Thursday, March 31, 2011

Citadel Bulldogs 2010 Review

2010 Record: 3-8 (1-7), Tied 8th Southern
2010 Postseason: None
2010 Schedule/Results: Chowan, W 56-14, @ Arizona, L 52-6, Presbyterian, W 26-14, @ Furman, L 31-14, Western Carolina, L 24-13, Chattanooga, L 28-10, @ Appalachian State, L 39-10, Georgia Southern, L 20-0, @ Wofford, L 35-0, Elon, L 27-16, @ Samford, W 13-12


     Nothing much ever changes at the Citadel. The fact that the Bulldogs have never challenged for a conference title or playoff birth in my adult life (which is fairly considerable at this point) is as much a statement about Citadel football as anything. It's not important. Winning doesn't seem to matter, and losing is tolerated because it's the experience of playing that means more than anything. Fine by me, but Citadel should have taken the route of another long time former member of the SoCon, VMI, and left for an easier path, as VMI took flight for the Big South. Citadel is outclassed yearly in this league, and is just constant doormat material here.
     The Bulldogs don't pass the football. They have been an option team since anyone can remember. QB is a focus for taking snaps and finding new and unique ways to hand off or pitch out. Such is the way of Citadel football, and such it will always be. Matthew Thompson was the QB in 2010, and he attemmpted a whopping 63 passes on the season, passing for 353 yards and 3 TDs. Considering how often he didn't pass, it's stunning that he managed to still get picked 7 times.
     Considering that the Bulldogs are an option team, they really didn't run the ball very well either. Terrell Dallas was the leading rusher, but only managed to rush for 646 yards in 11 games, and also only managed 6 TDs on the year. Nobody else managed to even rush for half of that total.
     There was basically no receiving game to worry about, but Domonic Jones was the main receiver, having caught 12 passes for 192 yards and 2 TDs.
     The Bulldogs only had two defenders in the top 20 for tackles, with Tolu Akindele (80 tackles), and Rod harland (64) being the sole providers of playmaking ability every down. When you see the lack of tackles being made by the Bulldogs, it becomes evident as to why Citadel lost 8 games. They were a decent unit altogether, but never coujld make the plays necessary when games were on the line, and they were also abandoned by a go nowhere but backwards offense. 
     Erik Clanton, a senior in 2010, and Quinton Turner gave the Bulldogs faithful something to cheer about up front, as Clanton finished 2nd in the SoCon in TFLs with 17 on the season. Turner joined him in the double figure club with 10. Clanton also finished 2nd in the league in sacks, becoming a QBs least best friend a total of 11 times last fall. Sacks were thin overall, as nobody came close to joining Clanton at those lofty numbers.
     There were not a ton of plays being made in the secondary for the Bulldogs, but teams were not exactly going pass happy on the Citadel. This unit only gave up 171 yards passing per game in 2010, a number which when you consider how really bad Citadel was (again), is a very respectable total. This was done despite having nobody with more than 5 passes defended, or having more than 3 picks on the season.
     Ryan Sellers made a dysmal 5 FGs in 2010, but it wasn't like he was generating a ton of attempts. On the entire 2010 season, Sellers only attempted 9 FGs. His percentage of completion was just pre crap, and this needs to change, as Citadel struggles to score enough without a shit kicker killing opportunities.Cass Couey was pure phooey as well at Punter, as he only managed to average just over 39 yards per punt in 2010.


Wow. Citadel sucked again. There's a shock for all ages. Seriously, they have sucked for as long as I can remember, and I go back 30 seasons in my memory banks. It's a constant in life. You think it's death and taxes? I call it Citadel football. Suckage as dependable as a swiss watch.

