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Sun Belt Pre-Spring Preview - Team Problems
Arkansas State QB Ryan Aplin
Arkansas State QB Ryan Aplin
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 12, 2011


2011 Sun Belt Pre-Spring Preview - What Every Sun Belt Team Should Be Grouchy

2011 Pre-Spring Preview   

Why To Be Grouchy - Sun Belt


Click for each team's pre-spring lookback and lookahead
Arkansas State | Florida Atlantic | Florida International | MTSU
North Texas | Troy | UL Lafayette | UL Monroe | Western Kentucky

2011 Sun Belt Pre-Spring Preview
- Sun Belt Pre-Spring Rankings
- Why Every Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Team Needs To Work On

Arkansas State
The defense has to be far better. You don’t get better by losing a safety like M.D. Jennings and a defensive tackle like Brian Hall. The Red Wolves have ten miles to go to be decent again on defense, and it has to replace five key starters along the way. The D has to suddenly become more physical this offseason.

Florida Atlantic
The offense loses the quarterback Jeff Van Camp and the two players with any measure of appreciable talent; WR Lester Jean and TE Rob Housler. The defense gets a slew of good players back, but it loses linebackers Malik Eugene and Michael Lockley, meaning Yourhighness Morgan has to become a special talent as the leader of the corps.

Florida International
The bull’s eye. FIU will now be the target in the Sun Belt and will come up with everyone’s best shot. The offensive line that came into its own last year loses First Team All-Sun Belt center Brad Serini guard Cedric Mack, while the D loses linebacker Toronto Smith, end Jarvis Wilson, and safety Anthony Gaitor, three First Team All-Sun Belt performers.

Middle Tennessee
It’s asking a LOT to replace the key starters the defense needs to on the front seven. The entire starting front four is gone and Antwan Davis will be missed from the middle. Throw in the loss of three starters in the secondary, including First Team All-Sun Belt stars Rod Issac and Jeremy Kellem, and the defense needs a few minor miracles to be close to as productive as it was last year. Offensively, most of the parts return, but RB Philip Tanner was the home run hitter and the team’s most explosive playmaker.

North Texas
Experience might not make up for the talent level. UNT has always had players that look like they should be better, but they just aren’t. Even with the defense playing better than it had in years, and even with the best running game in the Sun Belt, the final record was still 3-9. While the potential is there to do big things right away under McCarney, it’s asking a lot for the talent to shine through to make a huge jump.

Troy
While QB Corey Robinson is a rising star, he needs more proven targets to throw to with Jerrel Jernigan, Tebiarus Gill, and Jason Bruce, the top three receivers, gone. Also gone is leading rusher DuJuan Harris, but he can quickly be replaced. The biggest issue for the offense might be on the line where All-Sun Belt star and team leader Tyler Clark is gone at center, and the right side needs to find new starters to replace guard Tyler Graves and tackle Nathan Newland.

UL Lafayette
The offensive line might have been the worst in America last year, and now it has to replace some of the parts that actually worked at times. Center Ian Burks was better than the rest of the line, earning all-star honors, and while tackles Jonathan Decoster and Colin Windsor were turnstyles, they were veterans. It’ll be a fight to replace the two outside starters.

UL Monroe
The offensive line might get everyone back, but it has a long, long way to go to be competent. Yes, it’s an experienced front five, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be any good. There isn’t a star to work around, so while it might be a more cohesive front, it has to be able to block someone. Schedule-wise, going to Florida State and Iowa in September won’t make for a great start to the season.

Western Kentucky
The entire linebacking corps is gone. It’s not like the run defense was a rock, but losing Thomas Majors from the middle is a problem and Chris Bullard and Orlando Misaalefua will be missed from the outside. The offensive line gets three good young starters back, but left guard Mychal Patterson and right tackle Preston King are gone.   

Click for each team's pre-spring lookback and lookahead
Arkansas State | Florida Atlantic | Florida International | MTSU
North Texas | Troy | UL Lafayette | UL Monroe | Western Kentucky

2011 Sun Belt Pre-Spring Preview
- Sun Belt Pre-Spring Rankings
- Why Every Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Team Needs To Work On