Monday, June 27, 2011

Ohio Valley Conference 2010 Review

Southeast Missouri State Redhawks
2010 Record: 9-3 (7-1), 1st
2010 Postseason: 1st Round, Lost to Eastern Washington 37-17
     The Hawks were led by a beast of a RB in Henry Harris last fall. Harris was the offense in and of himself, as he ran for a total of 1735 yards and 18 TDs. Harris averaged 138.5 yards per game last season, and averaged 5.4 yards per carry. As Harris went, the hawks went with him.
     Matt Scheible was the caretaker of the QB position, but he only had to worry about getting the ball to Harris. Scheible managed well, as he passed for 1246 yards, never missing a snap, and he passed for 8 TDs, and only tossed 3 picks all season. Scheible was also a major threat running the ball, as he totalled 802 yards rushing last fall with 7 TDs.
     Defensively, the Hawks were solid for the most part, but they struggled to stifle the run, as they allowed 152.3 yards per game on the ground. Josh Jackson was the leader with 85, but he moves on, so expect Justin Woodlief to take over as the defensive leader in 2011. Woodlief finished with 77 tackles last fall. The Hawks did a very poor job in pressuring the backfield last season, a problem that plagued them in the playoff loss.
     Only Aaron Grimes managed to surpass the 5 passes defended mark, as he knocked away 6 passes on the season. Tyler Brock led the team and the OVC with 6 picks on the season.
     Drew Geldbach was up and down as PK last fall, hitting 12 of 17 FGs. Harris was also a major threat in the return game, as he averaged 24.68 yards per return, finishing 41st in the nation.


Jacksonville State Gamecocks
2010 Record; 9-3 (6-2), 2nd
2010 Postseason: 1st Round, Lost to Wofford 17-14
      JSU stayed in the #1 spot in the Power Ratings Index last fall for most of the season, as they opened with a major win on the road over an SEC team in Ole Miss, and the Gamecocks went on to win their first 8 games of the season. The wheels then fell off, as they finished by losing 3 of 4. The offense scored 47 times, and JSU had one fo their best seasons since joining the FCS ranks.
     Marques Ivory finished 3rd in the conference amongst elegible QBs, as he passed for 2248 yards and 18 TDs, while only tossing 9 picks on the season. Coty Blanchard was the hero against Ole Miss, completing the game winning pass in the 49-48 victory, however, he was limited in action on the season, but still tossed 8 TD passes.
     Calvin Middleton led the team with 7 rushing TDs, but as the leader in the run game, only managed 494 yards on the season. He did miss 3 games, but he was hardly productive when in. Jeff Cameron was the star in the receiving corps, as he posted 39-728-5. James Shaw caught 6 scoring passes, while Alan Bonner added 5 more.
     Antonio Bonner was the tackle leader on defense with 81. JSU struggled against the run, as they allowed 161.5 yards per game on the ground. No other Gamecock defender finished in the OVC top 20 in tackles. Rodney Garrott led the team with 13 TFLs on the season, and will be back as a senior in 2011. JSU was extremely poor when it came to pressuring the QB, as nobody had more than 2 sacks on the team. Keginald harris led the team with 5 picks, but nobody defended as many as 5 passes in the secondary.
      James Esco struggled at PK, as he connected on only 13 of 20 FGs last fall. Alan Bonner finished with an average of 10.79 yards per return on punts, ranking 24th in the nation. He ranked 25th in the nation in kick returns as well, as he averaged 25.92 yards per return with one TD.

Eastern Kentucky Colonels
2010 Record: 6-5 (5-2), 3rd
2010 Postseason: None
     EKU is a traditional power in this conference, but they have been down lately. The Colonels pushed back over .500 this fall, but they have yet to turn the corner. They did finsh with a 4 game win streak, so there is something to build on here.
     TJ Pryor was highly average at QB last fall, as the sophomore struggled to stay above water. He passed for 1613 yards on the season, but his ratio was dead even at 12/12. If EKU wants to compete for a title, this has to get better. Pryor did lead the rushing attack with 9 TDs, but the run game was largely absent from the scheme last fall, and Pryor will need some support there next fall. Orlandus Harris was his top target, and at times, it seemed as if there were no other receivers on the roster. Harris posted 56-940-7 as a sophomore, and he is an emerging star in this conference.
     You could pass all day long against the EKU defense, and teams did that to a tune of 244 yards per game. EKU allowed a respectable 125 yards rushing per game, but temas could pass easily, so the run was not important against EKU. Patrick McClellan was the only defender in the top 20 in tackles in the OVC, as he collected 68 on the season. That's a huge problem. Anthony Brown was solid up front in placing pressure on the backfield against the run, as he collected 12.5 TFLs on the season. Andrew Soucy and Tyson Patrick just missed double figures with 9.5 each. Brown also led the team with 6.5 sacks on the season.
     McLellan and Javarius Riley both finished with 5 passes defended in the secondary, and Jeremy Caldwell led the team with just 3 picks, but as you saw, the Colonels need more depth, and they definately need more production out of this unit.
     Logan O'Conner was awful at PK, as he only hit 5 of his 12 FG attempts last fall. Hit the reset button. Jordan Berry led the OVC in punting, averaging 42.93 yards per punt, good for 7th nationally. Jeremy Caldwell was highly succesful in the return game, averaging 33.71 yards with 2 scores, He was good for 2nd nationally.


Murray State Racers
2010 Record: 6-5 (5-3), 4th
2010 Postseason: None
     The Racers are an emerging team in the OVC, and are one of my early favorites to win the OVC title in 2011. The Racers won 5 of their final 6 games last fall, and are red hot coming into next fall.
    Casey Brockman was one of the top QBs in the league after taking over last season as a freshman. In 9 games, Brockman passed for 2447 yards (271.9 per game) and tossed 15 TDs with a very mature 6 picks on the season. He is emerging to become the best QB in this conference.
     Junior RB Mike Harris finished 2nd in the OVC in rushing last fall with 876 yards in 9 games, good for an average of 97.3 yards per game. He ran for 10 TDs, while averaging 6.3 yards per carry. Brockman showed major worth in the run game as well, as he ran for 7 scores on the season.
      Marcus Harris was a monster of a reciever in 2010, having posted 84-1057-9 on the season. Bad news...he was a senior. Good news...Arthur Brackett was a freshman, and he posted an amazing 62-617-3 freshman season. He should team with Brockman for the next 3 seasons to form one of the best QB/WR combos in FCS football. It's going to be a great 3 years. Rashad Daniels departed as well, after posting 52-545-1. Dexter Barnett should be a solid second option, after posting 38-332-4.
     In all, the offense averaged 449.7 yards per game, including 313.5 yards per game passing. They scored 47 TDs.
     The defense gave some of that back, and that was one of the issues last fall. It was extremely easy to run against the Racers last season, as they gave up over 190 yards per game on the ground. Add to that the 208 yards passing that were given up, and Murray State has some room to grow.
     Freshman DB Brandon Wicks led the Racers with 73 tackles on the season, and he was followed by Dontrell Johnson (67), Zach Kutch (65), Nathan Brinkley (62), and Erik Fennell (60). The Racers were busy chasing guys around a bit, as the defense was leaky against the run. If they can shore themselves up on the front line, the Racers would be extremely dangerous. Kutch led the team with 9 total TFLs last season, but he is departing. Joe Gamsky had 8 TFLs, and will be back in 2011. The Racers definately need to develop a pass rush.
    Dontrell Johnson finshed tied for 4th in the OVC with 8 passes defended last fall, and he will also return as a senior next fall, and Nate Brinkley led the club with 3 picks on the season. There is work to be done on the defensive side of the ball, as I have said, and if it can be figured out, look out for these guys in 2011.
      Kienan Cullen had an up and down season in 2010, making only 15 of 23 FGs on the season. That being said, his 1.36 FGs per game was good enough to rank 11th in the nation. Cullen was very good as a punter, having averaged 40.75 yards per game, good for 22nd in the country.
      Dontrell Johnson was the man on punt returns, as he averaged 22.8 yards per return. He scored twice as well, and he actually finished as the best return man on punts in the nation. The good news is that he returns next fall. Hannibal Beauford ranked 53rd in the nation with a 23.27 yard average on kick returns.

Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks
2010 Record: 6-5 (5-3), Tied 3rd
2010 Postseason: None
     Derek Carr was the second best QB in the OVC. As a sophomore in 2010, Carr passed for 2543 yards, but his ratio was not the best, as he finished with 13 TDs and 12 picks. Carr struggled with accuracy, as he only completed 58.23% of his passes.
     Jason McNair rushed for 547 yards and just 2 scores on the season, and that was basically the crux of the run game for the Skyhawks. UTM is moving in the right direction, but without a steady run game, Carr will be exposed, and badly. Steve Shiver was the leading receiver, but only caught 36 passes on the season. Shiver used his limited opportunities for the best, as he piled up a quick 634 yards and 5 TDs. The rest of the receiving corps was lacking.
     UTM rebounded on a strong defensive effort last fall, as they only gave up 299.3 yards per game. The bad news is that they had no defenders that finished in the upper tier of OVC tacklers. Josh Bey finished with 12.5 TFLs on the season, and Justin Darden finished just shy of double figures with 9.5. Darrin Nails led the team with 5 total sacks on the year.
     CJ Estelle was a step up defender in the secondary, as he led the team with 7 passes defended on the season. He was the only member of the secondary to have at least 5 on the season. Kendell Harper led the team with just 3 picks.
     Cody Sandlin finished strong at PK, as he hit on 11 of his 14 FGs on the season, and will return as a junior in 2011. Joe Hook was strong on punts as well, averaging 40.48 yards last fall. Estelle was the leader on punt returns, with a very strong 11.47 yard average per return, while AJ Williams finished 30th in the nation on kick returns with a 25.48 yard average. He took one in for a score last season. This entire group returns next fall.

Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles
2010 Record: 5-6 (4-4), 6th
2010 Postseason: None
     Tech had a horrible passing game in 2010, averaging just 157 yards passing per game. That number appears better than it actually was. Tre Lamb had more snaps than anyone, but only played in 8 games. He passed for 974 yards, while tossing 11 TDs against just 3 picks.
      You would have expected more out of the run game, but there wasn't much there either, as the Eagles were led by Jocques Crawford with 568 yards and 8 scores. Not much to love about that. Tim Benford was the only real threat in the receiving corps, as he posted 50-812-10. Nobody else was in the game nearly as much.
     Defensively, TTU just could not stop the run, as they gave up 193.9 yards per game. Marty Jone finished with 87 tackles, while Kelechi Ordu (76), Dustin Dillehay (71), and Jake McIntosh (69) all finished in the OVC top 20 in tackles. Jones ranked 64th in the country, while Ordu ranked 66th. Dwight Evans led the team with 10.5 TFLs on the season, good for 76th in the country, and Marcus Edwards led the OVC in sacks with 7.5, good for 18th nationally.
     Richmond Tooley was the only member of the secondary to finish with at least 5 passes defended, as he cleared that hurdle with 8 on the season. Tooley also led the team with 3 picks on the season, a spot he shared with Marty Jones, who also had 3.
     Matt Barker struggled as the PK, hitting only 9 of 15 FGs on the season, but will be back as a junior. There is some serious overhauling that needs to happen with the special teams as a whole.

Eastern Illinois Panthers
2010 Record: 2-9 (2-6), 7th
2010 Postseason: None
     With the Bob Spoo era having ended, the new era didn't fare much better for the Panthers. EIU only won two games last fall, and improvement looks like a long and slow burning process.
     Jimmy Garapollo started at QB, but he was average at best, as he passed for 1639 yards with a barely passable 14/13 ratio. He missed 3 games, so there is much work to do here. He only managed to complete 58.8% of his passes as well.
     The run game was a mess, as Jimmy Potempa led the team with 424 yards and 2 scores. Nobody else rushed for 200 yards on the season. Erik Lora (50-478-2) and Kenny Whittaker (42-368-1) led the team in receptions, but it was Chris Wright who led the team in yardage with just 21 grabs, as he gained 557 yards and 6 scores while averaging 26.5 yards per reception.
     EIU must have been using paper dummies up front againt the run, as the Panthers allowed an overwhelming 212.7 yards rushing per game. Nick Nasti had to be nasty, as he led the OVC in tackles and finished 20th in the nation with 114 tackles on the year. EIU has to replace that production, as Nasti moved on after the season. Nasti was our OVC LB of the Year last fall, despite the team's struggles. Cory Leman will step into his role this fall, after finishing with 95 tackles of his own. Spyros Bazigos finished with 13.5 total TFLs last fall as he wrapped up his career, while Artavius Dowdell came in second on the OVC behind Bazigos with 12.5. Dowdell led the team in sacks with 4.5.
     Nick Martinez and Rashad Haynes both finished with 5 passes defended, Sean Campbell led the club with 2 picks. Who needed to worry about defending the pass wheneveryone was able to run at will?
     Cameron Berra was dependable on FGs, as he hit 8 of his 11 attempts. Kevin Cook ranked 8th in the country, as he averaged 42.91 yards per punt on the season. Lorence Ricks was a spark on kick returns, as he averaged 24.8 yards per return, good for 37th nationally.

Austin Peay Governors
2010 Record: 2-9 (1-7), 8th
2010 Postseason: None
      This team is outclassed in the OVC. Jake Ryan matched that assessment by only passing for 1120 yards with a 7/11 ratio on the season. He was just a sophomore, but he has much work to do to even rate as a passable QB in this league. Terrence Holt showed some game, as he rushed for 793 yards and 8 TDs, while averaging 5.4 yards per carry on the season. Holt needs to be replaced after graduating. The governors did not have a receiver rank in the top 20 in the conference.
     The defense got destroyed last season, as they gave up 230 yards passing and 221 yards rushing per game last fall. Darrick Dillard (84), Antwaun Majors (84), and Amius Smith 82) all got a solid workout chasing players around last fall, and all three ranked in the OVC top 20 in tackles. Antonio Faulkner was the only defender up front making plays in the backfield, as he finished with 12.5 total TFLs. APSU had virtually no pressure up front when it came to attacking the QB.Smith and Steve Ragin both finished with 6 passes defended to lead the team, but nobody else came close, and Jeremy Ross led the team with a meager 2 picks.
     Stephen Stansell struggled at times, but finished 29th nationally with 1.09 FGs per game after hitting 12 of 18. Ryan Key finished 16th in the nation as a punter with a 41.23 yard average per punt. Holt finished ranked 50th in the nation on kick returns with a 23.4 yard average with one score.

Tennessee State Tigers
2010 Record: 3-8 (0-7), 9th
2010 Postseason: None
     Jeremy Perry finished his Tiger career at QB with a whimper, having only passed for 1469 yards with a 9/6 ratio. He only hit on 53% of his passes. Donte Thomas finshed 52nd in the nation with 793 yards rushing and 6 scores, and he returns as a senior in 2011. Joseph Hills (40-462-4) and Calvin Mcnairl (34-429-4) were the receiving leaders.
     Defensively, it was not as much as a free for all as it could have been ,but it wasn't great. Eugen Clifford (83) and Rico Council led the team in tackles, but it was a huge drop from there. The pressure up front was just not there. Clifford led the league in passes defended with 10, and Justin Bather, Marquez Hall, and Rayshawn Weatherspoon all finished in the OVC top ten in that category last fall. Clifford and Hall have now moved on.
     Jamin Godfrey was really bad on FGs, as he only hit 8 of 19. Taylor Cisneros was solid on punts, as he averaged 40.8 yards per punt on the season as a senior. Julian Mallory averaged 8.4 yards per return on punts, and Weatherspoon averaged 24.8 yards per return on kickoffs, giving the Tigers a solid return game, but this team is still a mess on the entirety of it.

Northeast Conference 2010 Review

Robert Morris Colonials
2010 Record: 8-3 (7-0), 1st
2010 Postseason: 1st Round, Lost to North Dakota State 43-17
     Jeff Sinclair led the Colonials to the playoffs, and even though RM fell flat in that appearance, it was a huge move forward for a program that has known much success in their history. RM is the class of this conference that everyone else aspires to reach, and 2010 was no exception to that rule.
     Sinclair was not the best QB you would ever have seen, but he did more than enough to get the Colonials rolling last fall, as he passed for 1920 yards and 22 TDs on the season. He did toss 10 picks, however, and his completion percentage (49.8) was just awful. He comes back as a junior in 2011, and he does have enough to build on to become a stable leader.
     Senior Myles Russ was the man for RM, as he led the NEC in rushing with 1363 yards and 10 TDs. Russ averaged 115 yards per game last fall, and carried for an average of 5.4 yards whenever he was handed the rock. Replacements will be hard to come by for lack of experience.
     The Colonials had three receivers that grabbed 20 passes or more last fall, led by Shadrae King, who posted 43-531-7 as the starting TE. He departed after the season, so there is yet another major hole. TJ Green had a very nice YPC number (20.5), and posted 25-513-3. Anthony Coleman finished out the group by posting 22-350-5.
     Defensively, the Colonials were solid, but were barely so against the pass, as they allowed 198.8 yards passing per game. They were rock solid against the run, only allowing 113.8 yards rushing. Alex DiMichele was the tackles leader with 105 on the season, but he must be replaced, as does Elias Novarro (75 tackles). Navarro tied for the league lead in TFLs, as he collected 13.5 on the season. The NEC was not loaded with sack artists, and Nolan Nearhoof, a sophomore, led the Colonials with only 4.5 on the year.
     Michael Landers led the Colonials with 5 picks on the season, which was good for a tie for 1st in the NEC. He was a senior, as was Michael Richards, who finished with 3 picks on the season.
     Nick Schirtzinger, yet another senior, led the NEC in punting, with an average of 41 yards per punt. The Colonials could use upgrades in every other area of special teams play.

