This upcoming season, Elon football looks to make a bigger impact this season with some new faces and returning players, head coach Tony Trisciani said.

“I expect us to play winning defense this year, fast, physical, creating turnovers and getting after the quarterback. That's the standard, and I expect those guys to bring the juice,” Trisciani said. “They come out here, they play with high energy and have fun.”

The Phoenix travel to Wake Forest Aug. 31 to begin their season against the Demon Deacons, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. as the team looks to start its push for the playoffs once again. 

One new addition to the team is senior quarterback Louisiana Tech transfer Matthew Downing who is now coming to his fourth school during his college career. Trisciani said he is excited to see the leadership and experience that Downing will bring in.

“Matt being the newest addition to the room, he's got a lot of experience in his sixth year of college football,” Trisciani said. “He brings some maturity to the room, whether he ends up being our starting quarterback or a backup quarterback, whatever his role is, he's prepared to do it to the best of his ability,”

Elon football redshirt sophomore Dylan Tucker said the team has high expectations for this year's group after the strong season put together last year.

“We want to win the NCAA championship. We want to go as far as we can in the playoffs,” Tucker said. “I have high expectations for this team. I want to win the national championship, and that's just how I view it, but I'm just going to have to continue to work. Keep putting our heads down. Keep making the routine plays routine and keep working.”