Discussion in 'The Deuce' started by Drifterbub, Dec 6, 2010.
Reserved for overall outlook later.
Wake Forest - Season 7
Last Season 10-3 (5-3)
Returning starters: 6/5 (9/8 lettermen)
Outlook: Wake Forest seems to take a step each year only to fall back the same distance by recruiting misfortunes, terrible progression, or highly rated prospects coming in as duds. This year they will continue to do what they do best and fight uphill against a decent conference schedule and some underrated pre-conference games. Last season could best be described as a dog fight. The play on defense was consistently average and the offensive inconsistencies were sure to keep nearly every opponent in it late in the game. QB Titus Blanks is mostly to blame after his erratic campaign last year. Had it not been for the all-time leading rusher in school history HB Dustin Peterson, Wake's offensive woes could have proved disastrous. However, there is reason for optimism. Blanks has another year under his belt and four of the top five WR targets return from last year (WRs Carter, Howell and Hartman. TE McKnight). The running game loses Peterson but moves to a more athletic back in Tom Myers. FB Marcus Hines is a true freshmen, but is a definite upgrade over the FB last year and should provide better holes between the tackle, not to mention take a couple carries off of the HBs. The defense features more athletic DEs this year that should be able to get to the QB. MLB Adam Williams returns for his SR season as is the best pro prospect on the roster. Physical CB Joey Smith can jam just about any WR out there while FS Brian Bailey and SS Keith Brown hit like LBs.
What to watch for: A less consistent but equally impressive ground attack. With the loss of Peterson, all signs point that the Demon Deacons won't be able to reach the 1500+ yard mark of last year. But now starting HB Tom Myers has big play potential. The OL is a bit better at opening the holes and the addition of FB Marcus Hines should aid in the ground game effort. However, the 3rd and shorts won't be as easy to convert and that's why Coach Drifter's top priority for the spring and summer was to address the inconsistencies in the short passing game. The vertical game is there, but climbing out of long yardage situation by taking advantage of the underneath coverage was a blatant weakness in this offense last year. This team will be behind in some games this year and the defense will rarely do them any favors with short field position, so we will see early on in the season if this has improved.
Offense: Will QB Titus Blanks finally mature? Coach Drifter hopes so. Big games have gotten to him and the turnover bug is something Blanks needs to finally shake off. Dropped passes from WRs haven't helped him, but it's not like Blanks is hitting them in the numbers every time. He will need to learn not to freak out when guys are covered, find his check downs and hit them accurately. He throws a decent deep ball, but that got old last year and the defenses likely won't be so quick to bite against this year's rushing attack.
Defense: Is MLB Adam Williams enough to make this defense competitive? Probably not, but surprisingly this defense can do a number of things better than last year. Getting to the QB should be a bit easier since DE Rob Russ is ready to step in. He was slowed in the spring by a hamstring injury, but the moves this kid has on the edge are very polished. He will need to be healthy and fit as he will likely be pinning his ears back on nearly every play. There isn't much to help out Adam Williams at the next level, but OLB Thomas Russ has the lateral quickness to cut off the edge and get to the passer. Fellow big boys DT Mathis and Brown will continue to clog up the middle as they did in their sophomore years in the previous season. CB Joey Smith returns to get his degree after testing the pro waters and anchors a highly seasoned CB group that has got to be one of the most physical in the country. They will be without Sr CB Ryan Thomas this year as he broke his leg in summer workouts and will medical redshirt this year. Jr SS Keith Brown will need to live up to his billing and take control of the middle of the field.
Prediction: Wake will take another baby step towards improvement but really needs to nail down a good recruiting class this year with some playmakers. There are only a few interested and you can expect Wake to spend whatever resources they need to in order to get those kids into Black and Gold. It will be an even tougher road than last year and although 10 wins is a possibility, they will need to be more consistent than last year to compete with the likes of Texas, Boston College and Duke. 9-4, one game out of the ACC championship and another mediocre bowl is likely.