Iowa Hawkeyes 2010 Review-By Matt Chandik

By Matt Chandik
2010 season: 8-5 (4-4)
Vs. Eastern Illinois: W 37-7
Vs. Iowa State: W 35-7
@ Arizona- L 34-27
Vs. Ball State- W 45-0
Vs. Penn State- W 24-3
@ Michigan- W 38-28
Vs. Wisconsin- W 31-30
Vs. Michigan State- W 37-6
@ Indiana- W 18-13
@ Northwestern- L 21-17
Vs. Ohio State- L 20-17
@ Minnesota- L 27-24
Vs. Missouri (Insight Bowl)- W 27-24

A year ago, Iowa was living large. The Hawkeyes went 11-2, beat Georgia Tech, 24-14, in the Orange Bowl and had most of their studs returning. 2010 was going to be a great year for Kirk Ferentz’s squad. Ricky Stanzi was going to throw for a million touchdowns, Marvin McNutt and Derell Johnson-Koulianos would catch most of them and Adam Robinson would run behind Ferentz’s latest group of 310-pound wildebeests masquerading as offensive linemen and life would be grand. Stanzi would parlay an amazing senior season into a one-year NFL career before taking over for Barack Obama as President of the United States in 2012 and IT WOULD BE AWESOME BECAUSE RICKY STANZI LOVES AMERICA, DAMN IT!

Unfortunately for the Hawkeyes, things didn’t exactly pan out the way they should have. After starting the season 7-2, a loss to Northwestern for the third straight year sent Iowa into a tailspin as they lost their final three regular season games. That streak included an upset loss to rival Minnesota in the regular season finale.

For his part, Stanzi enjoyed the finest season of his career. The senior completed 64.1 percent of his passes and threw 25 touchdowns against only six interceptions. Stanzi eclipsed the 3,000-yard mark with 3,004 and capped it off with his third bowl victory. However, he wasn’t as sharp as he was in his junior season when he earned the reputation as one of college football’s most clutch quarterbacks. He struggled to complete late-game drives, most noticeably against rival Wisconsin.

Robinson was the team’s No. 1 option at tailback, a role he filled admirably until he got suspended for the Insight Bowl and ultimately dismissed from the team. Robinson rushed for 941 yards at 4.64 per and cracked double-digits in touchdowns with 10. Robinson also proved to be one of the Big 10’s best running backs at catching the ball out of the backfield as he snagged 24 catches for 290 yards and a touchdown. Ultimately, though, he proved to be better at being a dumbass than being a football player. He was first suspended for the first quarter of the loss to Ohio State for “academic indigestion”, according to Kirk Ferentz. So he either ate a book that didn’t go down well, inhaled too many chemicals in chemistry class or did something so dumb that Ferentz couldn’t actually think of an apt description, so he took a random word and attached it to “academic” and said fuck it, it sounds good.

Robinson’s suspension for the Insight Bowl and dismissal came after being charged for possession of marijuana in Des Moines. Um, holy fucking shit. Some guy who lives in Iowa wanted to smoke some weed. Clearly, the cop who arrested him couldn’t have lived in Iowa that long. I’m sure merely driving through Iowa wants to make you smoke a kilo by yourself. On the other hand, though, freshman tailback Marcus Coker wasn’t arrested for possession of Mary Jane, so he was the one whom Ferentz turned to in the Insight Bowl. Coker made the most of his opportunity and may or may not still be branding his name on Missouri’s forehead. Coker (with a name like that, you know Ferentz is this close to dismissing him at the slightest sign of an infraction) ran for about what most true freshman running backs run for in their first bowl game- 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It’s a promising sign for the future of the Hawkeye ground game, though Coker should probably be wrapped in bubble wrap and locked away in a dungeon with armed guards protecting him until the season starts due to the Hawkeyes’ tremendous lack of sheer numbers at running back.

