Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MEAC 2010 Review

Bethune-Cookman Wildcats
2010 Record: 10-2 (8-1), 1st MEAC
Postseason: 1st Round, Lost to New Hampshire 45-20
     Matt Johnson led the Wildcats to their best season ever, and he carried the offense on his back, having led the team in passing and rushing last fall. Johnson passed for 2053 yards and 14 TDs, while only tossing 5 picks last fall. He also added another 504 yards rushing and scored another 7 TDs on the ground. Bethune-Cookman rode him to the MEAC title and a playoff birth, but it was apparent that the Wildcats were running short on fuel, as they finished their season with consecutive losses to Florida A&M and New Hampshire.Isidore Jackson and Androse Bell gave the Cats some depth on offense, as both rushed for 8 TDs, but neither hit the 500 yard mark. Eddie Poole was the second best receiver on the roster, but led the Cats with 8 Td catches, while Je Vaughan Reams actually led the team in receiving with a line of 41-714-2. In all, the Wildcats averaged a very respectable 425.6 yards per game on offense, while the dfense held strong in giving up 322 yards per game. The Cats were very strong against the pass, only allowing 174 yards per game through the air.
     Ryan Lewis and Reggie Sandilands both finished in the MEAC top 20 in tackles, as Lewis collected an average of 6.75 per game and Sandilands averaged 6.67. Lewis led the team in TFLs as well, as he had the 9th best total of TFLs in the conference with 14, and Ryan Davis tied him at that number. Sandilands collected 11.5 TFLs. Davis led the team with 6.5 sacks on the season. Dion Hanks and Daniel Rhodes both finished in the top 10 in passes defended, as Hanks finished with 8 and Rhodes knocked away 9. Arkee Smith (5 picks), Lewis (4), and Michael Williams (6) all finished in the MEAC top 10 for interceptions last fall.

South Carolina State Bulldogs
2010 Record: 9-3 (7-1), Tied 2nd
2010 Postseason: 1st Round Playoffs, Lost to Georgia Southern 41-16
     The Bulldogs made history by becoming the second team in the playoffs from the MEAC, a feet never before reached by the league. The Bulldogs were solid all season long, but fell short when they met up with Bethune-Cookman straight up, losing 14-0. Malcolm Long Was not the best QB that the Bulldogs have ever had, as he passed for only 1875 yards witha 9/12 ratio. That was a serious shortcoming in the end. Chris Massey (606) and Asheton Jordan (602) both hit the 600 yard mark, but SC State would have been better by sticking with a primary back system. Massey scored 6 TDs, while Jordan scored 5. Lennel Elmore was the receiving leader, as he posted a line of 48-595-2, but nobody had more than 2 TD receptions on the roster.
      The Bulldogs won on defense. They only allowed 209 yards of offense per game. They allowed only 117.6 yards passing per game, and only allowed 91.4 yards rushing per game, and this was one of the most dominant defenses in FCS football last fall. David Erby (96 tackles), and Donovan Richard (93) both finished in the top ten in tackles in the MEAC, with Erby ranking 7th, and Richard ranking 8th in the league. Pat Washington finished with 17 TFLs on the season, and Erby joined him in the top 10 with 14.5 on the season. Donovan Richard ended up with 12 out of the secondary. Washington led the team with 8 sacks, while Erby collected 7. Junior PK Blake Erickson was one of the best in the nation, as he nailed 18 of his 21 FG attempts last fall, good for 1st in the MEAC in percentage with 85.7%.

Florida A&M Rattlers
2010 Record: 8-3 (7-1), Tied 2nd
2010 Postseason: None
     The Rattlers were the only team in America to have beaten Bethune-Cookman during the regular season, winning b a final of 38-27 to finish the season on a 6 game winning streak. Martin Ukpai was horrible at QB for A&M, as he only passed for 908 yards and 4 TDs in 9 games. Austin Trainor was not much better, passing for 580 yards and a 2/5 ratio. Philip Sylvestor had a solid season running the ball, having finished with 902 yards in 9 games. He scored 10 times, and Lonvontae Page rushed for 6 more scores on the season.With a struggling passing attack, the receivers ended up struggling as well. Antonio Lawrence was the leader with only 26 receptions on the season for 395 yards and 3 scores.
     Defensively, the Rattlers were hard pressed to find a star tackler, as nobody ranked in the conference top 20. This is despite the fact that their defense was actually quite good. A&M only allowed 165.2 yards passing per game, but they were a little light against the run, allowing 152 yards per game. Qier Hall (59) and Demarious Folsom (58) were the leading tacklers for the Rattlers. Folsom also led the defense with 10 TFLs on the season, but nobody else got close to joining him, and he only ranked 17th in the MEAC. Jerry Willis led the team with a very below average 4.5 sacks on the season, despite the Rattlers pass defense successes. Hall led the team with 8 passes defended on the season, while Curtis Holcomb's 3 picks led the team.
     Trevor Scott will return in 2011 as the PK, as he comes off a season in which he went 10 for 14 on FGs. More will be expected of him next fall. Brandon Holdren led the conference with his 40.06 yards punting average, but he was the only player in the conference to go over 40 yards on average at all. James Owens averaged 25 yards per kickoff return as a sophomore last fall, and Antonio Lawrence averaged 9.82 yards on punt returns to give the Rattlers an effective special teams unit.

