2017 CUSA East Division Primer

Discussion in 'The Dirty Dozen' started by CoachRedd, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. CoachRedd

    CoachRedd I come through in something real foolish

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    Before the new recruits get in and offseason ratings boosts take effect I'd like to give just a little preview of the East division from Coach Redd's perspective. I'm unfamiliar with the West so I left them alone for now. Every team gets one question going into the season and one thing to look forward to.
    Teams are in reverse order of predicted finish.

    eastern michigan.gif
    Last season Record: 1-11 (0-8)
    Key Player(s) Lost:C - Jamil Daniels
    Key Player Returning: QB - Richard Graham (last season - 135.7 QB Rating 87-135 [56%] 1303 Yards 7 TD 6 INT

    Question that needs answered: Can EMU find the right offensive scheme? EMU finished dead last in the league in scoring last year. The run first approach that Crumb used seemed to be the right answer to help shorten games and give his defense a rest, but scoring has got to be priority #1 this year.

    Thing to most look forward to: QB Richard Graham is 81 overall(pre offseason training) and should be able to really take a step forward this year and become the player EMU needs if he stays healthy.

    mtsu.gif
    Last season Record: 9-4 (5-3)
    Key Player(s) Lost: RB Sam Tanner, QB Richard Lundy
    Key Player Returning: TE Ray Fisher (1st Team all-CUSA)

    Question that needs answered: Now that MTSU doesnt have 80+ overalls to lean on at QB and RB, can the Blue Raiders sustain the success and field a competitive offense? The backup QB went 2-20 last year with 2 INTS. I think a 5th place finish in the East is the right prediction considering everyone but Ray Fisher left the offense.

    Thing to most look forward to: Ray Fisher scoring TD's and wreaking havoc on CUSA defenses for one more year.

    kentstate.gif
    Last Season Record: 10-3 (5-3)
    Key Player(s) Lost: TE Gerald Johnson, DE Adam Carter
    Key Player Returning: RB John Newby, QB Charlie Denman

    Question that needs answered: Coach Qwon has been quoted as saying the offense ran thru GJ with his superior blocking and receiving skills and his defense was lead by Carter's consistent pressure. Without his two anchors on both sides of the ball, can Kent State compete in the toughest divsion in the NCAA?

    Thing to most look forward to: The two headed monster that is Denman and Newby. They return 328 yards per game passing and 110 yards per game rushing, respectively.

    WKU.gif
    Last Season Record: 9-4 (5-3)
    Key Player(s) Lost: WR Shaun Griffin (NCAA records in receiving)
    Key Player(s) Returning: QB E.J. Hayden , SS Eddie Lewis(64 total tackles, 8 INT)

    Question that needs answered: Can WKU get past the East's elite and jump to the top spot? WKU seems to have the roster and coaching to contend for the East title but WMU and Army both defeated the Hilltoppers last year. Until WKU can find a way to beat his CUSA East opponents, they will continue to finish in the middle of the East Pack.

    Thing to most look forward to: QB E.J. Hayden throwing to 4 returning receivers with 400+ yards receiving. Hayden threw for a ridiculous amount of yards last year and the aerial attack should be back in full force this year.

    army.gif
    Last Season Record: 10-3 (5-3)
    Key Player(s) Lost: SS Patrick Sherman
    Key Player(s) Returning: QB Derrick Gates (220-310 3238 Yards 26 TDs)

    Question that needs answered: Can Army avoid the late season collapse of a year ago? Army was chugging along as a top ten team, with only one loss to WMU. Then, Army was upset twice by teams he shouldve beat. If Army can avoid the upset bug this year and win the games they are supposed to win, they should have a top 10 team.

    Thing to most look forward to: As with most other CUSA East Teams, Army returns a great QB in Derrick Gates. Gates connected on a ridiculous 70% of throws last year.

    western michigan.gif
    Last Season Record: 14-0 (9-0)
    Key Player(s) Lost: QB Adrian Pollock (1st team all-CUSA)
    Key Player(s) Returning: RB Travis Ruffin (2016 CUSA MVP)

    Question that needs answered: Is coach Nikpin able to keep WMU motivated and avoid the slipup? With WMU's dominance of CUSA of late, it will be easy to get complacent and slipup in a game or two this year. Whether WMU can avoid the let down is the key to the season because they will be favored in every game this year.

    Thing to most look forward to: This one is easy. 2016 CUSA MVP RB Travis Ruffin. Ruffin coming back a year stronger and faster will cause D-coordinators in CUSA to have nightmares. He is the leading candidate to retain MVP honors and if he avoids serious injury, should have a great year.
     
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  2. DirtycashDylan

    DirtycashDylan I came here to scheme and chew bubblegum...

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    Great stuff Coach
     
  3. hammerhead1010

    hammerhead1010 Walk On

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    Very good writeup sir (even though thats the same exact order we finished in this year if im not mistaken, Miss Cleo!)
     
  4. CoachRedd

    CoachRedd I come through in something real foolish

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    Haha I think you are right. I didnt even notice that.. and I almost put Kent State above WKU but I gave Dylan the nod because he beat Qwon last year.
     
  5. DirtycashDylan

    DirtycashDylan I came here to scheme and chew bubblegum...

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    FIFY
     
  6. CoachRedd

    CoachRedd I come through in something real foolish

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    And to be honest, 2-5 in the East all had the same conference record so its not like we were in that order. We were all tied in 2nd place.
     
  7. Bl0ndeRedHead

    Bl0ndeRedHead Official TSO Pothead

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    You better be playing Arky State this season. I don't buy the hype coming outta Murfreesboro one bit until I lose to you.
     
  8. TheCrumbIsHere

    TheCrumbIsHere Walk On

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    Excellent writeup. However, in my humble opinion the bigger problem with my team last year wasn't the offensive side of the ball as much as the defensive side of the ball. The 492 points allowed was the most by the Eagles over the course of the dynasty and honestly I think I could count the number of defensive stops I had in conference on one hand.

    It's quite tough to play when you know you have to literally score every single time because you have zero confidence in your defense making a single stop. Sure, I do realize that this league is very heavy on the offensive side of the ball but still most games have at least both defenses getting a couple stops at minimum. Plus when your defense gets zilch in terms of breaks in terms of turnovers(if I counted right, I think my defense caused 11 all year in 12 games and I'm pretty confident a good percentage of those were in my 4 CPU games), it compounds the problem. That's how I ended up losing those games to the CPU as well as two of those games came down to the last possession with the opponent with the ball and my defense let them march down the field without a problem despite being halfway competent earlier on in the game.

    So open up the playbook, risk turnovers and be damned that way. Try to play conservative and run the ball, I have to be extremely effective on third down or else I was damned that way.

    This league has reminded me more of tennis then football. The key is being able to hold serve offensively and try to break serve defensively. Well, this past season I was like John Isner who knew that he had to hold serve each time to stay in a match as he would rarely break serve.

    The two "successful" years when I won 5 and 4 games respectfully occurred when my defense made a few plays to help allow for me to have a chance to "break serve" and have a chance to put two scoring drives back to back together.

    It's sort of ironic as the two years that I went winless the real problem was the offense, now it's the defense. It's actually just an extension of how the actual university performed.
     
  9. CoachRedd

    CoachRedd I come through in something real foolish

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    Maybe you can give me my first loss to a CUSA West opponent... until then, I'm not worried about no stinkin nfc west teams.

    See I wondered if defense might be your bigger problem but I could only base it off the game I played against you and in that game you were strong defensively in the first half. I might be wrong but I think the score was 10-7 at half of our game. It was your offense's inability to convert third and four-six that left the impression on me I mentioned in the post. Either way, you look like you will have one of the best QB's in the conference after training.
     
  10. TheCrumbIsHere

    TheCrumbIsHere Walk On

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    Oh no doubt. Our game was actually quite different from most of the others that I had dealt with throughout the year as my defense wasn't as much of a sieve as it was in other games. Based on your view, I completely understood where you were coming from. Just wanted to give my point of view on the matter overall. :)
     

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