Central Connecticut State Blue Devils
2010 Record: 8-3 (6-1), 2nd
2010 Postseason: None
     The Devils made a major push to win the league, but unfortunately ran into a buzzsaw in a 42-24 loss to eventual champ Robert Morris. CCSU is upgrading their talent in every area, and is trying to establish themselves as a conference power. This is possible in a very winnable league.
     Junior QB Gunnar Jesperson had a decent season, but has much room for growth as he returns for his senior season. Jesperson passed for 1918 yards (174.4 per game) but only tossed 11 TD passes with 8 picks. The ratio will have to separate somewhat for CCSU to push to the next level in 2011. He added 378 yards rushing with 6 TDs.
     Everette Benjamin was Myles Russ' equal in the backfield in NEC play. Benjamin had a very solid season, rushing for 1277 yards, averaging 116.1 yards per game, while rushing for 10 TDs. He has also departed, like Russ at RM, and there is very little experience returning, placing more pressure on Jesperson to move the offense next fall.
     Richie Martin led the team in receiving, posting 31-588-1. Only two other receivers reached 20 receptions or more, and they were Josue Paul (23-426-3) and PJ Borawski (22-293-3). Very little star power here, but they are trying to get better. Here's the issue, this group departed enmasse after the season.
     CCSU had a stone wall pass defense, having only allowed 157.6 yards per game passing, but the conference was not loaded with great passers. CCSU stumbled badly against the run, as they allowed 194.3 yards per game rushing. Jeff Marino, another senior, finished with 105 tackles, which was good for 36th in the nation. Lorenzo Baker is the heir apparent at LB, as the sophomore finished with 78 tackles, and is line to step up to be the defensive leader as a junior. Charles Williams was a force up front, as he finished with 12 TFLs in 11 games last fall, and returns in 2011. Williams also led the team with 6 sacks.
     The Devils had a trio of pass defender nightmares. Chris Linares led the team with 8 passes defended last fall, good for a tie for 2nd in the NEC. Alondre Rush and Dominique Rose tied for 5th with 7 each on the season. Rush and Rose are both gone, but Linares was just a freshman last fall. The Devils will have to do better in 2010 when it comes to developing turnovers, as Linares led the club with just 2 picks.
     Joe Izzo will be very difficult to replace, as he was nearly automatic last fall, hitting 13 of 15 FGs on the season. The entire special teams unit needs a major overhaul for next fall.

Duquesne Dukes
2010 Record: 7-4 (4-3), Tied 3rd
2010 Postseason: None
     The Dukes normally run with RM as the class of the NEC, but took a step back last fall, finishing 3rd in the league, 3 games back of the Colonials.
     Sophomore QB Sean Patterson gave Dukes fans a healthy hope for the future, as he passed for 2050 yards (186.4 per game). He passed for 20 TDs and had 10 picks, but he shows a flair for making solid decisions. He does need to improve his completion percentage (54.2%), but other than that, he could be very good for the next two seasons.
      Larry McCoy was a rocket out of the backfield for the Dukes, having rushed for 1291 yards and 6 scores. He finished 3rd in the NEC, and averaged 114.5 yards per game, and averaged 5 yards per carry. He should be the best back in the NEC as a junior in 2011.
     Dave Williams led the NEC in receving in 2010, posting 55-788-10, but is now gone after graduating. Connor Dixon was a solid second option in 2010, posting 43-602-5, good for 5th in the NEC. He's gone too. Akeem Moore (22-322-2) is the only other receiver to finish with20 or more receptions, and is now the number one guy, as he returns as a junior next fall.
     The Dukes were another example as a team that defended well against the pass, and failed against the run. That was the MO in the NEC last fall. The Dukes gave up 170.5 yards passing, but were pounded aginst the run to a tune of 175.3 yards per game. Nathan Totino, a senior LB, led the team in tackles with 93 on the season. Serge Kona should be the man stepping into that role next fall as a junior LB, but he was not nearly as productive as Totino, finishing with 64 tackles. Kona, however, did lead the team in TFLs with 10.5. The Dukes had absolutely no pass pressure up front.
      Senior DB Justin Melhaldo finshed with 5 passes defended to lead the team, but teams didn't need to pass as much against Duquesne, as it was far to easy to run against them. The Dukes didn't register on picks either.
      Eric Duale was decent on FGs, hitting 14 of 18 on the season as a sophomore. Ryan Ho, a freshman RB, led the team and the NEC in kick returns, as he averaged 29.43 yards per return.

Albany Great Danes
2010 Record: 6-5 (4-3), Tied 3rd
2010 Postseason: None
      Albany was let down in 2010 by a sputtering offense that never got started, and was also wrecked at the QB position with injury and below average play.
     Buddy Leathley played in 8 games, but only averaged 93.5 yards passing per game. He was limited to 4 TD passes and 5 picks. Dan DiLella played in 6 games, passing for 120 yards per game, and he too was inverted with a 3/4 ratio.
      Andrew Smith was the leading rusher, and that was despite missing one game. Smith rushed for 762 yards on the season and 7 TDs. Dillon Romain shared the load with Smith, and rushed for 534 yards, while scoring 6 TDs.
     Ryan Kirchner, a sophomore, was then only receiver to break 20 or more receptions, as he posted 50-504-1. No receiver caught more than 1 TD pass all season.
     Albany broke the mold when it came to the defensive trends in the NEC, as they faltered against the pass (216.1 yards per game), while remaining decent against the run (134.3 yards per game). Dave Plungas, a sophomore LB, led the team in tackles with 71 on the season. The problem is that he got very little support from his teammates, as there was a huge drop after him. Mike Kelly led the team with 8 TFLs on the season, while the pass rush was an abject failure.
     Randall Exantus and Justin Hassan tied for the team lead in passes defended with 5 each, and both return next season. Senior Ross bertrand led the team with only 2 picks on the season.
     Herb Glass was a disaster at PK, having hit only 8 of his 19 FG attempts on the season. Paul Layton was a succesful punter as a freshman, averaging 40.08 yards per punt. Kirchner led the NEC in punt returns, with a 10.87 yard average per return, and he scored once. Dillon Romain finshed 2nd in the NEC and 32nd in the nation in kick returns, as he averaged 25.07 yards per return.

Sacred Heart Pioneers
2010 Record: 4-7 (2-5), Tied 5th
2010 Postseason: None
     Sacred Heart opened with a win over Marist, and then fell off of the radar as they lost 6 straight games after that. The good note is that they finished the year out strong with 3 wins in the final 4 games. Too little, too late for 2010, but it was something to build on for 2011.
     Dale Fink was the passing leader in the NEC in 2010, having passed for 2907 yards and 18 TDs, and he managed to keep himselfdown to 10 picks on the season. Fink averaged 264.3 yards per game last fall, while completing 60.3% of his passes. He is now gone, leaving the Pioneers with a huge hole in their scheme.
     Marcel Archer gave decent support in the run game, having rushed for 707 yards with a terrific 11 TDs on the season. The problem is that Archer has now departed as well. Gregory Ibe should step up into that role, as he ran for 453 yards in 2010.
     The Pioneers had a very solid corps at the receiver spot. Rich Rossi led the team, posting 51-704-5. He was followed by Tony Patterson (40-491-0), Mark Uyeno (48-437-0), and Garry Coles (30-411-5).
     The Pioneers weakness on defense was against the run (allowed 163.7 yards per game). They were decent against the pass, allowing only 182 yards per game. Chris Mandas led the team in tackles as a junior with 88. He was followed by Michael Zambrano, a junior LB, as both finished in the top 10 in the NEC. Zambrano finished with 79 tackles on the season. Junior DE Justin Embler led the team up front with 12 TFLs. Mandas followed him up, and also hit double figures with 10.5. Bill O'Brien led the team with 4 sacks.
      Jesper Fredriksson was a senior last season at PK, but he was not in tune, as he only hit 10 of his 17 FG attempts. Special teams will be needing a ton of work next fall.

Wagner Seahawks
2010 Record: 5-6 (2-5), Tied 5th
2010 Postseason: none
     Nick Doscher was just another of the NEC's young gun QBs in 2010, and the Seahawks almost managed to pull it off, but finshed one game under .500. Doscher passed for 2067 yards, but he barely got over on TD to picks, as he finished with a 16/15 ratio. Doscher added versatility as a runner, as he rushed for 480 yards and a team leading 6 TDs.
     Eric Foxworth barely beat out Doscher for the rushing title, but he was hardly impressive, finishing with just 533 yards on the season with 4 TDs. He did miss two games last fall, but he has now departed, leaving Torian Phillips (242 yards) as the likely succesor to the job.
     David Crawford was the leading receiver on the season, having posted 35-629-3. He was followed by Tyrone Collins (32-488-4) and Justin Matthews (30-450-5) as the only receivers to have caught at least 20 passes on the season.
     Wagner was actually decent on defense, coming in under the mark on both passing yards allowed (178.8) and rushing (142.5). The Seahawks only allowed 30 points or more 3 times all season, which is not terrible for a team finishing with a losing record. Senior LB Keith Davis led the team with 74 tackles, and the Seahwaks had a senior laden leadership group on defense. Not good for 2011. Julian Stanford returns next fall after having led the team with 12.5 TFLs, and will be a senior next season. He is one of our players to watch. Mike Cox added 9, but has departed. Stanford finished with the NEC lead in sacks with 7 on the season.
     Greg Francois was tough in the secondary last fall, having led the team with 6 passes defended, but nobody else managed to defend 5. Francois was a senior as well. Stefan gage tied for the NEC lead with 5 picks, but you guessed it, as he too has moved on.
     David Lopez was hit and miss as a sophomore PK, having hit on only 11 of his 17 FG attempts. He has some work to do as he comes back in 2011. There was nothing special about these special teams.

