Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sacramento State Hornets 2010 Review

2010 Record: 6-5 (5-3) Tied 3rd Big Sky
2010 Playoffs: None
2010 Schedule/Results
@ Stanford, L 52-17
Western Oregon, W 31-17
Weber State, W 24-17 (OT)
@ Montana, L 28-25
Montana State, L 64-61
Northern Colorado, W 42-7
@ Eastern Washington, L 28-24
@ Northern Arizona, W 40-10
Portland State, W 28-15
@ Idaho State, W 45-17
@ UC-Davis, L 17-16

379.1 yards per game

The Hornets didn't reinvent the wheel on offense in 2010, but what they did do was reinvent themselves from a philosophical standpoint. It all began at QB with New Mexico State transfer Jeff Fleming having one of the better seasons from a Hornet QB in years, as he passed for 2044 yards and 23 TDs against just 10 picks. Fleming can build on that success as a senior in 2011, but the Hornets need him to continue to develop to compete as a dark horse playoff candidate next season. Fleming had the second best efficiency number in the Big Sky.
Fleming gets solid support from his run game as well, as Bryan Hilliard, also a junior in 2010, picked up 12 TDs on the season behind 883 yards rushing. The coaching staff would like to see hiim bust through the 1000 yard mark in 2011, and it's possible. Fleming is also a threat to run, as he rushed for 399 yards in 2010.
Chase Deadder, another junior, may have only caught 39 passes, but he had the 4th highest total in receiving yardage in the Big Sky with 788 yards. He also accounted for 6 TD passes. Morris Norrise was just a freshman, but he showed some serious flashes, and may be a big time receiver in the making for the Hornets. Depth behind these two guys is a concern, as the 3rd and 4th best receivers will be gone in 2011, leaving a lot of opportunities for the kids.
15 offensive linemen lettered in 2010, with only Jalen Harrell moving on after the season ended, and 3 new recruits will be joining the fray in 2011. Depth will not be an issue on the line.

334.0 yards allowed per game

The defense also came a long way in 2010, with the exception of that 64 point meltdown against Montana State. Zack Nash led the league in TFLs with 18 total on the season, of which 15 of those were solo jobs. Nash ended the season with 13 sacks, and what's better is that he will return for his senior season in 2011, bringing the Hornets a force up front.
The main issue, is that hardly anyone else lived up to the standards that he set in the front seven. The Hornets will need more productivity up front if they waqnt to compete in one of the two best FCS conferences in America.
The only stat that you need to see that tells that tale clearly is that the two top tacklers for the Hornets were DBs (Peter Buck, Zach Schrader) and both of them moved on after the season. Obviously, Sacramento State has got some work to do on this side of the ball if they want to get with the top tier clubs in the playoff discussion.
There is a lack of playmakers on defense as well, as Kyle Monson led the team in picks with only 2. That has to change immediately.


You could not have asked any more of Chris Diniz as PK in 2010. Diniz nailed 13 of 15 FGs on the season, and his leg was the difference many times. The Hornes will not have that benefit in 2011, as Diniz has moved on.
Augie Heath was nothing short of bad in 2010 at punter, having only averaged a crappy 36 yards per punt on the season, second worst in the conference. He will be back, but Sacramento must find someone who can supplant him as soon as possible.
Monson was the primary punt return man, averaging 8.42 yards per return, while Sam McCowan did an adequate at best job at handling kick returns. Both are back in 2011, and both need to up their games.


Marshall Sperback has done a very nice job in his 4 seasons at the helm of the Hornets, and the future is getting brighter. The Hornets were just a few plays away in 2010 from shocking everyone and grabbing a playoff bid. They were that close, yet blew chances in 4 winnable games. That's all it took. If the Hornets can find a way to win their close games, then a darkhorse candidacy is not out of whack, but they have holes to fill, and the defense has got to get more aggressive.

No comments:

Post a Comment