When Stanzi dropped back, he had his pick of good receiving options. When Derrell Johnson-Koulianos wasn’t being arrested for allegedly running drug houses, he was Iowa’s all-time leader in receiving yards. DJK finished second on the team in receptions (46) and yards (745) but led the team in touchdowns with 10 and posted a stalwart 16.2 yards per catch average. Marvin McNutt led the team in receptions and yards and finished second among all Big 10 pass-catchers in receiving yards in conference play. McNutt’s 616 Big 10 yards trailed only Michigan’s Roy Roundtree, but McNutt also didn’t drop 847 passes like Roundtree did, so there’s that. Allen Reisner was the latest in the long line of “How the fuck is that guy always open?” Iowa tight ends. Reisner snagged 42 passes for 460 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

On the offensive line, it was an okay year for a team used to better than what it got from the big uglies. Riley Reiff is the latest in a long line of star Iowa offensive linemen. He and guard Julian Vandervelde were named second-team All-Big 10 members by both the coaches and media, and Reiff figures to challenge Ohio State’s Mike Adams as the top left tackle in the Big 10 next year. Iowa ranked seventh in the conference in sacks allowed (20) and average yards per carry as a team (4.3 ypc).

Superstar safety Tyler Sash, also known as Tyler Motherfucking Sash to Iowa fans for his overall awesomeness, was the leader of the secondary and one of the top safeties in the country. Sash, who entered the NFL Draft after a three-year career that saw him pick off 13 passes for an average return of more than 30 yards, is somehow always around the ball. He racked up 79 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and one of the coolest moments of the season when he intercepted a Michigan State pass and ran six yards with it before pitching the ball to cornerback Micah Hyde, who raced the remaining 66 yards for a touchdown.

Defensive end Adrian Clayborn entered the season fresh off an Orange Bowl MVP award and garnered hype as the top defensive end in the country. Ultimately, though, Clayborn fell short of expectations. He didn’t have a bad year, but he didn’t have the year that most predicted for him. The senior posted 3.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss after notching a stellar 11.5-sack, 20-tackle for loss All-America caliber junior year.

As is the mark of any Iowa team, though, the Hawkeyes were stingy defensively. Iowa ranked second in the conference in scoring defense (17 ppg) to Ohio State (14.3) and rushing defense (101.54 ypg), but were only seventh in pass defense (230.5 ypg). On the flip side of that, the Hawkeyes tied the Buckeyes for most interceptions in the Big 10 with 19, four of which were brought back for scores.

While the likes of Sash and Clayborn will be earning NFL paychecks next year (assuming there is football next year), it’s hard to imagine the Hawkeye defense suffering too much. Hyde, sophomore-to-be middle linebacker James Morris (70 tackles, one sack, four passes broken up) and defensive linemen Broderick Binns and Mike Daniels should ensure that the proud Iowa defense remains near the top of the Big 10.

Special Teams
Freshman Michael Meyer, a walk-on, did what seemingly every fucking walk-on finds a way to do at Iowa- he earned a starting job and was actually pretty good at it, too. Meyer nailed 14-for-17 on field goals and 31 of 33 extra points, though one of those missed extra points came back to haunt the Hawkeyes in a one-point loss to Wisconsin. But yeah, of fucking course Iowa’s walk-on kicker kicked nearly three times more field goals than Michigan’s two kickers made combined. Sure, that’s the way it always happens.

Ryan Donohue handled the punting duties yet again, and yet again, he was very good at it. The senior averaged 44.59 yards per punt, a number that ranked third in the conference, and was masterful at putting the ball wherever he wanted to. Iowa ranked second in the Big 10 in opponent punt returns as they yielded a meager 3.9 yards per return and no touchdowns.

Colin Sandeman was the team’s punt returner, but he was just kind of…there. Sandeman didn’t do anything special as he averaged 8.3 yards per return. Tony Montana Jr., er, Johnson-Koulianos, led the Big 10 in kickoff return average at 29.29 yards and torched Minnesota for a touchdown. Then again, these were kids recruited by Tim Brewster, so the validity of the touchdown should be questioned.

