Sunday, March 6, 2011

Gardner-Webb Bulldogs 2010 Review

2010 Record: 4-7 (2-4), 4th Big South
2010 Postseason: None
2010 Schedule/Results
Brevard College, W 28-14
@ Akron, W 38-37
Western Carolina, L 28-14
@ Sam Houston State, L 30-14
@ Old Dominion, L 14-7
@ Charleston Southern, W 35-25
Presbyterian, L 26-24
Coastal Carolina, L 30-27
@ Liberty, L 40-14
@ Stony Brook, L 55-3
VMI, W 10-7

309.5 yards per game

Offense, if you want to call it that, was hard to come by in 2010 for the Bulldogs. It started out fine in a win against D2 Brevard and in a huge win over FBS Akron, but then the wheels fell off, and the undercarriage imploded. The Bulldogs lost 5 games where they were unable to score more than 14 points. Absolutely horrible numbers, and they only socred 10 in a win over VMI, hardly a defensive bastion. If you want a factor to blame for the horrible 4 win season that prompted a coaching change, here's where you start.
If you want to see bad QB play, look at John Rock, who managed to toss 15 picks in 11 games against just 7 TDs. He only tossed the ball for 1298 yards. He is only a sophomore, but one had to wonder at times whether Rock had even ever played the position before.
One would think that if the passing game was dysfunctional, maybe the run game could catch a break, but that was not the case either, as Juanne Blount was the leading rusher while only managing 494 yards and 3 scores, good for 7th in a 7 team league.
James Perry III seemed like a player who was out of place in 2010, as he was the lone star in a sea of confusion. Perry was good enough to finish 3rd in the Big South in receiving, against all odds, with 65 receptions for 673 yards and 3 scores. The important news is that he'll be back as a senior in 2011, which is great as long as someone can get the ball to him.

DEFENSE308 yards allowed per game

This was a give and take area for Gardner-Webb. The Dogs looked great aginst the pass, only allowing 148.6 yards per game through the air, but stopping the rush was like stopping a bunch of 14 year old girls from mobbing a Justin Bieber stage, impossible at times, just downright embarrassing at others, as teams rushed for 159.4 yards per game against the Dogs. Oluwadamilola Teniola was the leading tackler at LB, but he only averaged 6.44 tackles per game, which tied him for 8th in the league. Not exactly what you would consider a hard core playmaker in any event.
Preston Pemasa was a star at times up front for the BUlldogs, as he racked up a conference leading 18 TFLs on the season as a freshman on the line. The only issue was that nobody else stepped up to help him, and he was the only major playmaker in the front seven, leaving him susceptible to being double teamed and taken out of plays, or teams just went away from him altogether. Pemasa also led the conference with 8 sacks on the season, again, receiving no help from his teammates.
Bryce Nixon and Cedric McGowan were busy guys in the secondary, collecting a combined 13 passes defended on the season. Again, the secondary was the strength of the defense, and these guys had to make plenty of plays due to the innefective front 7. Gianni Olivas tied for 3rd in the league with 4 picks.


Ryan Gates was hardly special as the teams PK in 2010. He was just one more kicker in a list of kickers that had bad seasons, having missed almost half of his attempts while finishing 6 of 11 on his FGs in 2010. Not getting it done.
Graham Purvis was the best of a bad group of Big South punters in 2010, averaging just over 37 yards per punt. Hardly awe inspriring numbers.


One would think that a win over an FBS program (Akron) would have stoked the fire for better things in 2010 after that week two win. That was not to be the case, and it precipitated a downward spiral that cost the Bulldogs any hope of contention, and also created a void at the top when Steve Patton was fired following the season. The Bulldogs went on a 3 game losing streak, and then went on another 4 game losing streak to finish by losing 5 of 6. The win over VMI was hardly a lock. Offensive struggles, and the inability to stop the run, crushed the season before it ever had a chance to get cranking. There are too many questions still looming for me to expect any better, and new HC Ron Dickerson, Jr. will have to analyze this roster long and hard to find ways to improve.

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