Football kicks off 2013 season against LaGrange, Saturday

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern football team returns to the gridiron for the 2013 season this weekend, facing LaGrange on the road, Saturday at 6 p.m. Eastern.

The Panthers are coming off a 7-3 season in which they won a share of the Southern Athletic Association championship. Although BSC lost starting quarterback Jimmy Stainback and All-American Shawn Morris to graduation, junior wide receiver Sam Vermilyea returns after leading with 482 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Senior Joe Moultrie, Morris' backup at the tailback position, also returns after racking up 598 yards and a team-high 12 touchdowns last year.

Senior Tyson Beacham takes over the quarterback position after playing in three games last year and receiving a medical hardship from the NCAA. Junior Issac Nichols returns at the tailback position after scoring three touchdowns with 214 rushing yards in 2012, as does junior receiver Michael Cowan, who caught for 215 yards and three touchdowns last season.

Extra-point and field-goal specialist Ryan Laughlin also returns after hitting 37-of-39 extra points and 4-of-5 field goals.

On defense, the Panthers lost All-Conference defensive back Andrew Shannon and linebacker Nick Gordon, but return junior Austin Hansard at linebacker, who was second on the team last year with 62 tackles and a team-high 7.5 tackles-for-loss.

BSC is 3-2 all-time against LaGrange, winning last season at home in Panther Stadium, 41-14. LaGrange went 3-7 last season, including a 3-4 mark in USA South action.

Saturday's game will feature a live game tracker, live audio and live video, available at LaGrangePanthers.com.

BSC opens its home slate on Saturday, Sept. 14, hosting SAA rival Hendrix at 1 p.m. on Battle Field at Panther Stadium.