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Monmouth Football Earns First National Top-25 Ranking

The Hawks are currently 7-1 on the season and 2-0 in Big South Conference play.

The Monmouth University football team found itself ranked 24th in the latest FCS Coaches Poll released on Monday afternoon, giving the Hawks their first national ranking in the 25-year history of the football program.

The Hawks improved to 7-1 on the season and 2-0 in Big South Conference play after their 23-20 victory over preseason conference favorite Charleston Southern on Oct. 28. Their lone loss of the season came on the road to Colonial Athletic Association member Albany on Sept. 16. The Hawks are currently riding a five game winning streak and are undefeated in their newly renovated Kessler Stadium.

The Monmouth offense is averaging 35.4 points per game this season, which is 16th best in the country, and has scored at least 30 points in six of their seven wins. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Kenji Bahar has completed 64 percent of his passes in his first full season as a starter, which is ninth in the nation. The rushing attack, led by freshman standouts Pete Guerriero and Eric Zokouri and an experienced offensive line, averages 210 yards per game on the ground.

The defense is led by senior safety Mike Basile, who leads the nation with 86 tackles in eight games. The Monmouth defense has allowed 94.8 yards rushing per game, which is good for 12th in the nation.

Should they win their next two contests at home against Presbyterian (3-5, 0-2) on Nov. 4 and Gardner-Webb (1-7, 0-2) on Nov. 11, their Nov. 18 matchup against 25th ranked Kennesaw State (7-1, 3-0) on the road in the regular season finale could very well determine the Big South title and the league’s automatic bid to the FCS playoffs.

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John is the Monmouth Athletics Beat Writer for
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