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Torero Football is PFL Title Favorite; Volleyball Ranks 14th; WCC Basketball Schedules

Senior quarterback Anthony Lawrence and his USD football teammates enter the 2018 season as the Pioneer Football League title favorite. The Toreros have won six of the last seven PFL titles.Senior quarterback Anthony Lawrence and his USD football teammates enter the 2018 season as the Pioneer Football League title favorite. The Toreros have won six of the last seven PFL titles.

The University of San Diego football team was selected to finish first in the Pioneer Football League Preseason Coaches’ poll for the eighth consecutive season, the league announced.

The Toreros won their sixth PFL title in the past seven seasons during 2017 and advanced to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Playoffs’ second round for the second straight year. USD returns a group of players with a healthy mix of experience and talent ready to compete for another conference title.

USD was selected to finish first with 81 points, followed by Dayton with 72 points. Drake was selected to finish third, followed by Butler and Valparaiso (48-point tie), Jacksonville (47 points), Marist (44), Morehead State (22), Stetson (19) and Davidson (11).

The Toreros will be led offensively by senior quarterback, Anthony Lawrence, who is positioned to challenge for multiple program offensive and quarterback records. He will be supported by 2017 AFCA FCS Coaches All-America second-team selection, Daniel Cooney, who will help solidify the offensive line.

All-PFL honorable mention, Connor Spencer, will provide the pressure defensively and look to fill the void left by Jonathan Petersen — the FCS all-time leader in sacks — who graduated.

The upcoming 2018 season marks the 26th year for the Pioneer Football League — the nation's only non-scholarship, football-only NCAA FCS conference. The league will feature 11 teams each playing an eight-game schedule to determine the league champion and recipient of the automatic bid to the NCAA FCS Championship postseason bracket.

USD kicks off the 2018 season Sept. 1 at 2 p.m. against Western New Mexico in Torero Stadium. It will be the first of five home games for the Toreros in 2018.

More USD Football news … Four Torero players earned 2018 Preseason All-Pioneer Football Team honors. Quarterback Anthony Lawrence, fullback Zach Nelson and offensive lineman Daniel Cooney were named to the offensive team. Defensive lineman Connor Spencer represents the Toreros on the defensive side of the ball for the All-PFL preseason team. … Toreros senior quarterback QB Anthony Lawrence was named to the STATS FCS Walter Payton Award Watch List. Lawrence is one of 25 players on the watch list, which is considered the Heisman Trophy of the FCS. Lawrence is coming off a stellar junior season in which he was named the Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Year. He earned All-PFL first-team honors after completing 245-of-347 of his passes (.665) for 3,131 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2017.

Volleyball

The USD women's volleyball team debuted at No. 14 in the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll, it was announced on Wednesday.

The Toreros went 25-5 in 2017 and earned a share of the WCC title — their 10th in program history. USD advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round and finished the season ranked No. 13 overall.

This year, the Toreros will play seven matches against five teams selected to the preseason top-25.

USD opens with back-to-back matches at No. 17 Washington (Aug. 24-25) and makes its home debut against No. 16 Baylor (Sept. 1).

The Toreros play host to Pac-12 opponents No. 11 UCLA (Sept. 2) and No. 10 USC (Sept. 14). USD will take on 2017 WCC co-champion No. 8 BYU at home on Oct. 5 and in Provo on Nov. 2.

Men’s Basketball

The USD men’s basketball team’s 16-game West Coast Conference schedule was announced Aug. 8 by the conference.

The Toreros open WCC play Jan. 3 at Santa Clara and make their home debut on Jan. 5 against Pacific.

USD hosts Pepperdine on Jan. 12 before playing its first of three back-to-back road matchups at Portland (Jan. 17) and Saint Mary’s (Jan. 19).

The Toreros head to defending conference champion, Gonzaga, on Feb. 2. The game at Gonzaga is the start of the longest road stretch in conference play for the Toreros, which remains away from home at Loyola Marymount (Feb. 7) and Pepperdine (Feb. 9).

USD returns for its longest homestand of the WCC season — a four-game stretch — the following week with matchups against BYU (Feb. 14) and Gonzaga (Feb. 16). The homestand concludes the following week against Portland (Feb. 21) and Saint Mary’s (Feb. 23). USD will celebrate its seniors as part of Senior Day prior to the game against the Gaels.

The WCC regular season concludes away from home with games at San Francisco (Feb. 28) and at BYU (March 2).

San Diego returns four of five starters and 11 overall from its 2017-18 team that produced the program’s best season in the past 10 years. The Toreros went 20-14 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2018 Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). It marked the fourth time in program history the Toreros finished with 20 or more wins since moving to the NCAA Division I ranks for the 1979-80 season.

Get information about the 2019 Season Ticket Deposit program for USD men’s basketball.

Women’s Basketball

The 18 West Coast Conference 2018-19 women’s basketball game schedule and dates have been set for all teams, including USD, it was announced Aug. 7 by the conference.

The Toreros open WCC play on Dec. 29 at San Francisco and make their home debut Jan. 3 against Loyola Marymount.

USD will play host to reigning WCC champions, Gonzaga, on Jan. 19 in a rematch of last year's WCC Tournament championship game.

The Toreros host BYU on Jan. 26. USD went 3-0 against the Cougars in 2017-18, sweeping the season series for the first time in program history.

USD concludes conference play with home games against Santa Clara (Feb. 28) and San Francisco (March 2). The Toreros will celebrate its seniors on Senior Day against the Dons.

Season ticket deposits can be made by calling the USD Ticket Office at 619-260-7550. Game times will be announced at a later date.

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For all USD Athletics news, scores, features and information, visit their website and follow the Toreros on social media platforms: FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Contact:

USD News Center
news@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4681