Sunday, July 17, 2011
Great Northwest 2011 Preview
Central Washington Wildcats
2010 Record: 8-3
The Wildcats won 6 of 7 to finish last season after a rough start. Ryan Robertson returns at QB after passing for 2203 yards and 15 TDs last season as a sophomore. It will be his job to take it to the next level and get the Wildcats into the playoffs, but the competition in their district will be tough. Ishmail Stinson returns at RB, but only rushed for 467 yards and 4 scores. TE Demetrius Guice returns as the best receiver left over from last fall, but both starting WRs must be replaced. The entire LB corps must be replaced, and that hurts as they were the 3 leading tacklers as well. Eugene Germany, the sack leader at DE, must be replaced as well. Andrew Oney will have to be the man up front, as he collected 12.5 TFLs last fall. Stan Langlow, a sophomore, led the conference with 7 picks last season.
Season Opener: 9/2 Texas A&M-Kingsville
Dixie State Red Storm
2010 Record: 2-8
The transition from JC to D2 has been bumpy. Cody Stevenson showed some promise at QB last fall as a freshman, passing for 1707 yards and 16 TDs. He must reduce his 11 picks on the season. Jesse Ence returns at RB, but gives you very little. The top 3 receivers must be replaced, as do the top three tacklers, including LB Keauntea Bankhead, who finished 4th in the nation with 11.44 tackles per game. Much will be depended on with returning seniors Christian Case, Nick Porrazzo, John Godinet, and sophomore Chris Aragon. The defense gave up 40 or more points 5 times.
Season Opener: 9/3 Adams State
Humboldt State Lumberjacks
2010 Record: 8-3
The Jacks had a solid season in 2010, but lost 2 of their final 4 games last fall. Mike Proulx returns for his senior season after passing for 17 TDs last season. RB Lyndon Rowells is the big star, having rushed for 1309 yards and 15 scores in 2010. He is a senior this fall. WR Patrick Gondkoff returns as the top WR. Jonathon Faraimo returns at LB after leading the Jacks in tackles with 66 last fall, but they lose their top two DBs from last season.
Season Opener: 9/1 Mesa State
Simon Fraser Clan
2010 Record: 1-9
The clan is still making the transformation from CIS (Canada) to NCAA D2 football, and last season was a massacre. The Clan gave up 30 or more points 7 times, including a season capping 66 to Humboldt State. Look for another bumpy ride as the transition continues, but they won't be down forever.
Season Opener: @ Southern Oregon
Western Oregon Wolves
2010 Record: 7-4
The Wolves are still seeking a solid QB answer coming into fall camp, and that could be problematic, as the run game is not particularly strong. Trevor Roush is the leading returning RB, but was only good for 192 yards last fall, and the Wolves lose their top two rushers from 2010. Trevor Gates will elevate to the number one WR spot, as he was third last fall. Again, the Wolves lose their top two receivers, and they also lose their top tackler from a season ago. Scotland Foss, a junior LB, will take over as the defensive team leader after collecting 88 tackles last fall. Gustave Benthin will apply pressure up front, as he finished with 11 TFLs last fall. Bryce Peila gives the Wolves stability in the secondary coming off of a 6 pick season. The Wolves do lose Caleb Singleton, who also had 6 picks in 2010.
Season Opener: 9/1 @ Grand Valley State