Monday, July 11, 2011
CIAA 2011 Preview
Bowie State Bulldogs
2010 Record: 6-4 (6-2)
Clifton Budd converted from WR to play QB, and it took, as he passed for 16 TDs and 1538 yards last fall. Unfortunately, Budd was also the leading rusher with 371 yards. Someone will have to step up at RB. James Proctor will be the leading receiver returning, and was a converted DB last season.
The Bulldogs lost their top tacklers from a season ago, and depth was incredibly thin, so there could be some major issues. Kenneth Turner returns in the secondary after defending 13 passes last fall. Mike Gagne returns at PK, but has to be better than 4 of 10 as he was last season. Gagne also will handle the punting duties.
Season Opener: 9/3 @ Assumption
2010 Record: 3-7 (3-5)
The Hawks were absolutely horrible on defense last fall, giving up 34 points or more seven times. Rich Simpson was converted from RB to play QB as a freshman, but he never developed into t true threat. Elliott Smalls returns as the leading rusher for the Hawks with 646 yards and 5 scores. Robert Holland is the leading receiver, having posted 65-804-7.
Marc McCadden is the leader on defense, as he recorded 6 sacks last season. Dekorian Dessame will lead the secondary as a sophomore.
Special Teams are not so special.
Season Opener: 9/1 Livingstone
Elizabeth City State Vikings
2010 Record: 6-4 (5-4)
Creven Powell will return as a senior at QB this fall after passing for 1662 yards and 10 scores last fall. Daronte McNeill had a fantastic campaign at RB last season, having rushed for 1321 yards and 10 TDs, good for 7th in the nation. Billy Wiggins is the leading returning receiver.
DeWitt Dixon leads a very thin defense that was short on major play makers last fall. Losing Malcolm Jenkins up front is huge, as is losing Zavis Padgett in the secondary. Those holes may be costly for the Vikings this season, as there was very little talent behind them.
Season Opener: 8/27 @ Delta State
Lincoln (PA) Lions
2010 Record: 1-9 (0-7)
The Lions are one of the worst programs in D2 these days. Laquan Williams returns at QB, but was awful in 2010, tossing 12 picks in 8 games. Williams was also the rushing leader with just 247 yards. Matt Coston could probably play for other programs at WR, and is coming off of a 41-633-6 season.
Brucelee Sterile led the team in tackles at LB, and was good for 90 tackles on the season. Brandon McElwee will team with him to give the Lions some semblance of defense. Kwaheem Smith finished second in the conference with 4 picks.
Season Opener: @ Cheyney
Virginia State Trojans
2010 Record: 8-3 (7-2)
VSU had a solid campaign last fall, but will need QB Jarred Battle to improve on his 12 picks to get better. Battle passed for 1583 yards and did toss 10 TDs. Antwain Lyde returns at RB after rushing for 684 yards and 6 scores last fall, but top receiver Brian Berry is gone.
Jeremy Pruitt is the defensive leader after collecting 82 tackles last season at LB. Timothy Durant added 8 sacks,and DB Howard Spencer returns after defending 9 passes.
Season Opener: 9/3 @ Norfolk State
Virginia Union Panthers
2010 Record: 3-7 (3-7)
VUU had a rough time last season. 3 losses came by 3 points or less, which would have made some difference. The passing game is almost non-existent.Jerell Washington rushed for 817 yards and 9 scores, and will return to run the offense. Joseph Jean-Pierre led the conference in receiving, posting 52-1019-7 on the season.
The Panthers lost their top three tacklers from a season ago, and on this level, that could be catastrophic.
Season Opener: 8/27 St. Augustine's
Fayetville State Broncos
2010 Record: 5-5 (5-4)
The Broncos won three straight to finished last season at .500. Robert Benjamin returns at QB, after passing for 1550 yards and 19 TDs last fall. Benjamin added 5 more TDs rushing and is the leading returning runner as well.
Andre Lyles will lead the defense from the secondary, as he is the leading returning tackler with 69. Lyles also defended 9 passes last fall.
Season Opener: 9/3 UNC-Pembroke
Johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls
2010 Record: 2-8 (1-6)
JCS is not one of the better CIAA squads in football, and gave up 34 or more points 7 times last fall. There is very little depth on offense, and the loss of conference leading QB Ryan Carter could be a tough issue.
There is a total lack of play makers on the defensive side as well, making it impossible to figure out how this team will win any games at all in 2011.
Season Opener: 9/3 West Virginia State
Livingstone Blue Bears
2010 Record: 0-11 (0-8)
The Bears were a train wreck last fall, with zero productivity at QB at all, and there is nothing good coming back to speak of. The run game was even more absent than the pass.
Bryan Aycoth returns at LB, and led the team in tackles last fall with 67. Jerrell Gaynor, a DB, may be the best player on the team, as he defended 11 passes last fall.
Season Opener: 9/1 @ Chowan
St. Augustine's Falcons
2010 Record: 9-2 (6-1)
The Falcons were very strong last fall, but Joaquin Green had his struggles, passing for 10 TDs but also tossing 10 picks. The loss of Walter Sanders, the nation's 4th best rusher with 1377 yards and 15 TDs, could be extremely painful. Jamain Smith is the leading returning receiver with 540 yards and 2 scores.
Ashanti Robinson will be the team leader this fall. Robinson was 2nd on the team last season with 82 tackles. Joseph reed finished with 13 TFLs on the season.
Season Opener: 8/27 @ Virginia Union
2010 Record: 9-3 (9-0)
Shaw was the conference champ last fall, and had a great run until falling in the playoffs to Shepherd. The loss wasn't even close, as they fell 40-6. The Bears are starting over again at QB and RB. Tyrone Craig will move into the number one receiver slot after racking up 532 yards and 8 scores last fall.
Darnell Evans was the DB of the Year as a freshman last fall after defending a whopping 18 passes on the season. He also picked off 6 passes.
Season Opener: 9/3 @ Stillman
Winston-Salem State Rams
2010 Record: 8-2 (6-2)
The Rams returned home to the CIAA after a brief flirtation with FCS football and the MEAC. The Rams welcomed themselves home by winning 8 games. Kemeron Smith returns after tossing 20 TD passes last fall. Tevin Brantley will be his top target after he posted 38-608-5 last fall as a freshman. Dominique Fitzgerald will also be a nice target, having posted 35-535-5.
Nicholas Cooper returns at RB, after rushing for 1134 yards and 15 TDs last fall.
Cameron Demps will lead the defense, as the DB knocked away 8 passes last season.
Season Opener: 9/3 @ Elizabeth City State