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2011 CFN Preseason Rankings - No. 81 to 90
Navy QB Kriss Proctor
Navy QB Kriss Proctor
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 3, 2011


Preview 2011 CFN Preseason Rankings No. 81 to 90 ... Not Awful, But ...


Preview 2011 - Preseason Rankings

Not Awful, But ... - No. 81 to 90


2011 CFN Preseason Rankings  
Preview 2011 | 1 to 5 | 6 to 10 | 11 to 20 | 21 to 30 | 31 to 40 | 41 to 50
51 to 60 | 61 to 70 | 71 to 80 | 81 to 90 | 91 to 100 | 101 to 110 | 111 to 120 
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There's one very important distinction in the CFN preseason rankings: these are based on how good the teams are going into the season and NOT how they're going to finish. Some teams have easier schedules than others, some get tougher road games and some will need a little bit of time to jell meaning they might be better than their final record might indicate. Going into the year, these are how good the teams appear to be from No. 1 through 120.

81. Hawaii Preview
Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Wide Receiver
Relative Weaknesses: Running Back, Secondary

What to watch for on offense: Who’ll replace Alex Green? For all the talk and all the hype about the passing game, the running attack played a big role last year, too, with Green averaging 8.2 yards per carry in a monster season. Not only did he run for 1,199 yards and 18 touchdowns, but he also caught 27 passes averaging 13.4 yards per play. Also gone is second-leading rusher, Chizzy Dimude. JUCO transfer Sterling Jackson fits the system and 245-pound Joey Iosefa should be a thumper. The job is wide open for the taking.

What to watch for on defense: The Elephant. The Hawaii defense was already excellent at getting into the backfield, and now there will be a specific hybrid position called the Elephant working into the rotation. Junior Brenden Daley is the perfect fit at 6-4 and 255 pounds, but several linebackers will be auditioned for what should be a spotlight gig. Sophomore Art Laurel has the speed and the pass rushing ability, and Aulola Tonga can fly, but again, Daley might be the man to beat.

82. Louisiana Tech Preview
Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Relative Strengths: Linebacker, Special Teams
Relative Weaknesses: Quarterback, Secondary

What to watch for on offense: The running backs. All the talk and all the excitement is about the passing game and how it might eventually explode and become special, but it’s the running game that’ll carry the mail for a while. Lennon Creer is a big, tough back who cranked out 1,181 yards and ten touchdowns, averaging 5.6 yards per carry, but he’s not alone. Ray Holley is a dangerous all-around playmaker with the potential to blow up both as a speed back and a receiver. Tyrone Duplessis is another speed back who can crank out big plays if he can get healthy.

What to watch for on defense: The improvement in the secondary. At least that’s the hope. The defensive backs got burned time and again against any team and every team that tried to throw, but now there are enough veterans and there’s enough depth to hope for enough of an improvement to make a difference. A second corner has to be found on the other side of Ryan Williams, but there are options. Chad Boyd is a good tackler for his size and he’ll be all over the field. Jamel Johnson is a big, strong defender who should be great against the run. All of the veterans have to be sharper when the ball is in the air.

83. Western Michigan Preview
Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Receiver
Relative Weaknesses: Offensive Line, Linebacker

What to watch for on offense: The interior of the line. The skill players are in place for the MAC’s second best offense, and Carder should blow up into a national name if he can improve on his 2010 campaign, but the line needs to be in place. The tackles would be set if Anthony Parker was back at left tackle, but he’s being tried out at guard early on to make up for the key losses on the inside. WMU will put up big numbers no matter what, and a solid interior would help balance things out with an improved ground game.

What to watch for on defense: The pass rush that should be devastating. The Broncos have a good history of being among the best in the MAC at getting to the quarterback, but the production fell flat for a stretch. That all changed last year as defensive line coach Lou Esposito started getting more out of the front four and now everyone is back to do far more. Paul Hazel was the best pass rusher and best all-around end, but Freddie Bishop showed the promise to potentially become a top playmaker. Throw in the speed and athleticism of former linebacker Deuntay Legrier on the outside and veteran tackles Travonte Boles and Drew Nowak in the middle, and the pressure into the backfield should be consistent.

