week 6, best game poll

CUSA:

Marshall Herd  should  eventually ride away from ODU. Cato and Devan Johnson will prevail in a battle at ODU .Monarchs QB Heinicke will keep them in the game for three quarters.

MAC

NIU survives the Kent St flashes in a home nailbiter

Sunbelt

Passing Pete Thomas will lead the Warhawks in a shootout W @ and over Ark St

Sept 27 quick hits, poll

I picked USTA as my CUSA darkhorse, but I’m leaning toward FAU as the season progresses. I’m going with FAU in a  home nail-biter  W over USTA . Keep your eyes on the QBs Passing:  USTA-Carter – 44-72, 400 yds, 1 td.   FAU Johnson – 35-60, 478 yds, 4 td

 

Another Glass Bowl MAC game:   The passing of  CMU’s QB Rush – 62-102, 706 yds, 4 tds will be enough  for a W @Toledo

 

SunBelt:  Troy U will not recover from the UGA drubbing to win at ULM led by the passing of Thomas – 63-115, 650 yds, 2 ts

 

Sept 28 Post game review:

2 out  of 3 ain’t bad: ULM edged Troy thanks to it’s D creating turnovers amd Manton, thier kicker.. FAUQB Johnson tossed the winning TD with  20 seconds remaining   for the W. Toledo  QB  Woodside was the difference and gave me my wrong  selection in the Rockets 42-28 W. Staying in the MAC, how about Akron’d holding Pitt (ACC) to 10 points in a W.

sept 20 quick hits

One game from the each (MAC, CUSA, & Sunbelt)

The N. Mex St Aggies  (2-1, 1-0 Sun Belt)beat  Ga St   in their return to the SunBelt, but I’m intrigued by their intra-state matchup against the New Mexico Lobos(0-2, 0-0 MW) who have to be expecting more from Coach Bob Davie. Lobos are on the road with a limited offense led by Gautsche – 14 car, 184 yds, 2 tds.  Davie will coax his sqaud into a final minute squeaker W. The passing of Aggies QB Rogers – 65-111, 723 yds, 7 tds will keep this one close

Rice(0-2, 0-0 C-USA) Owls  will hang onto their season and beat the  ODU (2-1, 0-0 C-USA newbies ) in a battle of passers:  ODU- Heinicke – 81-119, 742 yds, 5 tds Rice-Jackson – 34-56, 375 yds, 2 tds

 

 

MAC:Ground game battle as Ball St  led by Edwards – 63 car, 265 yds, 2 tds visits  Toledo led by Hunt – 47 car, 385 yds, 6 tds. Hoe team Rockets will shatter  the Card in the Glass Bowl game

Sept 21 brief review  2 out of 3 ain’t bad
Heinicke  ( 430 yards, 5 TDs)  was a major factor in the ODU upset road win.

Last second TD pass saves  the Lobos

Hunt (12 carries 142 yards, 1TD) in the Toledo W

 

 

MAC 2014 football preview

East
BOWLING GREEN FALCONSHead Coach Dino Babers bring the Briles’Baylor system north and has solid QB Matt Johnson to run it. The adjustment from Clawson to Babers system may not be smooth but hey could go bowling again.
BUFFALO BULLS QB Licata will lead a high powered O that needs  Campbell to pick for Oliver at RB. The D has a huge void with departure of Mack. .500 season in 2014.
KENT STATE GOLDEN FLASHES: Plenty of questions for a disappointing 2013 campaign. Will Reardon improve at QB? Is a 4-2-5 D the answer?

AKRON ZIPS It will be worth watching how Chuck Amato tunes the D and Pohi is a reliable QB. If they win some low scoring squeakers they could get into the race in the east.

MIAMI (OH) REDHAWKS  Kern & Dooley anchor a solid LB corps & HC Chuck Martin  brings Hendrix, a  QB transfer from Notre Dame, that may jumpstart their O. Roller coaster season.
OHIO BOBCATS- Will Solich make the adjustments on offense? Is Darius Vick the answer @ QB? The D looks solid but that may not be enough.

MASSACHUSETTS MINUTEMEN- Whipple’s second stint @UMass will be tough. The major name is on  DStanley Andre (111 tackles, 6.0 for loss),. Cellar dweller time

WEST

BALL STATE CARDINALS:  Jahwan Edwards (1,110 yards and 14 touchdowns) leads a deep backfield and the ryan/Angle- led LB crew should be good enough.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS HUSKIES: Obviously replacing Lynch at QB is a major obstacle , but the loss of their starting front four of D could be bigger. Brown and Lewis lead a solid WR corps. Look for Huskies in a bowl game.

CENTRAL MICHIGAN CHIPPEWAS Senior Titus Davis (61 receptions for 1,109 yards) will need the experienced D to excel to give CMU a chance for .500 season.
TOLEDO ROCKETS:  The D  led by Junior Sylvestre (118 tackles, 5.0 sacks), should be Ok  but finding an adequate replacement for Owens at QB will be a tough challenge.
WESTERN MICHIGAN BRONCOS: How fast can the great recruiting class mature? Deron Chance  (692) gained an extra year of eligibilty. Maybe WMU suprises some teams in November?

EASTERN MICHIGAN EAGLES- No more English , Coach Ron) but these Eagles won’t soar. Maybe sophomore QB Brogan Roback, a former four-star signee,  improves?

