5 things to know for the 2021 NCAA men’s football season

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The 2021 DI men’s college football season officially kicks off this week, with season opener scheduled for Thursday, August 26. Just months after the 2020-2021 University Cup was held in May, here are five things that stand ahead of the upcoming season:

5 things to know for the 2021 NCAA men’s football season

1. Two of the top three players in men’s college football will be back

The MAC Hermann Trophy rewards the best players in college football every year, and this year two of the three 2020-2021 finalists for men’s college football will be back. Valentin Noel de Pitt and Victor Bezerra of Indiana have both been noticed among our five players to watch this season, and we expect them both to have a major impact once again.

2. There are 19 games in the top 25 on opening day

With the official opening matches for the 2021 men’s football season scheduled for Thursday, we’re following them all here. Here are all of the top 25 matchups that take place on Opening Night, including the first Marshall visiting No.21 James Madison.

THURSDAY GAMES
# 5 Georgetown vs. UC Irvine, 4 p.m.
# 15 Virginia Tech vs. Kansas City, 4 p.m.
No. 13 UCF vs. CRF, 6 p.m.
No. 10 Seton Hall vs. Temple, 6:56 p.m.
No.11 Penn State vs.George Mason, 7 p.m.
N ° 7 Wake Forest vs VCU, 7 p.m.
No.9 Washington vs. UC Davis, 7 p.m.
No. 14 Kentucky at No. 25 Coastal Carolina, 7 p.m.
No. 24 High Point vs. Davidson, 7 p.m.
# 20 New Hampshire vs Boston University, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Clemson vs. St. John’s (NY), 7 p.m.
No. 23 Fordham vs. Providence, 7 p.m.
N ° 19 Marquette c. Green Bay 7:05 p.m.
# 18 Charlotte, Maryland, 7:30 p.m.
Marshall No.1 to No.21 James Madison, 7:30 p.m.
No.4 North Carolina vs. Bucknell, 7:30 p.m.
No. 3 Pitt vs. Duquesne, 8 p.m.
No. 8 Stanford at SMU, 8 p.m.
No. 12 Missouri State vs. Belmont, 9 p.m.

* every hour ET

3. There are 2 ranked matches on Thursday. Here’s what you need to know

Defending, No.1 ranked champion Marshall will face No.21 James Madison on the Dukes’ turf at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Senior Vitor Dias leads Marshall’s 2021 roster as the first player in program history to be named MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist, First Team All-American and Male Athlete of the Year of the USA Conference. No longer flying under the radar, the Thundering Herd will be a target after her run from Cinderella to win the NCAA tournament last season. On the other hand, JMU just won their third straight Colonial Athletic Association conference championship last spring and a second round loss in the NCAA tournament. JMU will be challenged from the get-go when they face Marshall, and the Dukes will rely on CAA Rookie of the Year and second-year midfielder Axel Ahlander to step up and be a leader this season.

The Kentucky No.14 will travel to face the Coastal Carolina No.25 at 7 p.m. Thursday. Kentucky is coming out of a 12-5-2 season where it qualified for the third round of the NCAA tournament. The Wildcats return two key seniors to midfielder Marcel Meinzer and defenseman Robert Screen. Meinzer and Screen have both been named to the Conference USA preseason squad and will be crucial to Kentucky’s success. Coastal Carolina ended the 2020-21 campaign with an overall record of 9-5-2 in its final season in the Sun Belt Conference. Coastal was beaten by No. 5 Wake Forest 3-2 in the second round of the NCAA tournament last season. Coastal makes his debut at No.4 in the Conference USA preseason standings and will return to senior defenseman Marcelo Lage, who led the Chanticleers in total points and tied for most goals in the team. last season.

PRE-SEASON TOP 25: Check out the full ranking here

4. Two champions for the first time were crowned in quick succession: Can 2021 do 3-for-3?

After finishing second in 2012, Georgetown won its first national championship in 2019. Marshall followed suit in 2020-21, making his very first appearance in a title match before winning it all. This season there are three teams in the pre-season top 10 that could make it three consecutive years with a champion for the first time. Pitt, Washington and Seton Hall are all chasing their first title. If any of those teams did end up winning the 2021 title, it would be the first time since 1984-86 when Clemson, Duke and UCLA pulled together a 3-for-3.

5. The national championship will resume its normal program

After undergoing a modified schedule in 2020-2021 with a fall season and a spring championship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Division I men’s soccer will return to its typical schedule. This means that the regular season will run from August through early November, and the NCAA tournament will begin in mid-November. The College Cup takes place December 10-12 in Cary, NC at WakeMed Soccer Park.

Marshall Athletics

Overtime victory: Watch Marshall beat Indiana for 2020-21 title

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