Arkansas-Pine Bluff did not meet expectations in 2013.
Picked to win the SWAC West a year ago, the Golden Lions stumbled to 0-7 start before finishing a disappointing 2-9 under Monte Coleman.
“I want to get that taste out of my mouth,” Coleman said as his group prepares for the 2014 season.
UAPB does return an offense that finished in the top half in most major categories under starter Ben Anderson, who threw for 2,506 yards and 19 touchdowns in addition to rushing for 91 yards per game last year.
Anderson’s production is expected to be bolstered by former Alabama A&M head coach Anthony Jones, who now serves as offensive coordinator.
If you ask Coleman what hampered the Golden Lions, he will immediately point to a defense that allowed 36.6 points and 456 yards per game. UAPB surrendered 40 or more points in eight of the 11 contest last season. Only Grambling State was worse on the defensive side of the ball.
The unit will be aided by the return of safety Ryan Shaw to an inconsistent secondary, but will have to try to find a way to cope with the loss of 2013 SBN Sports Black College All-American linebacker Jer-ryan Harris.
The task will be tough for the Golden Lions, as their chief competitors in the SWAC West have figured to improved. But 13 new recruits to go along with more than 60 players from last season’s roster could place UAPB in the conversation with Southern for the top spot in the division.