Iowa will be hard-pressed to find replacements for everything that they lose. Stanzi, Robinson, DJK, Reisner, Clayborn and Sash are just some of the key players that they lose to graduation, early entry and outright fucking stupidity. Still, it’s Iowa, so they’re going to have their usual assortment of monster O-linemen ready to POUND THE SHIT OUT OF YOU ON POWER RIGHT OUT OF THE I, SON, SO GET FUCKING READY. Additionally, Iowa will somehow find a way to field another top-20 defense without ever blitzing a single time all season, BECAUSE THAT’S HOW NORM FUCKING PARKER ROLLS. He doesn’t need two goddamn feet like you pussies do.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Personal Favorite Returnees for 2011-QBs

     This will be my first venture into covering the 2011 season in an official manner. This will also be post number 750 since August of 2010. I did not want a milestone to be a run of the mill review for a losing Citadel team, so here is something just a little bit more for your reading enjoyment. Here is my list of my personal favorite returning QBs for the 2011 season at the FBS, FCS, and D2 levels. This will be my first sample of my journey into covering D2 football, which will begin in full coming up in May with an interview that I am sure that D2 fans from the MIAA will love. But for now, here is my list for my favorite QBs that will be returning in 2011.


Bryant Moniz, Sr.-Hawaii
Moniz was a video game in live action in 2010, as he fired away for 5040 yards and 39 TD passes. Hawaii's offense is perfectly suited for his abilities, and although he loses several big time players from the skill positions, it should not affect him all that much, as he makes players around him better. Moniz is never intimidated, as he looked right at home going nose to nose with USC last September. If you like high octane passing games, then Moniz is your guy.

Landry Jones, Jr.-Oklahoma
Jones was the guy that took over for eventual #1 draft pick and OU legend Sam Bradford. The Sooners have never missed a beat with Jones at QB, as he has developed into another QB that may indeed be a #1 pick himself one day. Before that happens, Jones may very well be a top competitor for the Heisman in 2011. Jones tossed 38 TDs in 2010, second only to Moniz. OU will be a strong candidate to win the Big 12, and should be a pre-season top 3 team.

Brandon Weeden, Sr.-Oklahoma State
Who knew this guys name last summer? If you were a Cowboy fan, you probably knew, but the rest of us had no idea. Weeden formed a perfect trinity on offense with RB Kendell Hunter and All-Bilo WR of the Year Justin Blackmon, and Blackmon will return to give Weeden one hell of a target. Weeden passed for 4277 yards and 34 TDs in 2010, good for 329 yards per game. With Weeden back and pulling the trigger, expect OSU to give Oklahoma a run for the Big 12 title, as it'll come down to one of the two.

Kellen Moore, Sr.-Boise State
Having gotten to see Moore perform live was a highlight of my 2010 season. Moore is as fluid as any QB that I have ever seen at this level, and he just makes everything look so damned easy. Moore passed for 3845 yards with 35 TDs last fall, but even better is that he went the entire season tossing only 6 picks, which was the best number of anyone on this list. Watching Boise State in action is like watching a team of pros, and their QB is pro to the extreme.

Andrew Luck, Sr.-Stanford
Luck is a throwback QB in that he knows what it means to be the leader. So many QBs in the game are attention hounds and get a lot of it for all of the wrong reasons, and are not technically sound in their passing game, and are not strong leaders who can control a locker room (see Cam Newton). Luck is a leader and is a naturally gifted QB who understands what it means to take the reins, to lead by example. Luck shocked a ton of folks by coming back to Stanford when it would have been so easy to walk away for NFL millions, especially after Jim Harbaugh bolted for the 49ers, but Luck did come back, and David Shaw is his new best friend. Stanford will once again give Oregon a run for their money in the newly formed Pac-12, and should also be a major player on a national stage with Luck running the show.

Ryan Lindley, Sr.-San Diego State
Lindley was resurrected by Brady Hoke last season. He was always a young QB who was full of talent, but for whatever reason, Chuck Long, a former QB himself, was never able to bring Lindley to full potential. Here's the deal...He still hasn't peaked out at full speed. The only thing that should hold him back in 2011 is the coaching change, but Rocky Long has worked on teams with great college QBs in the past (see Cade McNown) and understands where the focus needs to be when you have a gem running the offense. Lindley could add 5 more TDs and subtract 5 picks, and he would be considered to have had a brilliant season. It's all possible.