Monmouth Hawks
2010 Record: 3-8 (2-5), Tied 5th
2010 Postseason: None
     Kyle Frazier, another NEC young gun, had a respectable sophomore season for the Hawks. Frazier finished 2nd in passing in the conference, as he passed for 2072 yards. The problem was that he only tossed 9 TDs, but he did manage to only toss 6 picks on the season.
     Bobby Giles was basically the only back that produced anything last fall, as he rushed for 647 yards and 1 score, so you know there is a depth issue in the backfield. Frazier added 220 yards and 4 scores on the ground, so there will be some pressure on him to kick it up next fall.
     Frazier moved the ball around a good deal, as five receivers caught at least 20 passes, but nobody stepped up to star mode, as not one of them averaged even 50 yards per game. Ryan Folsum was the default leader, posting 34-394-1.
     The Hawks were a decent defensive team,, having only allowed 189.3 yards passing, but they were just a shade below average against the run, allowing 151.8 yards rushing. They also gave up 35 TDs as a unit, while the offense only scored 31. Jose Gumbs led the team in tackles from the secondary, as he collected 76 on the season. Joe Valenti and Dave Ogden tied for the TFL lead with 9 each on the season. Ogden led the team with 4.5 sacks.
      Gumbs and Kendall Haley had solid seasons, as Gumbs defended 8 passes and Haley knocked away 6 passes. Haley has now departed. Chris Hogan and Haley tied for the team lead in picks with 3 each on the season. Hogan also departs.
     Eric Spillane had a decent year at PK, having hit 16 of his 22 field goal attempts as a freshman. Jack Daniels certainly seemed sober, as he nailed his punts for an average of 40.41 yards per punt, good for 2nd in the NEC. Mitch Pollard (22.07) and Michael Avent (21.88) both ranked in the top 100 nationally in kick returns.

St. Francis Red Flash
2010 Record: 1-10 (1-6), 8th
2010 Postseason: None
     The Flash was more of a minor sputtering spark last fall, as they lost 10 of 11 games, with their only win coming against Sacred Heart. They gave up 31 or more points 7 times in 11 games, including an embarrassing 52-7 loss to Liberty to open the season. They gave up 48 Tds last fall, and averaged 420.5 allowed per game on defense. In other words, nothing worked, including an offense that only averaged 227.7 yards per game. John Kelly only averaged 114 yards per game at QB, but to his credit, he did manage to keep his ratio right side up at 11/8.
     Kyle Harbridge rushed for 556 yards and 3 TDs, but missed 4 games on the season. Jude Yearwood rushed for 383 yards and 4 scores in 10 games. The receivers were highly average at best, and they were led by Omar Winston, who posted 40-431-6.
     The defense, or what passed as one, was lucky to have two seniors leading the pack in Scott Lewis (138 tackles, 3rd in the nation) and Matt Parker (123 tackles, 11th nationally). They spent most of their time chasing their tails, but it would have been worse withoout them. Tyler Gillman (78 tackles as a junior) will try to be the man next fall. He has no choice. Lewis tied for the NEC lead with 13.5 TFLs, and Parker matched him at 13.5. Parker led the team with 5.5 sacks. The secondary was a disaster, as nobody had 5 passes defended, and the pick leader had 2 on a unit that allowed 230 yards passing per game.
     Dane Domankos ranked 77th in the nation in kick returns with an average of 21.59 yards per return, but the rest of the special teams unit was a train wreck. Just ugly.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Patriot League 2010 Review

Lehigh Mountain Hawks
2010 Record: 10-3 (6-0), 1st
2010 Postseason: 2nd Round, Defeated Northern Iowa 14-7, Lost to Delaware 42-20
     Junior QB Chris Lum had a solid season, but nobody is going to mistake him for a super star. Lum was, however, solid. Lum passed for 2881 yards, while tossing 19 TDs, but he also threw 13 picks on the season. Lum had solid yard per game numbers, as he averaged 240.1 yards per game, but came in low at a 58% completion rate. He has some work to do, but he could clear some hurdles this fall.
     To Lum's credit, he got next to no support from a feeble running game. Jay Campbell rushed for 610 yards and 5 TDs, but not one other RB on the roster cleared 200 yards for the season. Great for Arena Football, bad for College Football.
     The real production went to the receivers, especially Ryan Spadola, the league WR of the Year. Spadola posted a very solid line of 78-1130-9 on the season, and he will return to form what could be one of the best QB/WR combos in the nation in 2011. Jake Drwal was a solid secondary receiver last fall, posting a line of 54-622-3, and he was followed by Craig Zurn, who posted 40-569-3. Zurn is the only member of this group to not be returning in 2011, and there is very little experience returning beyond that.
      The defense was dominating at times last fall, especially once they got into Patriot League play. Not one league opponent managed to score 20 points against Lehigh. Al Pierce was the leading tackler, as the senior LB racked up 110 tackles on the season. Colin Newton (82) and Tanner Rivas (72) followed, but there was a huge drop after that. Pierce also led the team with 12 TFLs last fall, and he was joined by Rivas, who collected 10.5 on the season. Newton led the team with 6.5 sacks on the season. Rivas will be returning to lead the club up front next season as Pierce has moved on.
     Lehigh's best pass defenders were all seniors last fall. Casey Eidemire led the team with 6 balls knocked away, and he was followed by Pierce and Jarard Cribbs, who both had 5. Cribbs led the Patriot League with 7 picks on the season.
     Tom Randazza had a very good season as a senior last year at PK, as he nailed 10 of his 11 FG attempts on the season. He will be difficult to replace. John Kennedy led the league in kick returns, as he averaged 28.79 yards per return on the season, but strangely enough, he never scored.

Holy Cross Crusaders
2010 Record: 6-5 (4-2), Tied 2nd
2010 Postseason: None
      The Crusaders had a strong finish last fall, as they won 3 of the final 4 games of the year to steal a tie for second, including a win over Colgate. They will try to build on that mark next season, but the schedule will be extremely tough, as they take on UMass and New Hampshire.
     Ryan Taggert finished his Crusader career by finishing third in the league in passing last fall. Taggert passed for 1899 yards with 14 TDs on the season, and he managed a relatively low 7 picks.
     The run game was a walking disaster last fall, as Sam Auffant led the team with only 425 yards rushing and 2 scores. Auffant got little support himself, as the next best rusher on the team was Taggert with just 209 yards. Taggert did lead the team in rushing TDs, as he scored 5 times on the ground.
     Taggert did like to spread the ball around, as six different receivers caught 20 passes or more last fall. Bill Edger led the team with a line of 44-540-7. He was followed in this group by Freddie Santana (39-482-6), Luke Chmielinski (45-421-2), Gerald Mistretta (29-374-3), Alex Schneider (30-217-1), and Auffant (20-117-0).
     Defensively, the Crusaders really did not get it done. They gave up 212.5 yards passing and 167.3 yards rushing per game, and they gave up 24 or more points in seven games.
     Junior LB Ricky Otis led the league in tackles with 108. He did miss two games, so he could really explode if healthy next fall. CJ Martin finished with 95 tackles, while Anthony DiMichele collected 83. Sean Lamkin was next with 67, and Chandler Fenner filled out the upper tier with 58. Lamkin led the lackluster effort up front with only 7 TFLs, while he also led with only 4 sacks.
     Tom Manix led the secondary on the season with 6 passes defended, and DiMichele was the only other defender to hit 5, and Alex Johnson led the team with a meager 2 picks on the season.
     Rob Dornfried was very good, as he hit 10 of 13 FGs, but he needs to be replaced now, as he moves on. Freddie Santana was the man on punt returns, as he led the league with an average of 16.75 yards per return with one TD.

Colgate Red Raiders
2010 Record: 7-4 (4-2), Tied 2nd
2010 Postseason: None
     After a 4-2 start, Colgate looked like they could be primed to make a move to win the league, but then they fell flat, losing their next two games before winning their final 3. By then, it was too late, and Lehigh had run away with the title.
     Greg Sullivan passed for 1349 yards and 8 TDs, but only tossed 5 picks on the season. He was not the focus of the offense, and he seemed to be ok with that, as RB Nate Eachus was our All-Bilo FCS RB of the Year.
     Eachus was the man last season, as he rushed for 1871 yards and 21 TDs. It was an amazing season, and Eachus returns for more heroics in 2011, as he tries to redeem the Red Raiders, Sullivan added another 605 yards rushing, as he also scored 8 TDs on the ground himself.
     Doug Rosnick was the only receiver worth mentioning coming off of last season, as he posted a solid line of 49-646-7. Daniel Cason (21-185-0) was the only other receiver to grab 20 passes.
     The Raider defense was actually quite good. They only gave up 168 yards passing per game, and held the opposition to 128 yards on the ground weekly. That is very good. Senior LB Chris DiMassa led the team with 92 tackles on the season. Patrick Friel came next with 73 tackles. There was a massive drop after that, so the Raiders will have to find some depth. Senior LB Zach Smith led the team with 14.5 TFLs on the season, good for 32nd in the nation. Lamont Sands added another 11.5 to the table. Both are gone now. Smith led the team with 10.5 sacks.
     DiMassa led the team with 4 picks on the season, but despite their strong performance against the pass, nobody reached 5 passes defended.
     Evan Colbourne was solid at PK as a sophomore, as he hit on 6 of 8 FGs. He obviously had limited opportunities, so he could have better numbers next fall. Noah Jackson is a solid return man, as he averaged 24.45 yards per kick return.

