Wagner seeks improvement after surprising fall

(STATS) - Wagner will look to rebound in coach Jason Houghtaling's second season as part of an 11-game schedule announced Tuesday.

The Seahawks went 1-10 last season, one year after earning a share of the Northeast Conference title in Walt Hameline's 34th and final season.

They return only nine starters (five on offense and four on defense), so competition has been high during spring practices. Senior quarterback Chris Andrews comes off an injury and is being pushed by sophomore Alex Thomson - who replaced him late last season - and Syracuse transfer A.J. Long.

The Seahawks play two FBS opponents for the second consecutive year, Boston College (Sept. 24) and Massachusetts (Oct. 29). They also host six games at Hameline Field: sub-Division I opponents Saint Anselm (Division II, Sept. 1) and Concordia (NAIA, Sept. 10) as well as Columbia (Oct. 8) in nonconference action, and NEC opponents Sacred Heart (Oct. 1, Homecoming), Duquesne (Nov. 5) and Saint Francis (Nov. 19).

"Our goal each and every year is to win the NEC championship and compete in the FCS playoffs," Houghtaling said. "I think the nonconference schedule is extremely competitive and will prepare us well for NEC play. It's an exciting schedule with four teams that Wagner is facing for the first time (Boston College, Concordia, UMass and Saint Anselm), and it's great to host a local opponent in Columbia of the Ivy League, an academically and athletically rich school."

2016 Wagner Schedule

Sept. 1, Saint Anselm

Sept. 10, Concordia

Sept. 24, at Boston College

Oct. 1, Sacred Heart* (Homecoming)

Oct. 8, Columbia

Oct. 15, at Central Connecticut State*

Oct. 22, at Bryant*

Oct. 29, at Massachusetts

Nov. 5, Duquesne*

Nov. 12, at Robert Morris*

Nov. 19, Saint Francis*

* - Northeast Conference game