84. Miami University Preview
Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Defensive Line
Relative Weaknesses: Running Back, Offensive Line

What to watch for on offense: More balance. Michigan State didn’t exactly run wild with Treadwell in command of the attack, but it had a nice blend of power and pro-style passing. The Spartans finished 16th in the nation in passing efficiency while averaging 236 passing yards per game and 152 rushing yards. Miami’s offense struggled and sputtered way too much finishing 98th in the nation in scoring and 81st in yards. The passing game was fine with the short-to-midrange attack dinking and dunking the ball down the field, but the ground game was abysmal averaging under 100 yards per game. Treadwell and his staff will change that, and while the strength is in the passing game, the ground game won’t be ignored.

What to watch for on defense: A killer rotation up front. All the stars are back on a defensive front that dominated in key stretches last season. The call came out to start getting into the backfield more, and the line did just that finishing 12th in the nation in tackles for loss and 24th in sacks. Now there’s a tremendous rotation of options with good size on the inside, speed on the outside, and talent at the twos that means little to no drop off from the starting four. MU won the MAC title because the defensive front came up big when it had to, and it should do even more.

85. East Carolina Preview
Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Receiver
Relative Weaknesses: Linebacker, Secondary

What to watch for on offense: The other receivers. Lance Lewis is a terrific player, with a chance to play on Sundays. However, he’s going to need help. Lots of it now that Dwayne Harris is a Dallas Cowboy. Out of a cadre of unproven players, such as Michael Bowman, Justin Jones, and Andrew Bodenheimer, someone needs to rise up and absorb some of the attention that No. 88 is going to get. It’ll be worth keeping an eye on 5-10, 184-pound Danny Webster who has convinced the coaching staff that he can contribute in his first year out of high school.

What to watch for on defense: Competition. Save for maybe CB Emanuel Davis, just about every position is going to be competitive in the summer. When you play as poorly as the East Carolina D did a year ago, no job is safe. Plus, those transfers who’ve yet to practice with the team, such as DE John Lattimore and linebackers Joseph Banks and Chris Baker, are sure to begin shaking up the depth chart once they put the pads on in August. The Pirates are searching for the right combination, a process that could trickle into the start of the season.

86. Temple Preview
Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Relative Strengths: Running Back, Defensive Line
Relative Weaknesses: Quarterback, Secondary

What to watch for on offense: The quarterback situation. The running game should be among the MAC’s best, the line will figure itself out, and the receiving corps has size, speed, and experience. Now the attack needs a passing game that isn’t abysmal. Mike Gerardi is a good veteran who can get the offense moving from time to time, but despite a few big passing games, he’s not a top playmaker. Chester Stewart is a mobile veteran, but he hasn’t made the most of his opportunities. Transfer Clinton Granger is the wild card who could be the difference between a good season and a MAC title. The 6-3, 235-pounder can run, bomb, and make things happen on his own, but he needs to prove he can be steady and efficient to take the gig away from Gerardi.

What to watch for on defense: The defensive tackles. The secondary and linebacking corps should reload and be okay, and Adrian Robinson is a star to work around on the outside of the line, but the Owls need the big boys on the inside to produce after Muhammad Wilkerson took off to become a New York Jet. 300-pound sophomore Shahid Paulhill worked as a big end for most of last year, and now he’ll be a full-time tackle where he needs to get into the backfield on a regular basis like Wilkerson did. Junior Kadeem Custis was a key starter on the outside when Paulhill wasn’t getting the job done, but he’s better suited for the inside. These two need to be rocks against the run.
 
87. Toledo Preview
Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Running Back
Relative Weaknesses: Linebacker, Special Teams

What to watch for on offense: The quarterback battle. Austin Dantin might be the best all-around option with a strong, accurate passing arm and good mobility, but he’s coming off a shoulder problem that opened up the door for Terrance Owens. When he got his chance, Owens was terrific. The Rockets finished 77th in the nation in passing but was third in the MAC in passing efficiency and should be even better with receivers Eric Page and Kenny Stafford returning. Now the team has to settle on the right quarterback.

What to watch for on defense: More takeaways. The defense wasn’t always great, and it got ripped apart by the great teams, but it managed to take the ball away on a regular basis and bailed out the inconsistent offense. The pass rush was defense, and now it should be even better with good athleticism and talent at every spot. Last year, only Tulsa, Oregon, Hawaii, and Miami University forced more turnovers, and Toledo should be just as good with nine returning starters and strong enough depth to keep a good rotation of playmakers flowing. Be disappointed if the D doesn’t come up with at least 30 takeaways.