Fordham Rams
2010 Record: 5-6 (3-3), 4th
2010 Postseason: None
     The Rams are coming off of back to back 5-6 seasons after last fall. They are at the crossroads where something will have to give, or else changes may have to be made.
     There were problems with injury at QB last fall, so there may be a point where the trouble started. Blake Wayne was the leader with 8 games played, and he passed for 1614 yards, but he only managed 6 TD passes, and did toss 4 picks in that time frame. Ryan Higgins played in 5 games, and he passed for 665 yards with 4 TDs, but threw 4 picks in those 5 games.
     Daryl Whiting led the team in rushing last fall, as he ran for 744 yards and 8 scores. Xavier Martin also had 100 carries on the season, as he rushed for 434 yards with 4 scores, and Wayne also was a run threat with 372 yards and 4 scores.
     The Rams were lucky to have a solid receiving threat with Jason Caldwell, as he posted a line of 71-910-3. Stephen Skelton (42-443-3) and David Moore (27-321-2) were the only other receivers to grab 20 passes on the year.
     The Rams were hit and miss on defense, as they were vulnerable against the pass, giving up 232.1 yards per game passing. They were decent against the run, as they allowed 136.5 yards rushing per game. Senior Safety Jamal Haruna led the team with 74 tackles. He was followed by Isa Abdul-Quddus (78), Michael Martin (69), Brendan Melanophy (64), and Bryson Wilson (54). Justin Yancy led the team with 10.5 TFLs, but he was not well supported by the rest of the defense, but Yancy's 3 sacks were the best that the Rams could muster, which is even worse.
      Ahmed Haruna led the team with 8 passes defended, while Abdul-Quddus followed with 6. Wilson added 5 of his own.
      Patrick Murray had plenty of opportunities last fall, but hit only 12 of his 21 FG attempts on the season. He was only a sophomore, so improvements are expected. Murray led the league with a 39.35 yard average in punting.

Georgetown Hoyas
2010 Record: 4-7 (2-4), 5th
2010 Postseason: None
      It was a rough season for the Hoyas, as they finished by losing 6 of 7 to finish out. Those six losses all came in a row.
     The offense was incredibly weak, as leading passer Scott Darby only averaged 121.6 yards per game while passing for 1338 yards. He finished with an 8/6 Td to pick ratio on the season, but only completed 54.4% of his passes.
      There was no support from the run game, as they were led by Philip Oladeji with only 393 yards and 4 scores. Keerome Lawrence was the leading receiver, as he posted a line of 42-446-1. John O'Leary caught 5 TD passes, but nobody averaged 50 yards per game.
     The Hoyas were not horrid on defense, but they were borderline at best. Nick Parrish, a senior LB, led the team with 92 tackles. Robert McCabe collected 84 tackles on the season, and was followed by Jayah Kaisamba (69), Wayne Heimuli (66), Jeremy Moore (72), Patrick O'Donnell (66), David Quintero (60), and Andrew Schaetzke (59). Schaetzke led the team with 15 TFLs, which also led the league. Jeremy Moore was 2nd with 10. Schaetzke also led the team with 9 sacks on the season in 11 games.
      Moore also finished with 11 passes defended. Kaisamba followed with 6 passes knocked away. Schaetzke also added 5 of his own. Moore 's total led the league. Kaisamba finished 2nd in the league with his 5 picks.
     Brett Weiss had moderate success kicking the ball last fall, as he hit 7 of his 10 FG attempts on the season, and the Hoyas are hoping for more from the incoming senior. Moore had a solid season as a return man, as he averaged 26.87 yards per kick return.

Lafayette Leopards
2010 Record: 2-9 (1-5), Tied 6th
2010 Postseason: None
     The Leopards took a huge step back last season, as they fell from 8 wins in 2009 to just 2 wins in 2010. That's pretty disturbing, but the Leopards are the kind of program that doesn't stay down.
     All things considered, Ryan O'Neil was pretty solid in 2010. O'Neil passed for 2183 yards and 15 TDs on the year, and only tossed 7 picks in the process. That's not bad for a QB on a 2-9 football team.
     That being said, he received no support from his run game, as Alan elder led the team with just 435 yards rushing and 1 TD. That's not getting it done for the Leopards, and they have to find someone who can step forward and take the reins, as O'Neil will desperately need to have the heat taken down to succeed in 2011. Nobody ran for more than 2 scores in 2010. Not good.
     Mark Layton was the leading receiver last fall, as he posted a line of 64-748-6 on the season, which was good for 3rd in the league. Kyle Hayes will have to be that top guy next fall, as Layton departed after the season. Hayes posted 39-547-5, and was followed by Mitchell Bennett with 33-394-3. Bennett will return next fall as the number two behind Hayes.
     The pass defense was serviceable last season, but teams ran at will over the Leopards to a tune of 173.2 yards per game. That has to be shored up if Lafayette wishes to head back to the top of the pile next fall. Michael Schmidlein finshed 3rd in the league in tackles with 108, but he departed after the season, leaving a huge hole in the lineup. Kyle Simmons finished with 77 tackles, and he was followed by Ben Eaton (70), and Brandon Ellis (65). Senior DE Michael Phillips was the only Leopard defender to finish with double figures in TFLs with 10, and the pass rush was a joke.
     Ellis finished 2nd in the league with 8 passes defended on the season, and Kyle Simmons was the only other member of the team that finished with at least 5, and he hit it right on that number. Nick Nardone and Simmons finished with 2 picks each to lead the team.
     Davis Rodriguez led the league in FGs per game, but only hit on 14 of 20 on the season. He moves on, so the Leopards have another big hole to fill, as they can ill afford to lose any scoring. The rest of the special teams were an outright disaster.

Bucknell Bison
2010 Record: 1-10 (1-5), Tied 6th
2010 Postseason: None
     The Bison were just a top to bottom mess last season. They never won at home, as their only win was a road victory over Georgetown. This season is a critical time for Bucknell, as improvement must come soon in a winnable league.
     Brandon Wesley gave it all he had at QB, but it just wasn't that great. Wesley only passed for 1699 yards last fall, and his ratio was inverted at 6/9. He was the only QB to play significant time, but the good news is that he was only a freshman. He has time to get better.
      Tyler Smith was the leading rusher at 402 yards, but that was only good for 36.5 yards per game, and nobody else was close. Disaster.
     Victor Walker only caught 19 passes, but he averaged 23.3 yards per catch and finished with 443 yards. Frank DeNick (38-423-1) and Smith (35-261-0) were the other favorite targets, but overall, that is not saying much.
     The defense failed to make the grade as well. The Bison failed to hold passing teams down, as they gave up an average of 226.7 yards per game, and they also allowed ample rushing yardage, giving up 153.2 yards per game on the ground. Travis Nisley led the team with just 63 tackles, so that pretty much tells you the story right there. Josh Eden was the only defender applying pressure up front, as he finished with 10.5 TFLs on the year, but he only totalled 4.5 sacks. To say that their pass defense was missing for the most part would not be an understatement.
     Tyler Smith was also the main kick return man (he was also the backup QB), as he averaged 28.64 yards per kick return, and he scored once as well. He ranked 6th nationally in returns, giving the Bison their only bright spot.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Missouri Valley Review 2010

Northern Iowa Panthers
2010 Record: 7-5 (6-2), 1st
2010 Postseason: 1st Round Playoffs, lost to Lehigh 14-7
     UNI may have lost their final two games last fall, but it was a miracle run that got them out of the muddled pack last fall that won the MVC title and got the Panthers sitting in the playoffs, where they got stumped by Lehigh in the 1st round. UNI went on a 5 game win streak after starting the season at 2-3, and UNI turned the ship around in time to take over a very jumbled race.
     Tirrell Rinnie survived a very rough season as a passer by using his legs to win games, and he did that with flair. Rinnie passed for 1543 yards with 8 TDs but tossed 11 picks. His run game, however, was the cure, as he rushed for a team leading 1092 yards and 15 TDs, and that skill is what saved the season for the Panthers. Carlos Anderson keoth teams honest, as he rushed for 936 yards and 2 scores of his own. With Rinnie struggling to pass, the Panthers finished with only two receivers with 20 or more receptions. Jarred Herring led the team with a line of 31-549-5, while Schuyler Oordt finished by posting 24-405-3.
     UNI had issues defending the pass, as they allowed 241 yards per game through the air. Their run defense made up for some of that by only allowing 104 yards rushing per game. Jamar Thompson led the team with 99 tackles, and LB LJ Fort came in right behind him with 92. Andre Martin (6.42), Jordan Smith (6.09), and James Conley (5.75) all finished with 5 tackles per game or more.
     With UNI having solid success aginst the run as a team, some stood out as stellar when applying pressure up front. Ben Boothby ranked 30th in the country in TFLs, as he collected 16 on the season, averaging 1.33 per game. Fort finished with 11.5 on the season, and Will Eilert chipped in with 9. Boothby led the team in sacks with 9 total on the season. Jordan Smith defended 7 passes to lead the club, and Andre Martin and James conley each had 5, but that was despite the Panther weakness against the pass. Martin led the team with 5 picks, and Fort added 3 more to prove his multidimensional talent.
     Billy Halgrin had a rough year at PK, as the senior only hit on 15 of his 25 FG attempts on the season, good for only 60% for the year. Whoever takes over will have to improve on that rating. Carlos Anderson led the MVC in kick returns, as he averaged over 27 yards per return with a pair of scores as a sophomore.

