TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Coming off its first NCAA Division III Playoff appearance in school history, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology football team has released its schedule for the upcoming 2017 season.
Rose-Hulman finished 8-3 overall and won a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship last fall. The Fightin' Engineers shared the league title with Franklin College, but earned a trip to the NCAA Playoffs with its 23-22 win over the Grizzlies last October.
The 2017 team should be another veteran crew with high expectations. Rose-Hulman is projected to return five offensive, seven defensive starters and the HCAC Special Teams Player of the Year from the 2016 squad. The team ranked among the HCAC leaders in total offense (404.8 ypg) and scoring offense (32.2 ppg), while leading the conference in scoring defense (18.9 ppg), sacks (38) and defensive touchdowns (4).
Reigning HCAC Coach of the Year Jeff Sokol returns an experienced crew featuring eight returning all-conference players. Projected returnees who earned all-league honors last year include defensive back Tyler Brutofsky; running back Stanley Hogan III; tight end Michael Iacono; linebacker Kaelen Garner; linebacker Mike Henry; defensive back Alec Thompson; offensive lineman Parker Young; and Special Teams Player of the Year Matt Murray.
The 2017 season features a repeat of the 2016 campaign with the game sites reversed. The Fightin' Engineers look to avenge a narrow 14-13 regular season loss at Illinois College in its season opener on Sept. 2 at 6 p.m. Central Time. The home opener is starts a three-game homestand with a matchup against Millikin University on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m.
The conference schedule starts with back-to-back home contests against Hanover on Sept. 16 at 2 p.m. and Defiance on Sept. 23 at 1:30 p.m. The final game of September will be a trip to in-state rival Anderson on Sept. 30.
Rose-Hulman will look to avenge its only HCAC loss from the 2016 championship season on Homecoming, when the Fightin' Engineers host Mount St. Joseph at 2 p.m. The Fightin' Engineers have won seven consecutive Homecoming games dating back to 2010. Rose-Hulman then hits the road for Manchester on Oct. 14.
The rematch featuring 2016 conference co-champions occurs on Senior Day, when Franklin visits Cook Stadium to face Rose-Hulman Oct. 21 at 1:30 p.m. The regular season concludes with road games at Bluffton on Oct. 28 and Earlham on Nov. 11.
The 2017 HCAC champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Playoffs, which begin on Nov. 18.
2017 ROSE-HULMAN FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
DATE OPPONENT TIMES
Sept. 2 at Illinois College 6 p.m. CT
Sept. 9 MILLIKIN 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 HANOVER * 2 p.m.
Sept. 23 DEFIANCE * 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 30 at Anderson * 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 MT. ST. JOSEPH * 2 p.m.
Oct. 14 at Manchester * 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 FRANKLIN * 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 28 at Bluffton * 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 11 at Earlham * 1:30 p.m.
* denotes Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference game