Year 2 for Stuursma brings bigger expectations at Hope College

HOLLAND, Mich -- The Hope College football team is the pick to win the MIAA in 2017. The Flying Dutchmen won their final six games last season and finished 7-3.

Despite the bigger expectations from those outside of the programs, head coach Peter Stuursma says nothing has changed internally.

"We worry about what we can control," Stuursma said, "and that's getting better day by day. We're gonna play the game out today. We're gonna worry about Monday practice today."

Hope opens at Monmouth on Saturday. The Fighting Scots beat Hope 44-3 at Smith Stadium in last season's opener, which was also Stuursma's first game as Hope head coach. Monmouth was 10-0 during the regular season in 2016.

"Last season doesn't really mean anything," safety Jacob Pardonnet said. "They won't really care that we went 7-3, so, hoping to be 1-0 at the end of the week."

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