Preseason Previews

Discussion in 'Extreme Makeover' started by titangator, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. titangator

    titangator Walk On

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    Middle Tennessee State University -

    MTSU ushers in a new era in their athletic program by making the move to Conference USA. They will begin this new era with a new coach, a new style of football, and a new attitude. Coach Jeff Hickerson will be leading the Blue Raiders into battle this fall. MTSU will be running a pro style offense with a few spread offense wrinkles mixed in. Ultimately, Coach Hickerson wants the offense to be able to run the ball down opposing team's throats, but he knows it will take time to build his team to his liking, especially after the last coaching staff ran a "spread em out and sling it" offense. Defensively they will have several different looks, "we will throw 3 and 4 man fronts at the opposing offenses, we will bring some different blitzes and we will play a lot of man to man," said Hickerson. "We want to be athletic, physical, and fast."

    On offense the Blue Raiders will rely on SR QB Logan Kilgore to lead the team. Kilgore will be asked to protect the ball and move the chains with safe and efficient passes. "We want to get Logan comfortable with what we are doing, then we will open things up more for him, he is more than capable of doing what we ask," said Hickerson. Kilgore will also have a pretty talented and young backfield behind him to hand the ball off too. Sophomores Jordan Parker and Jeremiah Bryson, and JR Reggie Whatley will all 3 see time in the backfield this fall. Parker will be the feature back, but Whatley is a speedster and Bryson is a low to the ground guy that is not afraid of contact.

    Defensively the Blue Raiders will lean on their big guys in the middle. "I absolutely love the guys we have up the heart of our defense, big Pat in the middle of the line, with Marcus and JD backing him up, and a senior at middle linebacker, who is probably the best player on our team. That is something I like to build a defense around," raved Hickerson. The personnel doesn't exactly match up on paper with what defensive schemes Hickerson has in mind, but he seems set on running his schemes with what he has inherited. "If you don't run it now, you can't show high school guys what your goals are down the road for them, if you put it on film, you can look them in the eyes and say watch this guy do this right here, we want that to be you when you suit up for us next season."
     
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  2. Paytonno1son

    Paytonno1son Walk On

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  3. majesty95

    majesty95 Show class, have pride, and display character.

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    Kent St Helmet 2.jpg Kent State Football - 2013 Season Preview
    Head coach Michael Austin takes over a Kent State team that set a school record for victories (11) a year ago and appeared in their first ever MAC Championship Game. The Golden Flashes return all-purpose star Dri Archer as well as bruising halfback Trayion Durham and star defensive tackle Roosevelt Nix. However, Kent State has only 11 returning starters (6 offense, 5 defense) and will be installing a new offense and defense. How well the team fares this year will be dependent on how well Austin and his staff do adjusting the players to the new schemes.

    Offense
    Archer is the star and will be the focal point of the offense. However, Durham provides an alternative to Archer who can line up in the backfield along with Dri. Austin has said that the new offense will feature plenty of formations with Archer and Durham on the field together. The former Navy assistant even said you could expect some fleXbox One and triple option this year.


    At quarterback, David Fisher takes over what the coaching staff hopes will be a "game manager" role. Fisher's primary duty will be to hand the ball off or get it to Archer in open space. Austin has said that the less the quarterback has to do in the offense, the better it means the team is playing overall. Fisher is a big QB (6-1 225) but doesn't play nearly as physical as his frame would suggest. He does have a decent arm, though, and displayed good accuracy in the spring. Fisher is certainly capable of moving the chains and as long as he isn't forced into winning games by himself, the Flashed should be in capable hands.

    Another key offensive player is receiver Josh Doyle. While small in stature (5-9 170), Doyle makes up for his size with great quickness and speed. Doyle will be expected to take the focus off of Archer and provide a secondary option for Fisher in the passing game. Tight end Casey Price (6-4 235) is another receiving option that will be utilized heavily in the offense. Although Archer is the focal point, there are enough secondary weapons to keep teams honest on defense and prevent them from keying on Archer specifically.

    Defense

    Kent State will also draw from Austin's prior experience on defense as the team is switching to a 4-2-5 this year. The idea is to get more speed on the field and help the team defend against the pass which they didn't do well last year. Austin learned the defense while at TCU under Gary Patterson and hopes to bring a similar level of success to northern Ohio.

    The key to a good 4-2-5 defense (outside of the safety play) is a good front line to contain the run and the Golden Flashes have that. The defensive line is led by tackle Roosevelt Nix, an All-American candidate. While Nix doesn't posses elite size (5-11 245), he makes up for it with great speed and technique. Nix has used his unique skill set to rack up 20.5 sacks and 52 tackles for a loss in his career at Kent State, ranking among the Top 5 all-time in both categories.

    Nix will be joined on the line by fellow seniors Richard Gray (6-2 260) at tackle with Mark Fackler (6-3 255) and Zack Hitchens (6-1 240) at end. The all senior defensive line will give the unit a great deal of experience and should help take some of the load off of the linebackers and secondary as they learn their new roles.

    Safety is the perhaps the most important position in the 4-2-5 and the Golden Flashes have a couple of good ones returning. Free safety Calvin Tiggle was the starter a year ago before suffering a season-ending injury. He will be back this year and pair up with senior Luke Wollett, an All-MAC 2nd teamer a year ago, at strong safety. Wollett has 10 career interceptions which ranks 9th on the school's all-time list. Their experience will help to solidify a unit that had trouble stopping the pass for much of last year.

    The main concern for the coaching staff is the other safety position. The 4-2-5 utilizes three safeties (a free, a weak and a strong). The weak safety position is the one that concerns the coaching staff the most. There is not a clear cut favorite for the position and there is not a lot of experience (due to the team utilizing a 4-3 prior to Austin's arrival). The leading candidate is senior Fabrice Pratt who has great speed but not much experience otherwise. Whoever winds up as the starter here will play a big role in the success of the defense as a whole.

    Outlook

    Matching the team's 11 wins from a year ago might be a lot to ask of Austin in his first season. Kent had only 10 combined wins the previous two years and hadn't had a winning season since 2006 prior to last year. While there is still talent left over from a year ago, there is a lot of inexperience and new schemes on both sides of the ball that the players have to learn. Another winning season should be the expectation, but most likely in the 6-8 win range.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
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  4. xx Vols xx

    xx Vols xx Vol Nation

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    [​IMG]
    2012 Record: 9-3 (4-2 in WAC)
    Head Coach: Jeff Bryden (First Year at La Tech)
    Last Bowl Game: 2011 Poinsettia Bowl: lost to TCU 31-24
    Stadium: "The Joe" in Ruston, LA (capacity = 30,600)
    Home Field Advantage: ranked 11th out of 55 mid-major teams
    Conference Affiliation: Conference USA



    Returning Starters: Offense: 2, Defense 4, Specialists 0


    Key Defensive Returnees: DL IK Enemkpali (7.5 TFL, 6 sacks), DB Le'Vander Liggins (50 tackles), LB Mike Schrang (46 tackles)
    Key Offensive Returnees: RB Kenneth Dixon (1194 yds rush, 27 TD), RB Tevin King (369 yds rush and 5 TD in 3 games), WR D.J. Banks (33 rec), RB Hunter Lee (31 rec)

    Coach Bryden will have his hands full with a limited number of returning starters. His main concern is converting this team to a spread offense instead of an air-raid offense that Coach dykes ran. Coach up a defense that ranked 115th Nationally last year is also a huge concern.

     
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