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MAC Pre-Spring Preview - What Needs Work?
Kent State DE Roosevelt Nix
Kent State DE Roosevelt Nix
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 8, 2012


2012 MAC Pre-Spring Preview - What Every MAC Team Needs To Work On.

2012 Pre-Spring Preview   

What To Work On - MAC


East   Akron | Buffalo | Kent State | Massachusetts | Miami Univ. | Ohio | Temple
West  Ball State | CMU | Bowling Green | EMU | Northern Illinois | Toledo | WMU

2012 MAC Pre-Spring Preview
- MAC Pre-Spring Rankings
- Why Every Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Team Needs To Work On 
2012 Recruiting Rankings - MAC East | MAC West 

East

Akron

Putting the biscuit in the basket. You can’t win if you can’t score, and Akron’s offense has been among the most anemic in college football for the last several years averaging just 14 points per game last year. The 36 points hung on VMI was the only outing with more than 23 points for an attack that cracked the 20 mark just four times. Defensively, the line has got to get into the backfield after finishing dead last in the nation in tackles for loss.

Buffalo

The passing game has to be more efficient. There’s work to do in the receiving corps and the quarterback situation has to be settled, but the passing attack can’t be among the MAC’s least efficient if the offense is going to start to keep up the pace. Defensively, the secondary did a decent job of limiting yards, but it struggled to come up with stops on the deeper passes. The pass rush from the line has to be far better; linebacker Khalil Mack can’t do everything.

Kent State

Offense, offense, offense, offense, offense. QB Spencer Keith and the passing game needs to be far more efficient and far more effective, and there has to be far more big plays down the field to open things up. The running game hasn’t been a positive for years, and the O line that gets four starters back has to generate more of a push. The punting game also needs a boost after finishing 115th in the nation.

Massachusetts

The new coaching staff has to get more out of a running game that relied on Jonathan Hernandez to carry the entire attack. Hernandez ran for 1,092 yards and 12 scores, while second-leading rusher Alan Williams ran for 140 yards and a score. The passing game needs new targets for Kellen Pagel to throw to, and at the same time there has to be more big plays down the field. UMass was able move the ball through the air, but it didn’t come up with too many home runs.

Miami University

The offensive line has to be better. Right guard Brandon Brooks is the only loss, but the other four starters have to show improvement after allowing a whopping 47 sacks and doing nothing for a ground game that averaged a pathetic 74 yards per game. The punting game also needs a boost after averaging a mere 32.6 yards per boot and just 3.5 yards per return.

Ohio

The Bobcat defense was solid throughout last season, but it didn’t do enough to get into the backfield and it didn’t generate much of a pass rush. There are pass rushing specialists who can get to the quarterback from time to time, but there isn’t anyone who’ll scare opposing defenses. The No. 1 offensive priority will be to find new targets to replace LaVon Brazill and Riley Dunlop. The return game, especially with Brazill gone, needs to be stronger after a mediocre season.

Temple

The Owls have to balance out the offense a bit, and quarterback Chris Coyer might be good enough to do it. The passing game was ultra-efficient with plenty of big plays down the field, but the offense was 116th in the nation in passing averaging 127 yards per game while running for 257 yards per outing. With four starters gone off the offensive line, working on protecting Coyer will be at a premium.

West
 

Ball State

Defense, defense, defense. The Cardinals were able to keep up in several shootouts, but they couldn’t get the job done over the last four weeks and it cost them a bowl bid. They finished 119th in the nation in total defense and pass efficiency defense, and they finished 113th against the run. The big problem? There wasn’t any pressure into the backfield whatsoever, finishing 100th in the nation in sacks and 106th in tackles for loss.

Bowling Green

The coaching staff has made a concerted effort to improve the running game, but it still has a long way to go after finishing 91st in the nation and never being consistent. The run defense has to be far, far better after getting steamrolled over way too often, and the pass rush could stand to be better. The biggest overall issue to work on is turnover margin. The Falcons couldn’t hang on to the ball, and they couldn’t come up with nearly enough takeaways.

Central Michigan

Giveaways. CMU was awful in turnover margin mostly because the passing game and Ryan Radcliff threw 18 picks. Fumbles weren’t a problem, losing just five, but the defense didn’t help the cause with just three recovered fumbles and just one over the final nine games. Richie Hogan and the punting game have to be far stronger after averaging just 33 yards per kick.

Eastern Michigan

The Eagles need to put up bigger passing yards. Alex Gillett was efficient, but the O only came up with 127 yards per game and the receiving corps needs work. The offense needs to put more points on the board after averaging just 21 points per game and failing to score more than 16 points six times. The special teams weren’t too bad overall, but the kickoff return game didn’t show up averaging just 18.6 yards per try.

Northern Illinois

Is QB Jordan Lynch up to the task? All he has to do is replace Chandler Harnish and show he can move the offense. The special teams need a boost after struggling on kickoff returns averaging just 19.8 yards per try. The punting game wasn’t a plus and there wasn’t enough pop on punt returns. As long as Lynch, or one of the other quarterback options, is up to the task, and if the offensive line can quickly replace several starters, the Huskies will be back in the hunt for the MAC title.

Toledo

The secondary was under siege against offenses that bombed away trying to keep up the pace. The Rockets gave up yards in chunks and finished 100th in the nation in pass efficiency defense. Even with Eric Page, Toledo didn’t do much of anything on kick returns averaging just 19.2 yards per try, while the punting game, normally a team strength, had a rough season with little consistency and not enough overall production. With so much personnel turnover on both sides of the ball the Rockets have to do all of the little things right.

Western Michigan

The defensive front has to be far stronger against the run. The pass rush was solid and the line did a nice job of getting into the backfield, but too many teams were able to pound away without a problem. There were too many holes to fly through and the secondary had to make too many stops. With so much turnover in the receiving corps, the running game has to start picking up the slack by doing more. A little balance would be nice after relying so much on Jordan White and the rest of the top targets.


East   Akron | Buffalo | Kent State | Massachusetts | Miami Univ. | Ohio | Temple
West  Ball State | CMU | Bowling Green | EMU | Northern Illinois | Toledo | WMU

2012 MAC Pre-Spring Preview
- MAC Pre-Spring Rankings
- Why Every Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Team Needs To Work On 
2012 Recruiting Rankings - MAC East | MAC West