Chattanooga, TN (Sports Network) -
San Diego, which went 11-1 and claimed the Pioneer Football League title, accepted The Sports Network Cup, emblematic of the top FCS Mid-Major program. The Toreros, who garnered all 26 first-place votes and 260 total points in the final balloting conducted among FCS Mid-Major sports information directors and selected media members, become the first PFL representative to take home The Sports Network Cup since Dayton won the hardware in 2002.
Led by head coach Jim Harbaugh, the Toreros were ranked No. 7 in the preseason FCS poll and jumped out of the gate to win the first two games against Asuza Pacific and Southern Oregon by a combined score of 81-6. A pair of major tests came next, and the Toreros were up to the challenge. San Diego scored the last 17 points of the game and defeated Yale, 17-14, before coming one interception away from beating Princeton in a 20-17 loss. The Toreros earned the No. 2 ranking after the 3-1 start, and kept their name at the top by continuing the roll on offense. San Diego scored a 56-0 victory against Menlo and defeated Butler, 49-7, to set up a showdown at No. 1 Dayton. The Flyers held a 24-20 halftime lead, but the Toreros charged ahead in the second half by notching 28 consecutive points to score a 48-24 victory. The victory lifted San Diego to the No. 1 position in the FCS poll, and the Toreros would never relinquish that spot.
San Diego did have to get through some tests at home down the stretch. The Toreros held off Drake, 31-26, by running for 263 yards. After 60-point efforts in wins against Valparaiso and Chapman, the Toreros had two more challenges to finish the year. San Diego scored twice in the fourth quarter to break a 28-28 tie and knock off Marist, 42-35. In the PFL Championship game against Morehead State, the Toreros won another shootout to clinch the No. 1 position. Quarterback Josh Johnson threw for 375 yards and five touchdowns as the Toreros hung on for a 47-40 victory to complete the storybook season.
San Diego outscored opponents by 25 points per game, and outgained teams by nearly 200 yards. The Toreros averaged 42.6 points per game. Johnson completed 70 percent of his passes and threw for 36 touchdowns and 3,256 yards. J.T. Rogan had 944 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, and Adam Hannula and Nick Garton combined to catch 129 passes for 1,718 yards and 20 touchdowns to pace the offensive onslaught.
Dayton finished second in the poll with 232 points, while Duquesne placed third. The Sports Network FCS Mid-Major Top 10 poll includes the 18 programs of the MAAC, NEC and Pioneer Football League, which play at a non-scholarship or limited scholarship level. An updated poll is announced each Monday during the regular season.