Dominique Davis, East Carolina; Nick Foles, Arizona; Corey Robinson, Troy; GJ Kinne, Tulsa; Ryan Radcliff, Central Michigan; Denard Robinson, Michigan; Alex Carder, Western Michigan; Kyle Padron, SMU; Robert Griffin, Baylor; Darron Thomas, Oregon


Brad Sorensen, Jr.-Southern Utah
Sorensen may be one of the best QBs that you may never heard of, but the only way you haven't heard his name is if you don't follow FCS football, and you should. Sorensen led Southern Utah through a meatgrinder of a schedule, and straight into the Great West title, where the Thunderbirds shucked Cal Poly from the trophy. Sorensen passed for 3163 yards and 21 TDs in 11 games, and will be a senior in 2012, when SUU joins the Big Sky.

Casey Therriault, Sr.-Jackson State
Therriault is another name that you had better remember coming into the 2011 season. Therriault shredded the SWAC with 3436 yards passing with 31 TDs to just 8 picks in 2010, and the Tigers missed playing in the SWAC title game by 2 points in an unfortunate loss to eventual division champ Alabama State. Therriault is going to try to make it his mission in 2011 to not see that happen again. He's buried a bit in obscurity as the SWAC does not participate in the FCS playoffs, but he could start for anyone.

Bo Levi Mitchell, Sr.-Eastern Washington
If I left the championship team's starting QB, I'd prbably get massacred on the fan message boards. Well, that happens sometimes anyway, but not because I'd leave Mitchell off of any list of mine. Mitchell was nothing short of brilliant in bringing the Eagles all the way to the top of the mountain in 2010 after having transferred from a log jam at QB at SMU. Mitchell passed for 3496 yards and 37 TDs in 2010 and the Eagles tossed Montana from the throne in the Big Sky. Now Mitchell and EWU are the hunted.

BJ Coleman, Sr.-Chattanooga
Coleman was at the center of one of the collest turnarounds in FCS college football last season. The Mocs had been mired in suckage for quite a few seasons, and although they have not fully turned the corner, Coleman is leading UTC in the direction of shocking some folks in 2011. Coleman passed for 2996 yards and 26 TDs in 2010, and with a ton of talent coming back around him, UTC is an early favorite of mine to be a surprise FCS Playoff participant in 2011. Whatever happens, Coleman will be right at the center of it as the focal point for this football team.

Denarius McGhee, So.-Montana State
The kid of the group. I took some serious heat last season for dropping some heavy criticism of young Denarius during the first month of the season for what I perceived were turnnover issues. McGhee proved me wrong and only tossed 2 more picks against 17 TDs the rest of the way from that point, and Montana State wound up sharing the Big Sky title with eventual national champ Eastern Washington. The Bobcats came up short in the playoffs, but with a full season under his belt, the incredibly athletic McGhee could have an amazing seaosn in store, and the Bobcats should have problem finding their way back to the playoffs once more.

Josh MacGregor, Sr. Jacksonville
The Dolphins have a special place in my heart, as JU has shown me a ton of love over the last several months since beginning this blog. That, however, has nothing to do with the love I have for MacGregor. He has earned the respect for sure, as he tossed the ball to the tune of 3049 yards and 32 TDs in 2010, and he also led the Dolphins to having the top ranked offense in FCS football. It doesn't hurt that the Dolphins also won 10 games. MacGregor's task in 2011? Return to the conference title, and force those idiots that bumped them out of the playoff picture to let them in the door. I am planning a road trip to Jacksonville this fall, and I can't wait to see MacGregor and the Dolphins live.