Western Illinois Leathernecks
2010 Record: 8-5 (5-3), 2nd
2010 Postseason: 2nd Round Playoffs, Defeated Coastal Carolina 17-10, Lost to Appalachian State 42-14
     After a 4-1 start in 2010, the Leathernecks just kind of stumbled their way through the rest of the season. They had full contol of their destiny, but just never finished. WIU went 4-4 the rest of the way, and fumbled away the chance to become MVC champs, despite having beaten Northern Iowa 30-14.
     Matt Barr was one of the best QBs in the nation last season, as he passed for 3410 yards and 27 TDs to 10 picks. Barr averaged 262.3 yards passing per game, and he also ran for an additional 7 TDs on the season. Caulton Ray was also solid in keeping defenses from keying in on the passing game, as he rushed for 1014 yards and 9 TDs. Bryce Flowers was a solid B Back, as he rushed for 759 yards and 8 scores of his own. Lito Senatus made a name for himself last fall as well, as he became Barr's favorite target. Senatus, a senior like Barr, posted a line of 65-1145-14, and was the MVC Receiver of the Year. Junior Terriun Crump wasn't too bad either, as he posted 56-888-5.
     WIU was relatively tough on the pass, as teams only passed for 175 yards per game, but the Leathernecks allowed a whopping 195 yards per game on the ground, which was a major cause to their late season stumbles. Kyle Glazier ranked 2nd in the nation in tackles last fall, as he collected a total of 167 on the season, and averaged 12.85 tackles per game. Brandon Kreczmer was 2nd on the team with a distant 90. Tyler West was the only other WIU defender to average 5 or more tackles per game, as he finished with 75 (5.77 per game). Kieron James (7), West (6), and Ryan Davis (6) were major players in the passes defended market, while West was the leader with 3 picks.
     Special teams were extremely problematic last fall, and will be a major area of concern when camp opens in August.

North Dakota State Bison
2010 Record: 9-5 (4-4), Tied 3rd
2010 Postseason: 3rd Round Playoffs, Defeated Robert Morris 43-17, Defeated Montana State 42-17, Lost to Eastern Washington 38-31
     The Bison were one of the most consistency challenged teams in America last fall. They started out 3-1, including a defense dominated 6-3 shocker at Kansas to open the season. They then lost 2 of their next 3 games before going on a streak that saw them win 5 of 6, before falling in the FCS playoffs to eventual champion Eastern Washington. What a strange ride it was.
     The Bison did not exactly have a stable QB in the works, as Jose Mohler was the leader by default, as he passed for 1181 yards and only 5 TDs on the season. Brock Jensen also played considerable minutes in 8 games, but only completed 45% of his passes. He did manage to toss 7 TD passes with only 2 picks. The offense coursed mainly through star RB DJ McNorton, who rushed for 1488 yards and 15 TDs. McNorton averaged 106.3 yards per game, while averaging 5.3 yards per carry. NDSU did wind up with 3 receivers with 20 grabs or more, with Warren Holloway taking the lead with 49-698-5. McNorton added 25-433-4 to his already impressive stat sheet. Justin Howard was 3rd with 24-280-1.
     Defensively, the Bison were not difficult to run on, having given up 172.4 yards rushing per game. They were slightly stronger against the pass, giving up just over 188 yards per game. Preston Evans (94) and Chad Willson (74) were the tackling leaders, but Willson missed 6 games on the year. Brandon Jemison also averaged 5.79 tackles per game, and played in all 14. Coulter Boyer (12.5) and Matthew Gratzek (10) were forces when it came to TFLs last fall, and Boyer led the team with 7.5 sacks. Freshman Cole Jirik finished 2nd with 7.
     When it came to defnding passes, the Bison had the two best defenders in the conference, as Marcus Williams led the MVC with 12 balls knocked away. Matt Anderson, a senior last fall, finished 2nd in the MVC with 9. Josh Gatlin added 6 more, and led the team with 5 picks on the season. Williams finished with 4 picks.
     Ryan Jastram attempted 23 FGs, but only hit 14 of them. He returns as a senior this fall, and he will have some work to do. John Prelvitz led the MVC in punting last year, as he averaged 42.63 yards per punt, but he now needs to be replaced after he moved on. Freshman Ryan Smith was solid on punt returns, averaging 10.71 yards per return last season.

Illinois State Redbirds
2010 Record: 6-5 (4-4), Tied 3rd
2010 Postseason: None
     The Redbirds were the first team to miss the playoffs last fall out of the MVC, as they suffered at the hands of a mid-season slump that saw them go 1-4. ISU also barely avoided a potentially embarrassing home loss in the opener in a 55-54 win over D2 Central Missouri.
     You could not have asked much more of Matt Brown, the MVC leader in completions per game with 20.18. He passed for 2670 yards and 22 TDs as a sophomore last fall, while holding himself to just 11 picks. Brown will likely be the leading passer next fall in the conference. Brown averaged 242.3 yards per game last season. Erik Smith was the leading rusher, but only ranked 12th in the 9 team MVC. He rushed for 624 yards and 4 scores, but Ashton Leggett scored 8 times while rushing for 563 yards on the season. Tyrone Walker and Marvon Sanders were the stars in the receiving game, and Brown used them often. Walker posted a line of 59-974-12, and Sanders added 73-754-2.
     The defense was a mess. The Redbirds gave up 246.5 yards passing, and another 199 yards every game. Junior LB Josh Rowe certainly stayed busy, as he totalled 113 tackles on the season, good for 2nd in the MVC. Austin Davis was next, with a huge dropoff, as he totalled 75 tackles as a sophomore. He was followed by Kelvyn Hemphill with 67, and Mike Zimmer with 65. Eric Brunner,  a junior DE, was the only defender to hit double figures in TFLs with 10.5 on the season, and he also led the team with a lowly 4 sacks. With no support behind Brunner, teams were free to move the ball at will.
     Hemphill was the only defender in the secondary to reach 5 passes defended. That being said, EJ Jones actually led the MVC with 7 picks on the season, even though the Redbirds had a very poor pass defense.
     Steven Fetzer led the league in FGs per game, but only made 14 of 20, barely good for 70%. The Redbirds must replace him in 2011. Cameron Hunt showed some promise in the kick return game as a freshman, as he averaged 25.07 yards per return last fall.

Indiana State Sycamores
2010 Record: 6-5 (4-4), Tied 3rd
2010 Postseason: None
     Few teams, if there truly were any others on this level, improved as much as Indiana State. The Sycamores were coming off of a 5 year run in which they had finished 2-53. Their 6 wins last season matched a 6 year total, so yeah, this was a big deal, even if ISU missed the playoffs.
     Ronnie Fouch certainly was not the best QB in the MVC last fall, but his play was a huge upgrade in 2010. He passed for 2252 yards on the season, and tossed 20 TDs, while only getting picked 5 times on the season. Darrius Gates upgraded the rushing attack, and the senior rushed for 1024 yards and a very solid 17 TDs on the season. Gates was a senior, and so his heir apparent seems to be Shakir Bell, who, as a freshman, rushed for 629 yards and 2 scores. Justin Hilton was the leading receiver, as he posted 40-684-7. He was followed by Bryant Kent (43-572-5), and Alex Jones (30-545-4).
     Defensively, Indiana State has some room to grow. They allowed only 184.6 yards per game passing, but were very easy to run against, as they gave up 203.3 yards rushing per game. The Sycamores were led by a sophomore LB in tackles, as Jacolby Washington led the way with 92 tackles. Alex Sewell was 2nd on the tea, but there was quite a fall, as he collected 70 tackles from the secondary, which tied him with Ben Obaseki. Freshman DB Larry King added 65 tackles of his own. Obaseki led the MVC on the season in TLFs with 16, but he was a DB, so that accomplishment is huge. Washington was 2nd with 10. Obaseki also led the team with 7.5 sacks.
     Calvin Burnett had a solid season against the pass, as he ranked 3rd in the MVC with 8 passes defended. Larry Carter followed him with 6 on the season, but nobody else cleared 5. Burnett also led the team with 6 picks on the season.
     Cory Little had very dew opportunities, but nailed 5 of his 7 FG attempts on the season. The rest of the special teams were not quite ready for prime time, so again, there is room for growth here.

Southern Illinois Salukis
2010 Record: 5-6 (4-4), Tied 3rd
2010 Postseason: None
     SIU struggled, which is different from where they have been, but every team has to take a step back every now and then. SIU won't be down long.
     Chris Dieker struggled at QB, as the senior did not go out on top, having passed for 1816 yards. He passed for 15 scores, while also tossing 11 picks. He ranked 7th out of 9 starters in the conference, and now the Salukis must build without him.The rushing attack dodn't pick up the slack. Shariff Harris struggled, as he only rushed for 586 yards, but he did manage to score 8 times. Jeff Evans was the leading receiver, as he posted 40-576-3. He was followed by Joe Allaria (58-511-3) and Matt Guinn (24-283-2).
     The defense was not horrible, but was not great either. They allowed 332.1 yards per game, and gave up 33 TDs on the season. Stephen Franklin was the tackles leader with 76. He was followed byJoe Okon with 72. Brad Briggs was 3rd with 59. Only Okon returns in 2011. Jayson DiManche led the team with 11.5 TFLs, but was the only defender that hit double digits. DiManche also led the team in sacks, but only had 5.5 on the season.
     Korey Lindsey was the only defender in the secondary with 5 or more defended passes last fall, as he knocked away 7 passes. The Redbirds were not good at creating turnovers against the pass, as Boo Rodgers led the team wth only 2 picks.
     Kyle Dougherty hit on only 7 of his 11 FG attempts last fall, but he is now gone, so here is another spot where the Salukis have to rebuild.