88. Navy Preview
Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Relative Strengths: Running Back, Quarterback
Relative Weaknesses: Receiver, Defensive Line

What to watch for on offense: An even better running game. It’s asking a lot to get better after averaging 285 yards per game and cranking out 37 touchdowns, and it’ll be tough to do more after losing longtime starting quarterback and leader Ricky Dobbs, who led the team with 967 yards and 14 scores. Dobbs could throw, though, connecting on 55% of his throws for 1,527 yards and 13 touchdowns with six picks. Proctor isn’t going to throw like Dobbs, but he’s a good runner, he had a strong offseason, and the torch has been passed; it’s his offense now. Teich is a bruiser of a fullback who can handle the workload inside, while Gee Gee Greene and Aaron Santiago will crank out yards in chunks on the outside. The receivers might go unnoticed for games at a time, but if the ground attack is working, that’s okay.

What to watch for on defense: A massive turnover. After finishing 75th in the nation in total defense, it’ll take a few surprises from some new players to hope for any improvement. Eight starters are back on offense, and the attack should be able to rock even with the huge replacement at quarterback. The defense is another story with just three starters back from a disappointing group that didn’t do nearly enough on a consistent basis. Jabaree Tuani is a terrific end to work around, but the linebacking corps has to undergo a major overhaul on the outside and is counting on several untested prospects to play roles in the rotation. The secondary also has to hope for some key new players to shine right away, especially at safety with Wyatt Middleton and Kevin Edwards gone.

89. Army Preview
Offense | Defense | Depth Chart

Relative Strengths: Running Back, Quarterback
Relative Weaknesses: Receiver, Defensive Line

What to watch for on offense: The emergence of the offensive line. Guard Frank Allen is the only returning starter, and while losing four key blockers would be a major problem at most places, Army, like most service academies, have understudies waiting in the wings to keep the same production rolling. Junior Will Wilson looks like a find at center, and at 6-2 and 284 pounds, he’s one of the team’s biggest blockers. Joe Bailey and Matt Villanti will combine at right guard, and Derek Bisgard and Brad Kelly are 250ish-pound blockers on the outside. All five projected starters are upperclassmen, and they have to play like veterans right away.

What to watch for on defense: More aggressiveness into the backfield. The Army defensive front has to rely on speed and quickness to make up for a galling lack of size. The front four is anchored by 266-pound A.J. Mackey on the nose, but his backup, Parker Whitten, is a mere 235 pounds. The rest of the line checks in at around 220 pounds or under, except for Jarrett Mackey on the outside, who’s only 230 pounds. This is an active and aggressive group that has to do far more after coming up with 25 sacks and 65 tackles for loss.

90. FIU Preview
Offense | Defense |  Depth Chart

Relative Strengths: Running Back, Receiver
Relative Weaknesses: Offensive Line, Quarterback

What to watch for on offense: The running back rotation. The passing game should be more than fine with veteran QB Wesley Carroll knowing what he’s doing and with a good receiving corps to work with, but the FIU offense will work around the ground game. The backfield is loaded with four good backs led by senior Darriet Perry, a fill-in who ended up running for 839 yards and 16 touchdowns. Jeremiah Harden was the starter, and could be again, but missed half of last year. He’s back and ready to go, as is Darian Mallary, a scooter of a smallish back who tore off 679 yards averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Kedrick Rhodes averaged 7.3 yards per carry as a true freshman, highlighted by a 100-yard day against FAU, and WR T.Y. Hilton averaged 9.4 yards per run with four scores.

What to watch for on defense: The linebacking corps. There’s a little work to be done with the loss of two starters, but there’s a chance it could be addition by subtraction. Winston Fraser is a rock-solid veteran who’ll be the anchor of the unit, but there’s a chance that Larvez “Pooh Bear” Mars could be the star after missing all of last year hurt. A top recruit a few years ago, he has the talent to become an All-Sun Belt star, while JUCO transfer Jordan Hunt will be an instant impact performer. If this group shines, the defense will be the best in the league.

2011 CFN Preseason Rankings  
Preview 2011 | 1 to 5 | 6 to 10 | 11 to 20 | 21 to 30 | 31 to 40 | 41 to 50
51 to 60 | 61 to 70 | 71 to 80 | 81 to 90 | 91 to 100 | 101 to 110 | 111 to 120