The Doane football team hopes to make another run at the national playoffs this season as the Tigers get set for Saturday’s opener at home against Friends University of Kansas. Defense was a key in 2015 as Doane finished 9-2 and made it to the NAIA playoffs.
Coach Matt Franzen lost several key secondary performers but an experienced defensive line returns from a unit that gave up only 92 yards of rushing per game.
“That defensive line is going to dictate a whole lot of what happens in the course of a game and I feel confident that our run defense is going to be strong”, said Franzen. “If teams can’t consistently run the ball you are going to be in a good position from week to week.”
The offense should be able to run the ball. All-American running back Nate Meier returns after rushing for 1,258 yards and 11 touchdowns and junior Jack Shadley takes over as starting quarterback after sharing the role with Brandon Stuart last season.
“He really had a solid fall camp and won the job going into the first game. Our plan is that he will be the guy behind the center and we have made that decision and feel good about it.”
Doane is ranked #9 in the NAIA pre-season poll and takes a nine game home winning streak into Saturday’s opener. The Tigers last home setback was a 33-7 loss to Friends in the 2014 season opener.