Hampton Pirates
2010 Record: 6-5 (6-3), 4th
2010 Postseason: None
      Hampton did not win a single game outside of MEAC play last fall, as they lost to non-conference foes in Central Michigan and Old Dominion. The Pirates were on target to compete for the conference crown last fall, but hit a major road block during late season that saw the Pirates go on a 4 game losing streak that made them an also ran. They finished strong by taking out Morgan State 21-16, but the damage had been done.
     David Legree was the signal caller last fall, and he did not exactly light it on fire, finishing with 1679 yards and a 9/7 ratio. Legree was a junior, but needs major improvement in his game to move Hampton forward in 2011. Antwon Chisholm was the leading rusher, but again, the output was purely average at best, as he finished with 607 yards and just 4 TDs on the year, good for 8th in the MEAC amongst 11 starting backs. Javaris Brown (40-639-5), Donte Davis (28-366-2), and Isaiah Thomas (29-315-2) all were MEAC top 20 receivers on the season despite the struggles of Legree. That does not say much about the state of MEAC offenses.
     The defense, on the other hand, was electrifying. Hampton only allowed 141.6 yards passing per game, and only allowed 129.8 yards rushing per game. That is terrific, but you also have to consider that the league was not full of offensive juggernaut football teams. The Pirates placed 5 defenders in the MEAC top 20 tacklers, led by Kenrick Ellis with 94. He was followed by Darius Johnson (9.09 per game), Brandon Peguese (7.73), Jacobi Fenner (7.09), and Ricardo Silva (6.73). The Pirates also boasted two of the most active front 7 players in the country, as Brandon Peguese finished with 23.5 TFLs, and Ellis finished with 15. They finished 2nd and 3rd in the MEAC in that area. Peguese led the team with 8 sacks, good for 2nd in the conference. Hampton was very active against the pass as well, and Micah Pellerin (14) and Romeo Pellum (13) were 1 and 2 in the MEAC for passes defended. Ricardo Silva was also top 15 with 7 on the season, and he led the team with 4 picks, taking one in for a score.
     Special teams were a disaster for the Pirates, and will have to be one of the most worked on areas in fall camp.

Norfolk State Spartans
2010 Record: 6-5 (4-4), 5th
2010 Postseason: None
     The Spartans were one of the best teams closing in 2010, as they finished on a 4 game winning streak, but they started on a 2-5 run that destroyed their chances in for making a serious run at the top. The run also came against the weakest part of their schedule, as none of those wins came against teams with winning records, and in fact two of those wins came against double digit losers in Howard and Savannah State.
     Strangely enough, NSU had the second best passer in the MEAC in Chris Walley, who passed for 1859 yards and a 10/8 ratio. Walley returns in 2011 as a senior, and he will be expected to lead the pack with Bethune's Matt Johnson gone to the CFL ahead of him. The Spartans had the league's best RB last fall in DeAngelo Branche, as the senior rushed for 1330 yards and a very solid 13 TDs. His numbers were good enough to have him ranked 8th in the FCS in rushing last fall. Replacing him is going to be very difficult in 2011. Norfolk will have a quality receiving duo in 2011, as Victor Hairston (52-580-2) and Reggie Garrett (30-436-3) both return. Hairston finished 5th in receiving yardage, while Garrett was 10th in the MEAC.
     Norfolk State was, like many MEAC clubs, a dominant defensive force. The Spartans allowed only 153.6 yards passing per game, and held opposing run games under the bar with 130.5 yards rushing per game. Corwun Hammond, a junior LB, led the team with 76 tackles on the season, the only Spartan to make top 20 despite their successes as a team. Josh Turner and Ray Jennings both finished with 12 TFLs up front, whil Hammond came in just under them with 11 on the year, but Jennings, with only 5 sacks, led the team. Jamie Short led the team with 8 passes defended, while Dante Barnes knocked away 5 passes last fall, but nobody had more than 2 picks, and that was Barnes.
     Ryan Estep will have more asked of him in the kicking game, as he only hit on 11 of 16 FGs, failing to hit 70%. He will be a senior in 2011. The rest of the special teams areas were a mess.