Last Season: 9-4
Returning Starters - 8/5
Overview: The big talk this offseason was star WR Manson's decision to return for his senior season and wait on the NFL draft. He came 2 votes from the Heisman and already holds every school receiving record. He pairs up again with Montgomery continue the dangerous WR duo. It seems we will need all the help we can get. The SEC is stronger than ever. We have the usual Ole Miss, LSU, and Bama on the schedule, and now add user and East division champ South Carolina to the mix. We also revisit last years controversial and close match against BC as they come to town this year. We also cant forget about up and coming Kentucky whos coach is turning around their program and gave Miss St a 3 point scare last season.We are really aiming for 10 wins this year to try and get back into that rating. This season may be the last chance for Miss St. prolific offense to get things going. We will be losing 5 WRs, Qbs Jones and Griffin, TE Lee, HB Parker, and the other 2 starting Oline after this season.
Offense: We returned every skill position on offense but lost 3 starting linemen. This will be a huge question mark as we are now forced to start 3 young guys at tackle and guard. I think our success will be tied to the development of Jones at the QB position. He made good strides in the offseason this year by going up to an 86, and securing the starting job. He has always had a big arm, but put a big focus on accuracy in training. Future starter Freshman Hodges will be backing him up with former starter Griffin demoted to 3rd. We have the tools in HB Parker and the WRs to have a successful offense. Parker does return as starter in his Sr season after missing 10 games last year to a torn shoulder that had trouble healing. Soph Bullock is back as the backup after picking up over 1000 yards last season in relief of Parker. TE Lee returns for his 4th season as starter. A ton of experience on this side of the ball.
Defense: A sore point for the school during my tenure. We flash brightly in some games or quarters, only to get blown out in the next game or 2nd half... We have a lot of turnover on this side of the ball, as we lost 6 starters (7 if counting the nickel corner). The strength of the D is on the line and at safety. The D-line has all 80+ starters highlight by Srs DE McNamara and DT Higgins. At safety we have returning starter and Soph Hollins at SS and Sr and impact Massey at FS. We also have future starting FS FR RS Robinson coming in on some nickel and dime packages. Our CBs are pretty bad to put it bluntly. The starters are 74 and 73 and all 4 guys we recruited were disappointing. All but the Juco are in the 60s and 1 at 59. We will need some pressure from the dline and help from the safeties to make up for their lack of talent. At LB we have returning Potts and Jones and lost star OLB Coker. Jones has lost his weakside spot to JR Collier, but remains as the top backup option at all 3 positions. We are excited about speedy 79 fr rs Allen who is stepping in to replace Coker. We hope he develops into a dominating LB in the same mold.
Outlook/Predictions: There is definitely a mixture of concern and excitement in Starkville. We have some excellent playmakers coupled with glaring holes. We also have great signs for the future, but the optimism is held in check by a much poorer than anticipated recruiting class, and mostly tepid off-season progression. The batch of recruits this year is a bit underwhelming as well. There a few good catches in there, but it looks like we will have to fight like hell to land them. After 2 9-4 seasons, Miss St is really hoping to get back to the 10-11 win mark as of 3 seasons ago. It will be tough as always with a brutal schedule and almost guaranteed loss to Ole Miss. We have put up a fight and played tough the last few seasons, but they have made the jump to the next level this year and have pulled away as far as team talent. The time is now for the Bulldogs to step up and get the rating to give a recruiting boost as it is only going to get tougher in the future.
