concerned with replacing the conference’s leading rusher in Brett Giesen.  During the spring game, Taylor Sachs, Georgetown, TX, a junior convert from safety on the defense, showed promise at the running back position and is described by head coach Dave Dallas as a “downhill, one cut guy, and he’s strong”.  Other projected returners for KWU on offense include senior offensive lineman Daniel Colli, Tracy CA, senior offensive lineman Jason Johnstad, Escalon, CA, and Junior kicker Terry Stecker, Plano TX.

Recruit wise, the KWU website lists 30 new recruits, 11 on defense, 19 on offense.  Only two of the listed recruits are transfers, which is not the norm historically for a Dave Dallas team.  I look for a much expanded list of transfers / junior college players to report to Salina before the season commences.  In order for the Coyotes to return to contention, they must find the right mix of new players, and get them to gel as a team.  Finding that mix is almost like catching lightning in a bottle, but KWU is close to doing it.