Morgan State Bears
2010 Record: 4-7 (3-5), 6th
2010 Postseason: None
     The Bears have been bad for a very long time now, and 2010 was no different for them. They finished 2010 on a 4 game losing streak that saw any hope of a .500 finish demolished before their very eyes. As with Norfolk State, their wins came against very unimpressive opponents.
     The offense was putrid, as the Bears only averaged 216.5 yards per game, and only scored 16 TDs all season while the defense gave up 36. Delonte Williams and Donovan Dickerson shared the QB duties, but neither were good at any rate, with Williams only passing for 830 yards and a 5/9 ratio, and with Dickerson passing for a miserable 397 yards in just 5 games, with a heinous 1/8 ratio. The Bears were also held to just 104.9 yards rushing per game, so nobody stood out there either. David Brown was the leading rusher, with just 439 yards and 2 scores. He only carried the ball 77 times all season. Chuka Okakpu (28-325-4) and Winfred Diggs (29-322-1) were the receiving leaders, and barely cracked the MEAC top 20.
     The pass defense was not bad, as Morgan State only allowed 179.2 yards passing per game, but they were loose against the run, giving up 155.8 yards per game. Three Bears tacklers cracked the MEAC top 20 in Allen Stephens (65), Dominick Bryan (59), and Reshaude Miller (67). Bryan missed two games last fall. Stephens was the only defender to break double digits in TFLs with 11.5, good for 5th in the MEAC, but Justin Young's 3.5 sacks led the team, which is not good. Joe Rankin was a bright spot in the secondary, as he defended 9 passes last fall, but Miller led the club with 5 picks on the season.
     One other bright spot was the play of PK Kemar Scarlett, as he hhit 18 FGs last fall in 24 attempts. Scoring had to come from somewhere.

Delaware State Hornets
2010 Record: 3-8 (3-6), 7th
2010 Postseason: None
     The Hornets began 2010 by losing 6 of their first 7 games, and that was that. The ride was over before it even began, and Al Lavan payed the price as he was fired after the season ended. Kermit Blount will be the latest in a line of coaches that will try to set this ship right.
     Passing was a strongsuit on offense, as the Hornets averaged 248.9 yards per game through the air. QB Anthony Glaud was the MEAC passing leader, as he finished with 2175 yards and 15 TDs, with just 9 picks. Glaud was good for 12.79 yards per completion last season, as the Hornets went verticle with the passing game often. The Hornets were not adept or deep inthe run game, however, as they only averaged 93.4 yards per game on the ground. They were led by Jaashawn Jones, who rushed for 738 yards and 4 scores, but there was virtually nothing behind him in the attack, or lack thereof. Justin Wilson, a sophomore, led the league in receiving, as he posted 59-937-11 on the season for the Hornets. He was joined in the MEAC top ten by Larrone Moore, who posted 24-450-4.
     The defense was solid against the pass, but not tremendous, as they allowed 188.1 yards per game through the air, but the Hornets were shredded on the ground, allowing 196.4 yards per game rushing. Three defenders cracked the top 20 in tackles for the MEAC, and they were led by Andre Carroll (96). He was followed by Brandon Harvey (83) and Kevin Green (68). Only Harvey returns next season from that group.Carroll led the team with 13 TFLs last season, and the only other defender to join him in double figures was Olusegun Ayanbiola with 10. Ayanbiola led the team with 5 sacks last fall.Francis Adjei was 3rd in the conference in passes defended, as he finished with 12. Matt Spicer joined him in the top 20 with 6 of his own, but Adjei also led the team with only 2 picks last fall.
     Moore led the MEAC in kick returns last fall, as he averaged 34.8 yards per return, and he accumulated 522 total yards on returns, and scored twice. The rest of the special teams play was pure crap.