OLE MISS SEASON 7 - Looking for a Third Championship
Outlook - The reigning National champion looks poised to make a run at back to back National Championships. This is Coach OMlawdog's most talented Ole Miss team since the days of his track team from NCAA 2009. This team though is built entirely different than those track teams. These teams are built with power offensive lines and stingy defenses. Led by All American offensive tackles Gabe Douglas and Derrick Gutierrez, the Ole Miss offensive line is the best country. Defensively, Ron Robinson had 13 sacks last year, and looks to have a monster year, and some people are calling him the most dominant defensive lineman in the country. He has 21 sacks in two years, and should put up monster numbers again. The secondary is also primed for a big year with All American candidate Dennis McGill leading the secondary along with Antwan Jackson and Charles Sullivan. This Ole Miss defense expects to lead the country this year, but will be tested by KSU, Duke, MSU and Kentucky all of which have explosive passing attacks. KSU and MSU probably have the best WR corps in the country with Josh Manson easily being the best WR in this year's game, and probably the best WR so far in NCAA 2011. Despite these accolades, Ole Miss is primed and ready to earn another national title.
What to watch for - Ole Miss' schedule has four user games against the 2014 National Champs, and the 2015 Big XII champs. These two early games will decide whether Ole Miss will have a chance to repeat as National Champions. Last year's KSU Ole Miss game was decided on the last play of the game with Ole Miss causing an interception. KSU is ready for payback, and they are bringing a talented team to Oxford to make it happen. Duke's team is starting to close the talent gap, which can't be good news for the ACC since they were winning ACC titles with subpar teams. They will get tested by Ole Miss though. In the SEC, Alabama has been Ole Miss nemesis since this game launched. Ole Miss is 1-5 against Alabama but this year Ole Miss expects to not only compete but beat Bama. This game is definitely circled on the calender. The schedule is tough, but Ole Miss doesn't want it any other way
Offense - Look for huge games by the Ole Miss rushing attack. Last year Ole Miss led the country in rushing, and they look to do it again behind their OL. Kevin McKeon was injured most of the year last year, but he needs to have a big year, and he should behind this talented OL. If he can't make it happen, Dwayne Quinn won't hesitate to take the rock. Backing them up will be true freshman HB Tyler Castillo who is the exact opposite of both of these back, but hopefully his 6'4" 235 lb frame will punish defenses this year. Ole Miss will also try and have a sneaky good passing attack. They lost Brett Brown (The Dru killer) to graduation, and he leaves as Ole Miss all time TD reception leader, but they have Adam Hall and Anthony Allen at WR, along with super stud freshman Keenan Kiel at the WR spots. Samuel Fry will try and step up and feel the gap at TE, but overall the TE position has taken a step backwards. Ole Miss is looking for a big year from Vernon Wright at QB. The Junior QB is extremely talented and is probably the fastest QB in the Deuce this year. We may not run as much option this year since we don't want to get Wright hurt, though that will always be a part of any Coach Lawdog offensive game plan.
Defense - The defense looks to be dominant. Not good, dominant. The DL has depth and NFL talent. Ron Robinson is the best DL in the SEC, and I would take him over any other DL in the country. He is quick off the ball and causes all kinds of problems for defenses. If you try to pass it exclusively on Ole Miss, he will get to the QB. A big time pickup this year was Leo Johnson a Juco prospect that has come in and taken a starting spot right off the bat. He will team with Talib Roberson and be a great DT duo. At LB, losing Luke Johnson to the NFL a year early, was certainly a hit, but Lonnie Carter expects to come in and dominate at OLB and probably the LB in the Dime sets. He was a star player on last year's team and is expecting a big senior season. In the secondary, the safeties Sullivan and Jackson are big, fast, and can lay a hit. The corners are quick, and have amazing coverage skills. This defense was built to slow down big time passing attacks, which is exactly what Ole Miss can expect this year. I will be really disappointed if this year's defense doesn't really dominate.
Prediction - Ole Miss will be really good. With the schedule Im not sure I will go undefeated, but that is the goal. This team certainly has the talent and if I do my job, we should be really happy with the results.
