Sunday, March 13, 2011

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks 2010 Review

2010 Record: 9-3 (6-1), 1st Southland
2010 Postseason: 1st round, Lost to Villanova 54-24
2010 Schedule/Results: @ Texas A&M, L 48-7; Albany, W 59-14; @ Northern Iowa, W 22-20; Lamar, W 71-3; @ McNeese State, W 32-27; Central Arkansas, W 30-7; @ Sam Houston State, W 31-28; Texas State, L 27-24; @ Nicholls State, W 48-13; SE Louisiana, W 51-14; Northwestern State, W 36-13; Villanova, L 54-24


     It was the year of the pass at SFA in 2010. Jeremy Moses was named our first ever All-Bilo FCS QB of the Year after he shredded opposing defenses for 3998 yards and 34 TDs. Moses was cruising until the Lumberjacks slammed into Villanova in a first round FCS playoff bout, where Moses completely imploded and tossed 3 picks, when had only tossed 4 picks during the entire regular season. A sad way to end it, but the totality of the work that Moses put in was solidly amazing.
     Four different Jack receivers collected over 500 yards receiving as individuals in 2010. That's what having a moxy loaded QB like Moses brings you. Cordell Roberson was the best of the bunch, as he caught 61 passes for 1011 yards and a whopping 16 TDs. Moses and Roberson just made it look so easy so many times, and those 16 TDs weren't even a full half of what Moses threw on the year. Graylin Crawford roped in 74 receptions for 981 yards and 5 scores, while Kris Lott hauled in 5 more scoring passes with 616 yards receiving. Anthony Foster rounded out the top 4 with 528 yards receiving on 52 grabs.
     The running game was nothing to get crazy about, but with the passing game as crazy as it was, that's not really an issue, although having a run game would have possibly slowed down Villanova in that romp in the playoffs.
     The defense was led by the fierce LBs, with Jabara Williams (109 tackles), Devin Ducote (111), and Derrick Choice (86) leading the way. Up front, Kenneth Charles (25 TFLs), Sean Warren (16), and Rainey Sternes (14) made life miserable for opposing backfields on every play. Charles led the league in sacks (16), with Warren finishing second in the Southland (11). No other Southland defenders had double digits in sacks in 2010.
     If the defense had an achilles, it was certainly the secondary. The Jacks could not stop the pass to save their lives in 2010, giving up a poor 215 yards through the air per game. Where the front 7 seemed so dominant at times, the back 4 were not nearly as productive. Only Josh Aubrey finished in the top 10 in passes defended with 10 on the season, and nobody finished in the top 15 in picks. If the opposition could get it out of the backfield, there was almost free reign to get through the secondary. That being said, the defense as a whole was solid on the year, having held opponents to 20 points or less 7 times in 12 games. Where that defense went against Villanova in giving up 54 points, I have no idea.
     The kicking game was placed in the hands of a freshman in Tim Henshaw, and that turned out to be a wise decision, as Henshaw nailed 7 of his 9 FG attempts in 2010. Henshaw finished second in the Southland with a 77.8% FG ratio, so the Lumberjacks have to be excited to see what he can do for the next 3 seasons.
     Punter Drew Nelson enjoyed a fairly succesful 2010 season, as he finished second in the Southland while averaging 41.64 yards per punt on 5.33 punts per game. If one thing can be certain, the Jacks will have a stout kicking game in 2011.
     Grayling Crawford averaged over 7 yards er punt return on the season, which propelled him to first in the conference in All-pupose yardage on the season, and he even took one back for a score. He averaged just over 28 yards per kick return, and returned 3 kickoffs for TDs, giving him 4 total returns for scores on the season, one of the very best numbers in the FCS.


2010 ended on such a sour note for the Lumberjacks, as they practically sailed through conference play save for the bump against Texas State. The problem will be replacing prolific All-Bilo FCS QB of the Year Jeremy Moses, who even though he choked in the playoff game, had an amazing run this season. Replacing Moses will be a huge job, But Gralyn Crawford brings his multi-dimensional game back as a junior, so whomever wins the job will have his talents to rely on, and the special teams are strong. SFA will just have to tighten up their pass defense, and avoid the total meltdown that cost them a run in the playoffs. It was a great season turned bad at the end, but remember the good times, becasue there were plenty.

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