Casey Brockman, Murray State; Zach Lewis, Morehead State; Nathan Dick, Central Arkansas; Thomas DeMarco, Old Dominion; Ryan O'Neill, Lafayette; Mike Brown, Liberty; Matt Brown, Illinois State; Randy Wright, UC-Davis; Steve Probst, Rhode Island; Chris Lum, Lehigh

QBs D2

Bo Cordell, Jr.-Tusculum
What Cordell did as a sophomore in 2010 shatters the brain. Cordell passed for 4657 yards and 38 TDs on the season, and if the defense had not failed him when he needed them most, Tusculum would have been playoff bound. That can be fixed, and Cordell brings his video game-esque zaniness back to the field for 2 more magical seasons. Again, this kid is the reason why you should pay attention to D2 football.

Clay Garcia, Sr.-Colorado Mines
The Orediggers have a reputation as a team that likes to throw the football in bunches, and they have found another player worthy of allowing to toss it plenty in Garcia. Garcia tore up the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference by passing for 4066 yards in leading the Diggers to the D2 Playoffs, where they unfortunately fell to powerhouse Grand Valley State. Garcia tossed 39 TD passes in 2010, and I would not be shocked to see him lead Mines back to the playoffs to cap his senior season.

Cody Haffly, Sr.-Wingate
The Eagles are surely happy to have a QB back who finished only second to the Harlan Hill winner in TD passes with 42 on the season. That's what they have returning in Haffly, a major league gunslinger playing at a small school. Add to the crazy TD numbers that Haffly also passed for 3952 yards, and Wingate has the ability to get back to the playoffs after a first round loss to Albany State bounced them in 2010.

Kevin Morton, Sr.-Kutztown
Morton was a machine at QB for the Golden Bears in 2010, passing for 38 TDs on 3633 yards passing. The Bears had a solid playoff run, but also fell short in the first round in a loss to Shepherd. The Bears raced out to a 9-0 start before a total meltdown 61-35 loss to Bloomsburg threw a blight onto what had been a perfect season. If Morton can reduce his 16 picks by 4, Kutztown could have another magical run in 2011, something I fully expect to happen.

Micthell Gale, Jr.-Abilene Christian
What Gale did as a sophomore may not have been numerically impressive as Cordell last season, but what he did showed maturity at the QB position that you rarely find in someone so young. Gale tossed 38 TDs in 2010, but only threw 3 picks all season long, giving Gale the best ratio of anyone who tossed the ball as much as he did in D2. Gale did not have a leash in him either, as one would expect, and he passed for 3595 yards on the season. ACU finished the regular season with a perfect 11-0 mark, but fell to Harlan Hill trophy winner Eric Czerniewski and Central Missouri in a 55-41 shootout in the first round. Gale could drive the Wildcats further in 2011, as they have unfinshed business to attend to.

Dane Simoneau, Sr.- Washburn
Simoneau and the Ichabods had a rough start to the season, but made a very strong run at the end to slip into a playoff birth before falling to Midwestern State. Washburn finshed the season at 8-4, and Simoneau had a very solid season that promises more to come in 2011. Simoneau passed for 3459 yards last fall with 33 TDs. With Czerniewski out of the way at Central Missouri, and with a coaching change at Northwest Missouri, Simoneau has a chance to lead the Ichabods to an upset title in the MIAA.

Wesley Wood, Eastern New Mexico; Tim Jenkins, Fort Lewis; Zack Grossi, Concord; Micah Davis, Delta State; James Suozzo, Merrimack; Kevin Lynch, Southern Connecticut State; Michael Pierce, St. Anselm; Lee Chaple, North Alabama; Phillip Klaphake, St. Cloud State; Ethan Sharp, Central Oklahoma

Stay Tuned Sunday night for my list of favorite returning RBs for the 2011 season. As I have said, this was my 750th post on this site since July of last year. Thanks to all of you for reading, and for making this a blast to do. I appreciate all of the support and email I have gotten from everyone. Keep it up, and I promise, this is just the beginning!