North Carolina Central Eagles
2010 Record: 3-8, Ineligible for conference title
2010 Postseason: None
     The Eagles were still transitioning from D2 last season, and they did not play a full MEAC schedule. They dive in head first in 2011, but will do so with former Prairie View Coach Henry Frazier running the show after they released Mose Rison during last season. NCC finished out by losing 6 of 7, and so a change was needed if the Eagles hope to fly high in their new conference home. It's going to take some time.
     Michael Johnson started 8 games at QB, and missed 3. He was not special when he was there, passing for 1179 yards and only 6 TDs with 8 picks. Keon Williams played in 5 games, passing for 334 yards and a 5/3 ratio. Frazier will have to find a leader here, and stick with him next fall. The run game was very ineffective, as Tim Shankle led the club with only 569 yards, but he did score 7 times. Tony McCord was the second back, and rushed for 431 yards, but was only good for 39.2 yards per game. Geovonie Irvine was the main attraction in the receiving game, as he posted a solid line of 53-758-5, but only McCord joined him as having caught as many as 20 balls last fall.
     Defensively, the Eagles were an enigma at best. They gave up 200 yards even per game through the air, but held on against the run, having allowed 147.7 yards per game. Not great,but it could have been worse.
     NCC needs to find conistency, and Frazier should bring that as he comes off of a very succesful run for Prairie View.

North Carolina A&T Aggies
2010 Record: 1-10 (1-8), 9th
2010 Postseason: None
     The Aggie program is in disaster mode. It's been a long run of bad seasons, and the wheels are now completely and totally off of the wagon. The most wins that the Aggies have won in a season in the last six years was four. They have gone winless twice in that span, and also are credited with last season's one win wonder. It's not getting done at A&T. Rod Broadway will now be the latest coach to try and take a shot at turning this thing around, but the track record is not good.
    George Hines and Shelton morgan split the season at QB, but they were both awful. Hines passed for 602 yards in 5 games, and finished with a 3/6 ratio while only completing 41.8% of his passes. Morgan passed for 576 yards in 6 games, and ended up with a 2/5 ratio while only completing 45.3% of his passes. The position is in dire straights. Mike Mayhew was the only thing worthy of being excited about on offense, as the junior RB rushed for 1082 yards and 7 scores. He ranked 23rd in the nation in rushing last fall. Wallace Miles was the only thing going at receiver, as he posted a line of 34-508-2, good for 8th in the conference.
     Defensively, the Aggies gave up only 144.8 yards passing per game, but teams ran like hell on them, as the Aggies gave up 233.6 yards per game on the ground. The Aggies played chase all day long on D, and ended up with 3 defenders in the MEAC top 20 in tackles. Brandon Jackson led the conference in tackles with 104, or 9.45 per game.Jeremy Graham was 6th, with 91, and he was followed by Justin Ferrell with 79. Graham and Jackson were a two man show up front, as Graham led the team with 11 TFLs, while Jackson finished with 10. Graham also led the team with a very pedestrian 5 sacks. D'Vonte Graham and Donald Dorsey were the primary playmakers against the pass, as Graham led the team with 8 passes defended, with Dorsey following him with 5. D'Vonte Graham also led the MEAC with 7 picks on the season.
     Torrian Warren finished with an average of 27.06 yards on kick returns with a score, while Justin Ferrell averaged 26.69 yards per return with a pair of scores to his credit last fall. The kicking game was a mess and needs to be rebuilt.

Howard Bison
2010 Record: 1-10 (0-8), 10th
2010 Postseason: None
     Howard was once again, predictably, a mess in 2010. Their one win came against D2 weakling Lincoln (PA), and they gave up 50 or more points 5 times. The offense was held to 21 points or less 8 times last fall, and everything is clouded over for the foreseeable future in DC.
     Terry Bradden and Randy Liggins shared QB duties, but as one would expect, neither flourished or came remotely close to success. Bradden passed for 705 yards in 5 games, but finished with a 4/6 ratio. Liggins had similar results, passing for 684 yards in 8 games, with an awful 3/9 ratio. Charles Brice was the rushing leader, but only ran for 447 yards and 6 scores, while only playing in 7 games. Only two Bison receivers could claim 20 or more receptions last fall. Willie Carter was the default leader (29-563-3), and was followed by Brandon Drayton (21-226-2). When the dust settled, Howard had only averaged 262.8 yards per game of offense for all of 2010.
     Sophomore LB Keith Pough gave Bison fans a reason to be happy at times last fall, as he finished 3rd in the MEAC with 100 tackles on the season. His real success came in pressuring opposing backfields, as he led the nation in TFLs wth 28.5 for the year. Junior DE Sakie Kerkulah cleaned up nicely when Pough was doubled up, collecting 13 of his own. Pough also finished 10th in the nation in sacks, where he collected 10.5 in 11 games. DeCarlos Knight, Lanny Kelly, and Curtis Simmons all had solid seasons in the secondary, as Knight finished with 9 passes defended, and Kelly and Simmons finished with 7 each. All three return next fall. Kelly led the team with 3 picks.

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