Missouri State Bears
2010 Record: 5-6 (4-4), Tied 3rd
2010 Postseason: None
      Cody Kirby struggled at times last season for the Bears. He passed for 2307 yards, but only tossed 10 TD passes. He was only picked 6 times, but only managed to complete 57.2% of his passes, making 2010 a hit and miss season for the senior playing his final season.
     Chris Douglas became the focal point of the offense, as he rushed for 1021 yards and 11 scores. He shared the workload with Stephen Johnston, as he rished for 725 yards and 5 scores. Kirby was not a high yardage rusher, but he scored 13 times on the ground. Jermaine Saffold was by far the receiving leader, as he posted a line of 53-869-5. Cadarrius Dotson (38-495-1) and Trevor Wooden (21-284-1) came next on the list.
     The Bears were shredded against the pass last fall, as they allowed just over 281 yards passing per game. What's worse is that they coughed up another 156.8 yards rushing per game. Antoine Wilkinson racked up 101 tackles, good for 4th in the MVC. Skyler Smith finished 2nd on the team with 83, while Adam Beauchamp collected 75. Terian Washington was the final defender to go over 5 tackles per game, as he finished with 52 tackles on the season. Nobody finished in double figures in TFLs, but it was Antoine Wilkinson who led the team with 8. The sacks were few as well, as Wilkinson finished with just 5 on the season to lead the squad.
     The Bears had four defenders who defended passes last fall, and that was more than likely due to the fact that they had many passes tossed at them. Howard Scarborough led the team with 7, and he was joined in that group by Adam Beauchamp (6), Terian Washington (6), and Skylar Smith (5). Jimmie Strong was not a part of that group, but he led the team with 4 picks last season.
     Brian Berry averaged 23.53 yards per return as a freshman last fall, and has huge potenital for the Bears to build around on special teams.

South Dakota State Jackrabbits
2010 Record: 5-6 (4-4), Tied 3rd
2010 Postseason: None
     The Jackrabbits were never a serious threat to steal the league title, but played more of a spoiler role last fall. They definately had some major struggles, and QB Thomas O'Brien was struggling more than most. O'Brien passed for 2236 yards, but his ratio was upside down at 10/15. Al lot was asked of him last season, and he will probably have to provide again this fall, but who knows how much he can improve?
     Kyle Minett was a success at RB, as he rushed for 1192 yards and 12 TDs on the season, but there was very little depth behind him,  and he moves on, leaving nobody with any real experience in his wake. Tyrel Kool was the leading receiver on the season, as he posted a solid line of 64-808-2. He was followed by Brandon Hubert (32-375-1), Colin Cochart (31-338-4), and Aaron Rollin (24-292-2).
     The defense got rocked against the run last fall, as they gave up 183.5 yards per game against the run. Derek Domino leaves having led the team in tackles with 103 last fall, and he was followed by Mike Lien (98), Corey Jeske (81), Anthony Wise (76), and Dirk Kool (70). The Rabbits got virtually no support up front, as nobody got close to double figures in TFLs or sacks, and nobody got close to the top ten leaderboard in the MVC.
     Jake Steffan finished with 7 passes defended, but was the only SDSU defender in the top 10 on a unit that allowed 185.2 yards per game passing. Cole Brodie led the team with 5 picks on the season.
      Dean Priddy averaged just over 40 yards per punt as a senior, and now he must be replaced, leaving SDSU with a very week kicking game coming into 2011. Brodie also averaged more than 24 yards per kick return, but he was also a senior. Brodie was also a very succesful punt return man, averaging over 10 yards per return.

Youngstown State Penguins
2010 Record: 3-8 (1-7), 9th
2010 Postseason: None
     The Penguins went young at QB, starting freshman Kurt HEss, and he gave them what he could, passing for 2117 yards and 12 TDs with 8 picks on the season. He also ran for another 3 scores, and should show signs of growth as a sophomore this fall. Jamaine Cook was solid in the backfield, as he ran for 1240 yards and 11 scores. Cook returns as a junior. Adris Bellamy also rushed for 11 scores as a freshman, giving YSU a seriously [otent backfield threat in 2011. Dominique Barnes was a major hit last fall, having posted a line of 67-911-4, making him the only serious threat in the receiving corps.
     John Sasson, a junior LB, led the team with 89 tackles last season, and has the potential to break 100 in 2011. The prblem was that there was very little production behind him, and the Penguins never did put any serious pressure on the oppsoing backfields. Brandion Ross was the only defender to knock away 5 passes last season, and also led the team with only 3 picks. The D will have to be more aggresiive next fall.
     Stephen Blose hit on 12 of his 14 FG attempts last fall, but he now has to be replaced, leaving a huge hile in the YSU scoring attack. Nick Liste was just a freshman, but averaged over 41 yards per punt last fall. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pioneer Football 2010 Review

Jacksonville Dolphins
2010 Record: 10-1 (8-0), Tied 1st
2010 Postseason: None
      The last line above tells the story of 2010. How do you finish 8-0 in your conference, win 10 games, and get jilted by the postseason process that was recently extended to get more teams in? The answer came from JU when I asked, and the committee didn't like their strength of schedule, with Edward Waters coming as the main criticism. Shameful. JU deserved to be in the playoff picture, as they finished in the top 5 in our Power Ratings Index at the end of last season, despite the game against their NAIA neighbor.
     All of that aside, 2010 was probably the best season ever for the fairly young program. There was star power all over the roster, starting at QB, where Josh McGregor was the PFL passing leader. McGregor shredded the competition last fall for 3049 yards and an amazing 32 TDs with just 7 picks in 11 games. Very few QBs were able to pull thta off last season, and those that did were all in the playoffs. McGregor was good for over 14 yards per completion last fall in what was the nations best overall offensive attack. The rushing attack was insane as well, as the Dolphins had 2 of the 3 best RBs in the league last fall. Rudell Small was the leading rusher in the conference, running for 1145 yards and 12 TDs. JJ Laster, who replaces Small this season as the starter, ran for 810 yards and 7 more scores on the ground. The third piece to what will be a trinity for the Dolphins in 2011 was WR Josh Philpart, who finished 3rd in the league in receiving, having posted a line of 48-800-12 on the season. The Dolphins also boasted four other receivers in the League's top 20 in receiving, with Elliott Finkley (28-531-3), Larry Thompson (32-477-3), Rodney Sumter (23-456-7), and Small (33-364-4) all busting the ranks.
     Defensively, the Dolphins could have been a bit better against the pass, as they allowed 222 yards per game through the air, but running against this defense was no picnic, as the Dolphins allowed only 106.5 yards per game on the ground. Leonard Smith (66), Joseph Fennell (63), and Jordan Dewhirst (60) all finished with 5 tackles per game or more, as did Will Perry. Bradley Burns led the team up front with 7.5 TFLs on the season, and finished with 8 sacks. The Dolphins had some very young playmakers in the secondary last fall, which may be the reason for the 200+ yards passing allowed, but there is some seriousl talent here. Colby Waldon led the league in passes defended last fall with 12. Darren Johnson, Andre Addison, and and Leonard Smith all had 5, and the entire group returns next fall. Dewhirst led the team with 4 picks on the season, and he will also return to give the Dolphins five experienced playmakers in the secondary.
     Josh Hostetler had some bumpy moments at PK last fall, as he only connected on 7 of his 12 FG attempts. Finkley averaged 9.13 yards per punt return to give the Dolphins a bit of a spark in the return game.

Dayton Flyers
2010 Record: 10-1 (8-0), Tied 1st
Postseason: None
     If anyone can scream as loudly as Jacksonville at being left out of the postseason, it would be the Flyers. Dayton's run was just as impressive, and yet, the conference was shafted as both of its undefeated members were left out in the cold. Their only loss was a week two road trip to Duquesne.
     Steve Valentino was a succesful choice for QB last fall, as he passed for 2218 yards with 16 TDs to just 6 picks last fall. He also added another 712 yards rushing with 8 more TDs on the season, as he ran the spread to perfection at times. Taylor Harris added 13 TDs on the ground for the jilted Flyers, who are looking to push to the next level. Justin Watkins was a perfect spread receiver, as he finished 4th in the league in receiving after posting a line of 48-777-3. Four other Flyers caught at least 20 passes as well, led by Tyler Hujik (32-345-1), Luke Bellman (23-339-4), Anthony Papp (23-310-4), and Nick Collins (21-280-3).
     Dayton was weak against the pass last fall, having allowed 245.7 yards per game, but you could not run against the Flyers for anything, as they only allowed 78.4 yards per game on the ground. James Vercammen led the team in tackles with 99, and he was followed by Devon Langhorst, who finished with 78, placing both in the PFL top 10. Langhorst finished with 19 TFLs, good for 4th, while Vercammen finished in double figures as well with 12.5. Brandon Wingeier finished by just missing with 9.5. Langhorst also led the team with a total of 14 sacks last fall, while Mike Morante finished with 8.5. Matt Pfeiger, a sophomore last fall, was a big playmaker for the Flyers in the secondary, as he knocked away 10 passes in 11 games. Pfeiger also led the club with 3 picks.
     Nick Glavin was highly accurate in limited FG attmpts, hitting 9 of 12 on the year, but he now has to be replaced. Gary Hunter picked up 762 yards in kick returns to leadt the PFL, and scored once as well. He averaged 28.22 yards per return last fall as a freshman. Hujik averaged over 13 yards per return on punts.