 

2014 Sun Belt twists and tightens.

Texas State: I’m going to go with Coach Franchione’s Bobcats as a surprise pick. He will hasten Tyler Jones development  @QB and they’ll score enough to hide their defensive deficiencies

South Alabama- Bridge or maybe  Matt Floyd, a late USF transfer ,  will try to replace Metheny @ QB. On D they have a solid veteran secondary but will need some transfers to help quickly on the front four. Tough stretch of conference games in November: @ULL & Ark St, then home against Texas St.

UL. Lafayette- No question the  Cajuns’ lights are bright with Broadway @QB Broadway and RBS,  Alonzo Harris (942 yards and 14 touchdowns) and Elijah McGuire (863 yards), and may supplant my top pick by the time the season ends.

Arkansas St.  Does Knighten, the new starting QB, excel quickly?

La.-Monroe: I like the Thomas to Ceasar connection and the Warhawks always surprise.
Georgia State- Coach Miles, a program rebuilder, OC Jeff Jagodzinski (head coach at BC a few years ago), may turn Arbuckle into a solid QB. Panthers will inch towatd the middle of the pack.

Troy- Burks and Chunn are decent RBs who will run behind a good offensive live.  The D is rebuilding

Appalachian St-  Biggest name is Marcus Cox, a sophomore, who rushed for 1,250 yards and 15 touchdowns  and had 43 receptions for 559 yards in 2014. Strong fan support should help them but this will be a rough season which includes Michigan seeking revenge for seven years ago.

New Mexico St.-It’s likely to be a rocky Aggies return to the Sunbelt.  Maybe the  young D  develops quickly?

Idaho- Marboe to Epps is a decent offensive connection but the Vandals will be hanging around the cellar door.

Ga. Southern : Coach Monken went to coach Army after the big win over Florida and it  will be a rocky season for new coach Fritz

 

 

CUSA 2014 football preview

East

Marshall: Rakeem Cato returns to lead the potent Thundering Herd but will sure miss Gator Hoskins, the talented TE drafted by the Dolphins. If the Herd can find some D. I don’t see anyone stopping them in the East. Kevin Grooms dismissal  will hurt the Herd’s depth at RB.

Florida Atlantic:  The Owls,free of the Carl Pellini  troubles, are one of my two dark horses. Head Coach Partridge has most of  #1 D  in the 2013 CUSA returning if they can survive the first two games at Nebraska & Bama.

Middle Tennessee- Blue Raiders will go as the  QB merry-go -round spins. Grammerly, Stocksill (coach’s son), orErdely. Some say Stocksill has the edge, The Blue Raiders  tempo style may not be enough in the  CUSA and will weak O & D lines land them in the basement?

WKU: Jeff Brohm tales the reins from hit and run Petrino and will need to evaluate QB Doughty quickly, then look for RBs to replace  Antonio Andrews.   Hilltoppers won’t be atop many opponents this season

UAB- Perhaps the best thing going for new HC Phil Clark is the QB-WR connection.  Incoming Juco QB Cody Clemens , the likely starter will have the top 3 targets back from last year, including big play threat Jamarcus Nelson, who averaged 20.1 yards per catch last year on 46 receptions and scored 8 TDs

Old Dominion:  Coach Wilder’s Monarchs up-tempo O led by Taylor Heinicke will put up some points , but I don’t see them getting to far out of the cellar.

FIU : Can true Freshman QB Alex McGough save Turner’s job?

WEST  

Rice :   If your team is the Owls (FAU) then you must’ve shared a scheduler for a tough first two games, @Notre Dame and @ Texas A&M. Rice had a solid D in 2013 , but  have big holes in the  D secondary with the departures of Gaines &  Porras. Can Dillard & Davis  replace Charles Ross @ RB?

UTSA:  Coker may finally have  the Roadrunners in contention. The transition at QB  from Soza  to  Carter  and the emergence of Glasco at RB  are the keys on offense. The D  will need to be great up front to cover for some of the doubts about the secondary .

North Texas: Pegram  &  Jimmerson returns to anchor  a solid offensive backfield   that may miss Byrd a little. Their D should be Ok but they;ll need more special teams  heroics to duplicate the solid 2013  season

Southern Miss-  If USM can keep Coach Monken for a few seasons and Mullens develops at QB the Golden Eagles may find their way back to the top of the CUSA.

UTEP Showers (QB) and RBs , Jones and Jeffery, will put up the points, but  the lack of D will keep the Miners  out of contention.

 

Louisiana Tech-   Skip Holtz train continues to derail in 2014. The transition from Dykes up tempo style was miserable in 2013. Who knows why LT ignored its personnel when picking  a HC? Tech will rely on Sokol, a JC transfer QB, and a stable of RBs , to pull of a miracle in the fleet style CUSA.  They’ve brought in Manny Diaz as DC, (remember him at Texas),  and are hoping for  one of his  great first seasons before  sinking. Maybe they’ll beat Old Dominion &UAB in conference.

 

Mid majors hoops thru Feb 8

USM & UTEP  remain tied atop the CUSA . USM got quite a home scare from Marshall Friday night but survived 60-57.  John Bohannon scored 19 points and Julian Washburn finished with 18 in the UTEP WIN over ODU. Seven striaigh CUSA wins makes the Miners the team to watch.

 

Trency’s Jackson buzzer beater  gave WKU  the W over Ark St and kep them two games behind  Ga St in the Sunbelt race.

 

Ohio had to rally to  beat  Miami of O to stay one game behind Akron in the MAC East.

 

Rian Pearson scored 20 points to lead a balanced attack as Toledo beat Ball St to stay one game ahead of W.Mich who faces NIU today.