Monday, February 28, 2011
Alabama State Hornets 2010 Review
2010 Record: 7-5 (6-3), Tied 1st SWAC East
2010 Post Season: None
Mississppi Valley State, W 34-6
Arkansas-Pine Bluff, W 38-31
@ Prairie View, W 18-15
@ Alcorn State, L 41-21
Texas Southern, L 21-7
@ Grambling, L 22-7
Savannah State, W 24-0
@ Alabama A&M, W 31-10
Jackson State, W 32-30
@ Southern, W 21-19
Tuskegee, L 17-10
@ Texas Southern, L 11-6 (SWAC Championship Game)
266.7 yards per game
The Hornets were not exactly lighting the world on fire with the potency of their (lack of) offense. ASU barely scraped 100 yards per game rushing, and the passnig attack did not make up the bulk, with only just over 166 yards per game. The Hornets failed to score more than 24 points 8 times in 12 contests in 2010, making it a miracle that they won the SWAC East at all by nature of having defeated Jackson State.
Devin Dominguez started all 12 games as a junior in 2010, and although he passed for 19 TDs, he also tossed 15 picks, making him an unreliable bet in the offensive scheme. He was not chucking the ball an enormous amount, as he only managed to pass for 1536 yards on the season. Demetric Price may have pushed him, but his 1 TD to 4 pick ratio did not enliven the coaching staff, so therefore Dominguez went uncontested through a season of mediocrity at best.
One would hope that with a poor passing attack, that the rushing game would pick up the slack, but that wasn't the case in 2010. Only Andrew Pitts carried the ball 100 times or more (115), but he topped out at 535 yards for the season, only an average of 44.6 yard per game. He only managed to rush for 4 TDs on the season as well, so this is an area of concern for ASU. Quendarius McKibbons carried the ball 78 times in 2010, but only averaged 2.5 yards per carry on the season, and only scored once.
Only Nick Andrews and TC McWilliams caught 40 or more passes on the season. Andrews led the team with 48, and McWilliams had 40. They combined for 1206 yards on their 84 grabs with Andrews hauling in 7 TDs, while McWilliams grabbed 8 TDs. That leaves very little productivity for anyone else, and such was the case, as Tim Clark was 3rd on the team with just 18 catches on the season.
317.4 yards per game allowed
The Hornets had some success on this side of the football, and this is why they were able to win the SWAC East. While ASU had some measure of trouble defending the rush (allowed 151.8 yards per game), they certainly had some real success in defending the pass. ASU only allowed 165.8 yards per game through the air, which is very respectable. The Hornets also only allowed
The star of the defense was arguably Jimmy Daniels, who led the SWAC in TFLs with 19, averaging 1.8 per game. Daniels was by far the most aggressive defender in the front seven. With all of the TFLs, only 5 of those went for sacks. Kynjee Cotton actually had a total of 6 on the year, with 4 solo jobs and 2 assists.
The secondary boasted the team leader in tackles in Brandon Roberts with 74. Dononvan Masline and Jacques Rickerson both tied for 4th in the SWAC with 11 passes defende, while Kejuan Riley was 2nd in the SWAC with 7 picks. When you see that kind of production, you start to understand why the pass defense was the heart of this football team. Rickerson is the only member of the secondary to be leaving, so the unit is pretty much intact for 2011.
Andrew Lions was absolutely putrid as the ASU kicker in 2010. He only connected on 8 of his 15 FG attempts. Luckily, his leg was not the reason for any of the losses, but when you cannot depend on your PK, it changes the way you play the game and it changes a strategy wildly. Someone must push Lions in the spring.
Anthony Speight was not amazing at all either. He managed just over 39 yards per punt on the season, which would not make me jump up and down. Luckily, the defense was good enough not to let this hamper them all too much, but it is painful when your kicking game can't get it done on any level.
One shining mark on the special teams was the return work of McKibbon on kickoffs, as he led the SWAC with over 27 yards per return.
I am amazed that the Hornets hung in as well as they did with all of their issues in 2010. ASU was wildly inconsistent all season long, and went on losing streaks of 3 games in the middle of the season, and then lost two to close it out, including a painful loss to D2 Tuskegee in the final regular season game heading into the SWAC title game. If the Hornets can improve just a couple of these areas, they could very well repeat in the East, but that's a lot to ask right now. The pieces are there, so it's just a matter of who does what in the spring.