Drake Bulldogs
2010 Record: 7-4 (6-2), 3rd
2010 Postseason: None
     The Bulldogs only lost in conference play to the leaders, but it was enough to limit their season to moderate success. The Bulldogs did finish 2010 by winning 4 of their last 5 games, so they have something to build on coming into 2011.
     Mike Piatkowski had a solid sophomore campaign at QB, as he passed for 1854 yards and 15 TDs to just 7 picks. His youth makes him a perfect candidate to improve a great deal in 2011, and he may be one of the best QBs in the nation by 2012. There is that kind of potential here. Drake did not run the ball well, as Patrick Cashmore was the leader with only 348 yards rushing with 6 scores. They must improve the ground game if the Bulldogs intend on climbing in this improving League. They will also have to distribute the ball through the air just a bit better as well, as only 3 receivers caught 20 or more passes last fall. Drew Blackmon was the leader (41-535-5), and he was followed by Steve Platek (48-461-6), and Joey Orlando (35-440-2).
     Defensively, Drake was not very good against the pass, allowing 236.5 yards per game. They were excellent against the run, allowing only 94.2 yards rushing per game. Tyler Moorhead and Ben Morrison led the way on defense, as Moorhead finished with 73 tackles, and Morrison finished with 71. Dain Taylor was a beast up front, as he finished wth 24 TFLs on the season. He was joined in double figures by Josh Walkup with 11. Taylor finished with 13.5 sacks on the season as well. Mike Lahart was the leader in the secondary with 10 passes defended, and he was followed by Nick Chenier with 6.
     Lahart led the team in punt returns with an average of over 13 yards per return, but the rest of the special teams unit was a mess.

San Diego Terreros
2010 Record: 5-6 (5-3), 4th
2010 Postseason: None
     Mason Mills found his way for USD at QB as a sophomore after a bumpy start to the season. USD did not win a single game out of conference with losses to Azusa Pacific (NAIA), Southern Utah, and UC-Davis. Mills came along just in time to save something of the season, passing for 2160 yards and 18 TDs with just 8 picks in 11 games. He should be increasingly better this season as a junior. The Torreros need more from their run game, as Phil Morelli was the leader with just 451 yards and 5 scores. Only Mason Mills added any scoring in the run game, and he only ran for 1 score. Godfrey Smith led the PFL in receiving last fall, having posted a line of 68-1024-7.
     Mario Kurn was the star of the defense last fall, as the DE led the team with with 66 tackles. He was a dominating force up front, as he collected 27 TFLs on the year, good for 2nd best nationally. He was named as our DE of the Year on the FCS level, and he collected a total of 17 sacks as the season ended. Kurn also led the Torreros with 5 passes defended, and so was the one man show that ran the defense. A little help around him may be a good thing. Al-Rilwan Adeyemi led the PFl with 6 picks, while Fredrick Obi added 5 more.
     Stanley Shurson finished 2nd in the PFL with 11 FGs, but he missed 10.

Morehead State
2010 Record: 5-6 (4-4), 5th
2010 Postseason: None
     The Eagles made some progress here last fall, and that began with Zach Lews leading the league in passing with 23.64 completions per game. He passed for 2898 yards and added 15 TDs, but he did also toss 13 picks in 11 games. I am interested to see how he can build on his successes as a junior in 2011. Desmond Cox led the team in rushing, but only ran for 410 yards and 2 scores. Blake Stanley added 4 scores on the ground. Ronnie McDermott (49-673-1), Donte Sawyer (43-457-2) and Adam Slupski (37-330-2) gave Lewis some solid targtes to hit, but they should have been able to score more.
     MSU gave up over 230 yards passing last season, and over 130 yards rushing, so improvements must come. Never fear, as there is star power up front in Jerome Raymond and Mark Hall. Raymond finshed with 19.5 TFLs last season, while Hall added another 16.5. Tony Bachman was 2nd in the PFL with 122 tackles, good for 12th nationally. Raymond finished with 11.5 sacks on the season to lead the team as well. Kameron Scott was a big time playmaker in the secondary as a sophomore, as he led the team with 10 passes defended, but the Eagles could not buy apick last season at times.
 Rainer Duzan was solid as hehit 11 of 13 FGs last fall as a sophomore.

Davidson Wildcats
2010 Record: 3-8 (3-5), 6th
2010 Postseason: None
     Normally, when you hand the ball to a freshman QB, you tned to struggle a bit, and that was so for the Wildcats with Jonathon Carkhuff. Carkhuff still had a commendable season last fall, as he passed for 2002 yards with 12 TDs, but he needed to separate a bit more from his 9 picks. That will come with time. Kenny Mantuo was the rushing leader, but this unit never really got off of the ground last fall. Mantuo rushed for 562 yards and 5 TDs. Justin William rushed for another 2 scores, but nobody else added a single score on the season rushing. Lanny Funsten was by far the dynamic performer on offense, as he posted a receiving line of 47-685-6.
     Pat Moynahan led the team in tackles with 70, but the defense gave up 27 or more points 5 times last fall. Ellis Martin and John Behm did their best up front, as they each recorded 11.5 TFLs last fall, but the Cats still allowed 45 TDs on the season. Behm led the team with only 5.5 sacks. Peter Kidwell only knocked away 5 passes last fall, but that led the team against the pass, and his two picks also led the team, leaving work to be done on D in fall camp for 2011.

Marist Red Foxes
2010 Record: 3-8 (2-6), Tied 7th
2010 Postseason: None
     Like most teams in the league, Marist had a decent QB in Tommy Reilly, as he passed for 2383 yards and 15 TDs to 8 picks. He will return as a senior next fall, but hopefully winning will come with him, as Marist has not known any success in some time. The run game was entirely non-existent, as the Foxes only rushed for an average of 61.1 yards per game. Winning does not come without a run game. James Lamacchia was a huge star in the receiving game, as he posted a very nice season of 74-844-5. Michael Rios was a big play threat as he turned in a line of 28-642-5.
     Marist was a mixed bag on defense, but they really did not defend well overall. Rory Foley and Isaac Sine both finished top ten in tackling, as Foley collected 103 tackles, and Sine finished with 65. Marist got virtually no push up front, as they had no finishers in the top 20 in TFLs or sacks last fall. Jaquan Bryant finished with 6 passes defended in the secondary, while Nick Mainiero finished with 4 picks to lead the team.

Campbell Camels
2010 Record: 3-8 (2-6), Tied 7th
Postseason: None
     The Camels are still a developing program, so success comes in smaller measurements than most. Campbell made some decent strides last fall, and they expect to keep moving in the right direction this season.
     They may have to take a step back at QB next fall, as Daniel Polk, their starting QB last fall, has departed after passing for 1263 yards and 8 TDs with only 4 picks. Polk also added 408 yards rushing last fall, and was an outstanding scorer on the ground, having rushed for 12 TDs. Rashaun Brown was the rushing leader last fall, as he ran for 659 yards and 3 TDs. Carl Smith gave a solid effort as well, as he rushed for 473 yards, while CJ Oates added another 357 yards on the ground as well. Only three Camel receivers caught 20 passes or more, but nobody had 30. Harrison Jordan was the leader, having posted a line of 29-334-2. Mike Stryffeler caught 4 TD passes last season.
     Lee Stanley, a senior LB, led the team in tackles with 83 on the season, while Milton Brown finished with 71. They were the only two defenders to finish in the PFL top 20 in tackles. The Camels did not apply any pressure up front last fall, so that is an area that will have to be addressed this fall in camp. Paul Pizzuti led all defenders with 6 passes defended in the secondary, but he had very little other help, and nobody had more than one pick all season.
     Adam Willits was erratic at PK, having only made 9 of 15 FG attempts on the season. The Camels will need more scoring out of him next fall when he is a senior. Ted Moore finished second in punting, with an average of 40.28 yards per punt on the season. Moore returns next fall as well.

Butler Bulldogs
2010 Record: 4-7 (2-6), Tied 7th
2010 Postseason: None
     Andrew Huck gave it his all at QB for the Bulldogs, but it wasn't enough in the end. Huck, a junior, passed for 1865 yards and 12 TDs, with only 7 picks on the season. He ended up as the 5th best QB in the PFL, so there is room to grow as a senior. The run game was dreadful. As Scott Gray led the team with only 442 yards, which averaged out to 55.2 yards per game. He also only scored twice all season. Matt Kobli was the scoring leader, as he rushed for 6 TDs. The Bulldogs did have two receivers pass 50 catches last season. Zach Watkins was the leader, as he posted a line of 68-703-3, and he was joined by Jordan Koopman, who posted 50-536-3.
     Sophomore LB Jordan Ridley finished 7th in the nation in tackles made last fall, as he led the PFL with 130 on the season. Ridley was the only Bulldog in the top 20, so many defenders basically watched him do all of the work last fall. Grant Hunter finished with 10 TFLs last fall, and Ridley collected 9.5, just missing double figures. Hunter led the team with only 4 sacks, so there is very little pressure on opposing QBs. There was very little playmaking in the secondary as well, as nobody finshed in the top 30 in passes defended. Ridley tied with Logan Sullivan and Jack McKenna for the INT lead with 2 each.
     David Lang attempted more FGs than anyone in the PFL (23) but only hit 14 of them last season as a junior.

Valparaiso Crusaders
2010 Record: 0-11 (0-8), 10th
Postseason: None
     I have to be honest. I don't know why Valpo fieds a football team. They are not competitive, are not playing on a level where they can ever dream of winning, and their facilities are garbage. High schools have nicer home fields than the Crusaders have. They aren't even trying. They gave up 27 or more points in 10 of 11 games last fall, and gave up 86 points in a loss to Jacksonville. Their average margin of defeat was 37.64 points per game, and they lost to St. Joseph's of Indiana by 43 points. I just have nothing more to say about this program other than they are simply wasting their time to field this program at all.
That is all.