Monday, March 14, 2011

Northwestern State Demons 2010 Review

2010 Record: 5-6 (4-3), Tied 3rd Southland
2010 Postseason: None
2010 Schedule/Results: @ Air Force, L 65-21, Samford, L 19-7, Tarleton State, W 17-14, @ North Dakota, L 49-24, McNeese State, L 24-7, @ Central Arkansas, W 24-19, @ Texas State, W 16-3, Sam Houston State, W 23-20, @ Southeastern Louisiana, W 35-16, Nicholls State, L 37-7, @ Stephen F. Austin, L 36-13


     The Demons entered 2010 having lost 14 consecutive games. They lost two more games before a win over D2 Tarleton State snapped the skid at 16, then lost two more, and then a swich flipped in Southland play, and the Demons started to learn how to win. The Demons beat the UCA Bears when the Bears were ranked in the PRS Poll, on the road to boot. They then won on the road the following week. The Demons could not get out of their own way, and then they snapped of consecutive road wins...impressive. The Demons picked up 2 more wins in conference play before dropping two consecutive games to close the season, but there is a different persona here now.
     Paul Harris stepped into the starting QB role, and he began to feel his way around as a sophomore, passing for 1821 yards with 13 TDs and 10 picks. Progress. Tyler Wolfe also saw considerable time under center, but was not as consistent as Harris was, having thrown 6 picks to his 3 TDs.
     4 different backs saw playing time at RB, but nobody produced, so this is still a balck hole that needs to be filled with a playmaker that must be foudn this spring.
     Bradley Brown (48-454-3) and TC Henry (21-445-2) gave Harris decent targets on the season, but once again, production must increase if the Demons hope to bump the upper tier talents in this conference.
     Defensively, the Demons have found a young star at LB in sophomore Derrick Rose. Rose led the Southland in tackles in 2010 with 121 (11 per game). Rose should be a fixture for the next two years, and is always near the football. He is the guy that they need to build around, and has the intensity that the team can feed off of on defense. Rose was also the only defender to reach double digits in TFLs with 10 on the season. Nobody was on the attaqck in the sack department, so again, there is plenty of work still to be done to make this team a front line contender in the Southland.
     The Demons also found a player in the secondary with Jeremy Lane, who finished with 9 pass breakups on the season. Lane, a junior, will return in 2011, to hopefully give Rose a teammate that will have his back. If the Demons can find someone up front to get after the pass rush, the Demons will see another increase in wins.
     There is also work to be done in the kicking game, as Jon Shaughnessy was not spectacular at PK. Shaughnessy only hit on 5 of 9 FG attempts in 2010, so there is a lack of energy here as well. Bradley Russo was solid on punts, averaging just over 41 yards per punt, but he has to be replaced for 2011. Not good news at all.


The Demons came a long way in 2010, but there is a long road yet to travel. If the Demons can find a young playmaker on offense to go with the developing young players like Harris, and if they can find a pass rush up front, along with another big playmaker or two to join Rose and Lane, the Demons could compete for the conference title as soon as next year. They first have to find those playmakers, though, and that has yet to be done. We'll know more in August, but kudos for the progress.

No comments:

Post a Comment