Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by Jayrah, May 10, 2011.
:2016 Preseason Outlook:
The Aggies come into the 2016 season with some high aspirations, after yet another setback in a bowl game under Coach (Jayrah) Davis. And this is the year to have them. Loaded with 26 seniors, some young talent with speed and a 7 game home schedule, Texas A&M is trying to finally get back to the Big 12 Conference Championship Game.
The team is anchored by 2 Srs, 2 Jrs and 1 Soph in their line. Although they're a makeshift line, they do possess some decent talent across the board with anywhere from 80 to 90 ratings which will help utilize the abilities of their 2 talented senior running backs Fry (90 spd 92 brk tckl) and Neal (89 spd 91 brk tckl). The 2 rbs were tough to stop last season and both had tremendous offseasons to bulk up and get faster.
Qb Alfred Howell is back for his Senior year and while he does not possess game changing ability, he has been very solid from a game management standpoint. His biggest asset is that he has started games in each of his first 3 seasons, and is very comfortable with his offensive unit. This includes the receiving corps, which is anchored by Jr playmaker Jason Johnson, who is considered the best all around player on the team, though he is not the fastest (88 spd). However he will have plenty of help, as senior speedsters Nolan Washington (95 spd) and Ernest Wood (93 spd 98 aware) will stretch the field vertically. At 250 lbs, Washington is also bigger than most LB's, so he has been able to utilize the middle of the field for his qb, and will do that again this year.
The Aggie defense finally has help in the defensive backfield with added speed to the mix this season, and a perfect blend of veteran and underclassmen. Soph Jerry Harris had a great season as a freshman and will make even more plays this year, as the cb's should hold their own while covering the spread offenses and wrs they will face. Excitement is also abounding for freshman cb Jerrell Wise, who will get to play a lot but won't have to be on any premier wrs as the 3rd cb.
The Lb's are anchored by 3 seniors, Kendrick in the middle and Jean and Hamilton on the outside. For a LB corps, they possess tremendous speed and playmaking ability. Freshman OLB Larry Murray will be a star in the making this year, as he'll get some time at MLB as well. The only problem with Larry is that he is a slower LB than the rest at only 79 rated speed.
The D-Line returns All American End Spencer West and will likely just need to occupy space for the LB's to do their thing this year. It will be different than the past couple seasons, as the line has been responsible for holding the fort. A few sacks would be nice though.
2016 Illinois Fighting Illini
Illinois had a very tumultuous 2015 season, but ended it with a bang by crushing Florida 45-10 in the Gator Bowl. Coach Cheez hopes that the win over a big program will jump the Illini from mediocrity to relevance in the 2016 season. Any spark they can get is helpful, because Illinois will play their first 5 games against teams ranked in the preseason top 25 - four of them on the road including at Michigan and at Penn State. The only home game in that stretch: vs. Alabama.
Offense was a big issue last year, as at times it felt like the Illini were lost on the field. Between the different lineups Coach Cheez was posting every week to the injuries that altered them, the team really never felt cohesive. Starting at QB, it took until week 8 for a QB to play an entire game without getting hurt. Both Dan Battle and David Blake were injury-prone last year, giving both of them ample playing time in the others' absence. This year, Coach Cheez is going to go with Battle as his QB - but he will be on a short leash with Blake and junior Nathan Carter waiting in the wings if he struggles.
HB is likely the deepest position the Illini have on their roster, and Illinois hopes to exploit it. Last year's rushing leader Renaldo James has been redshirted, to give 3 other backs a chance to shine while giving James one extra year in Champaign. Senior Jon Justice and Junior Willy Jackson will be splitting time in the backfield, with Terrell Gibson getting some carries in a backup role as well. Furthermore, senior Brandon Mclaughlin will be fielding kicks for Illinois.
The WR position was hit hard in the offseason, with 2 impact players graduating. Illinois will be looking at a troop of younger guys to fill the void, led by junior Greg Fernandez. Fernandez made 25 catches for 606 yards last year, but was right with the team leaders in touchdowns (7). How he will adjust to his role on the outside is anyone's guess, but he figures to feature prominently in the Illini passing attack.
The Illini Defense had 2 major playmakers last year - and they both graduated. Illinois finished with last season with a defensive end who led the nation in sacks, and a MLB who was 4th in the nation in tackles. It will be interesting to see if Illinois can find a way to generate similar production in those roles. Taking over at left end: freshman Sean Nixon. Needless to say, he has big shoes to fill, but Coach Cheez has guaranteed at least 10 sacks from him barring injury. At MLB, senior Brian James. James has not seen much action in his 5 years in Champaign, amassing only 5 tackles during his stay. After earning the spot in camp, Coach Cheez hopes that he can lead the Illini defense which at times struggled versus the pass.
Speaking of the Illini pass defense, The Illini have five senior corners this year. A couple have been redshirted, but this is a veteran group who have been playing together their entire time at Illinois. With that experience, Illinois is hoping that they can shut down the passing game and force teams to run the ball more often. Coach Cheez is still haunted by a near perfect passing attack at Oregon State, where the Beaver QB completed 21 of 24 passes. The only three incompletions: a dropped pass, a Hail Mary at the end of the half, and an interception to help give the Illini the win.
With all-conference kicker Bernard Weddle gone, Illinois is turning to sophomore Jermaine Graves to fill in. Graves has seen little action in his first two years, but he has a decent leg which could come in handy if the Illini are struggling on offense.
2016 Fighting Illini Schedule
Week 1: at #2 Oregon
Week 2: #6 Alabama
Week 3: at #25 Oregon State
Week 4: Bye
Week 5: at #11 Penn State
Week 6: at #21 Michigan
Week 7: Minnesota (Homecoming)
Week 8: Indiana (Alumni Day)
Week 9: at #3 Wisconsin
Week 10: Iowa
Week 11: #5 Notre Dame
Week 12: #1 Ohio State (Senior Day)
Week 13: at Northwestern
Week 14: Bye
Week 15: Bye
Bowl Week: TBD
Prediction: 6-6 (5-3)
2016 Wisconsin Baders
There's many speculations on what offense the Badgers will be running this season. What wont be an issue is who the starting QB will be. Herron takes the reigns and looks to sling the ball all over the field after a great offseason. The backfield is an issue. After starter Bain, there is a big dropoff in skill. The Badgers have had a hard time trying to get top HB prospects to sign with them (thanks OSU, Bama, and anyone else who has jewed me out of a HB as of late). Holman has shown promise in mop up duty, but has yet to go a full season as a regular in the rotation. The star of the offense will be WR Ward. He's seen playing time ever since his freshman year at the slot, and is now the go to man. He's flanked by WR Thomas, who can make the catch in key third down plays. The offensive line boasts 4 seniors and a former 5 star sophomore, which should help out the lack of skill in the backfield.
2 all of a sudden departures in the defensive line has turned a strength into a question mark. DE Smith gained 12 sacks last season, but was used only in passing situations. He has yet to play as a starter. The DTs are inexperienced, so some shuffling might be done through the season. The LB corps are fast and quick, and look to bail out the defensive line if need be. The entire secondary is built of brand new faces. The Badgers were lucky to sign 5 star SS Dixon in the offseason, as they had no one to fill the void going in. Facing passing teams might pose a challenge for the defense.
The schedule has never been easy to start off the season for the Badgers. Their first half of the season is against teams in the top 25 preseason poll. The road to the Big 10, and possibly national championship, runs through Ohio St once again come week 6. The Buckeyes embarrassed the Badgers last season, but this time the Badgers have home field advantage playing at Camp Randall, which will help them out. Wisconsin looks for their first national championship under Coach Mexi, as the chances of getting one are starting to run out.
2016 Texas TrippleHorns
Super Star QB Brian Holman is back! Although, 12 other 2015 starters are not. 11 of which rated out in the 99th percentile at their respected positions. Texas has some talent to retool with but certainly not as much as they did a year ago.
Last year Texas only dipped their toes in the well of the TrippleHorn offense, featuring many sets outside of the trippleHorn. This year opponents can expect to get non-stop TrippleHorn action.
2016 UCLA Bruins
The Bruins look to finally put together a full season, meaning a run at a BCS title. Thats right, the team is set, the schedule is tough but manageable. Nothing less than a Pac 10 championship will satisfy this squad in 2106.
Returning on offense is QB Alex McCray (93 OVR), HB's Sidney George (92 OVR) and Michael Childress (85 OVR), WR's Jon Allen (91 OVR) and Jermaine Brown (90 OVR) and TE Adam Wallace (83 OVR). This group of skilled players should score plenty of points in a variety of ways this season. With the HB combo of George and Childress, look for possibly 2 Bruins to crack the 1000 yard mark this season as the coach as really leaned on the run in the spring. The O-Line returns some solid players as well: LT Matt Jones (87 OVR), LG Paul Stovall (88 OVR), C Greg Utley (88 OVR), RG Kevin Austin (92 OVR) and RT Nathan Anderson (84 OVR).
On defense, the Bruins look to be about on par with last years squad, hopefully being slightly better against the pass with most of the secondary coming back as returning starters. On the D-Line, the Bruins return 2 starters from last years squad: RE Josh O'Neil (85 OVR) and DT Clint Moore (86 OVR). Senior Will Kennedy (88 OVR) will join Moore in the trench's while Sophomore DE Brian Marshall (77 OVR) will get the nod over Junior Josh Clark (75 OVR) on the end of the d-line. Cedric Bishop (91 OVR) MLB returns as the only starter from a season ago. He will be flanked by Senior Marques Jackson (89 OVR) on the strong side and Junior Stanford Davis (86 OVR) on the weak side. The seconday returns all 4 starters from a season ago: CB Mike Slater (85 OVR), CB Mitch Young (81 OVR), FS Joe Martinez (88 OVR) and SS Paul Spence (94 OVR). This weakness last season could be the Bruins strength in 2106.
Prediction: I don't make predictions...If I win great, if I lose, Cheez is keeping my chair warm in the losers lounge. But with this team, I have no reason to lose other than my stupid button pushing and play calling!
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