Kansas State - Season 7
Last Season 12-1 (8-0)
Returning starters: 7/6
Kansas State just missed a national title birth last year despite winning the Big XII championship for the 3rd time. The Wildcats return most of their roster, with a few major exceptions. They lost some leadership with MLB Ray Adams departure, along with rock solid 4 year starter on offense with the departure of OT Marcus Mitchell, WRs Jamey McDaniel and Troy Christensen..... Their playmaking ability will be extremely diffcult to replace..Offense:
The Wildcats do still have All-American Jason Mcgee under center, along with a strong offensive line returning... Senior Andrew Larsen returns to lead a WR core that is senior laden but somewhat unproven after Larsen.... Tight End Ben Palmer returns for his senior season, looking to cap off a stellar career at Kansas State... The Wildcats offense will switch from more of a gunslinger/spread type of offense, to a more pro-style to accommodate the personnel currently on the Wildcats offense. Sophomore HB Jon Alford is the starter but Junior Steve Sharp should get some carries as well. Both are solid backs who have the ability to take any carry the distance but neither are considering elite backs.
The Wildcats defense could be dominant at times this season.... but they could also be terrible.... They have a set of all-american senior safeties in Travis Garner and Sheldon Coleman…. Add in the senior backup Jeff Doyle and needless to say, the Wildcats are very excited about their safety position for this season… The Wildcats corners are pretty strong also with Junior Jamar Jones and sophomore Bo Ryan along with senior Dominique Pennington…. They should be fairly strong on the back end….At linebacker is where the fun begins…. On the outside, Ken Koch will come in as a JUCO and start on one side, his size and speed should make him an immediate impact player.. On the other side, sophomore Drew Landry will start but will slide inside on passing downs to get the speedy Joseph Olson on the field for passing rushing downs…. Along the defensive line, Junior Jon Campbell leads the way… if he can be as stout as he has in the past, the Wildcats defense could be very formidable… at Defensive end, its Junior Jason Walker’s time to shine… he came in as a big time 4 star recruit, but he hasn’t seen the field once in 3 years at Kansas State… Walker has to show up for the Wildcats to have a strong defense.. at the other defense end two freshman will rotate, Xavier Chandler and Jeff Hudson will rotate every other series and should be able to contribute….
Honestly this team will go as far as the defense will take it…. The offense is a injury away from being downright terrible…My guess is we fall somewhere between our 12-1 season from last year and our 7-5 season from 2 years ago….
Georgia Tech - Season 7Last Season - 7-6 (Independence Bowl Win over CSU 17-14)Outlook:Georgia Tech is under new regime and with a brand new offense an defense. Now running the Air Force and 4-3 defense the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets hope to compete in the ACC Coastal. There is a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, but lacking in a few key positions. GT will need to build off of this year to reload for the next years. Look for the Yellow Jackets to improve on last years record with a more potent offense and tougher defense.Offense:The GT offense made a scheme change. They are still a primarily run first offense, but the option will not be cornerstone for their playcalling. With a highlight back in Caleb Dodds, they will focus on getting him the majority of carries while backs Tony Thornburg and Andy McCollough will split carries in some formations and situations. There is a glaring hole at the QB position as RSSO Erik Smith is sitting on the bench. RSSO Josh McClelland got the nod so far thus season and played quite well in his first game. The 5'10" option QB looks to lead the run game but will see sure tests when trying to pass. The Georiga Tech receiving core is led by Bobby DeAngelis who is coming off of an average season but is looking to exceed in a more conducive offensive system. The offensive line is average at best with leader Senior C Brandon Holiday taking the load. Next year will be a huge rebuilding year for the offensive line.Defense:The Yellow Jacket defense is strong right now with an outstanding LB core, led by Jay Newberry at MLB. Lance Alexander and Bob Brown will add to the 4-3 scheme. The defensive line has two monsters in the middle, Seniors Anthony Martinez and Freddie Welsh. The weak links could be True Freshmen starters at both DE positions. The secondary is the weakest link with the highest rated player at SS as 78.Prediction:The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will most likely finish 3rd in the ACC Coastal and may sneak away some wins in non conference games.Prediction 8-5
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