Pac-12 North Pre-Spring - What Needs Work?
Oregon State QB Sean Mannion
Oregon State QB Sean Mannion
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 12, 2012


2012 Pac-12 North Pre-Spring Preview - What Every Big East Team Needs To Work On.

2012 Pre-Spring Preview   

What To Work On - Pac-12 North


North California | Oregon | Oregon St | Stanford | Washington | Washington State
South Arizona | Arizona St | Colorado | UCLA | USC | Utah 

2012 Pac-12 Pre-Spring Preview
- Pre-Preseason Pac-12 North Rankings
- Pre-Preseason Pac-12 South Rankings
- Why Every Pac-12 North Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Pac-12 South Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Pac-12 North Team Should Be Grouchy
- Why Every Pac-12 South Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Pac-12 North Team Needs To Work On 
- What Every Pac-12 South Team Needs To Work On 
2012 Recruiting Rankings Pac-12 North | Pac-12 South

California

Achieving a higher degree of consistency from behind center. When QB Zach Maynard was on last year, Cal competed. When he was off, the program struggled badly. The senior has the requisite talent around him, especially if one of the young recruits steps up to complement Keenan Allen at receiver, but he needs to turn the corner in 2012. If Maynard matures up to head coach Jeff Tedford’s desires, the impact on the skill position players, both in the running and passing game, will be profound.

Oregon

Getting new starting quarterback Bryan Bennett comfortable as the new man in charge on offense. Thomas’ decision to turn pro early was a shocker that caught a lot of folks off guard. The new reality for Oregon is that a relatively unproven sophomore will be the point guard of the spread-option beginning in September. He’s a terrific athlete, and a great fit for the system, but his new role will come with all kinds of challenges, both on and off the field. It’s up to the staff to make sure that Bennett doesn’t become unnerved when the lights go on in September.

Oregon State

Establishing the running game. Whether it was the play of the O-line or RB Malcolm Agnew’s injuries, Oregon State normed just 87 yards a game and 3.3 yards a carry in 2011. That degree of futility on the ground simply can’t continue this fall. It’s incumbent upon on the Beavers to have more success on first down in order to make life a little easier on QB Sean Mannion and the rest of the offense. When defenses know what’s coming, especially on third-and-long, No. 4 becomes a sitting duck in the pocket.

Stanford

Strengthening the secondary. A year ago the Cardinal pass defense went south as the season progressed, allowing 13 touchdown passes over the final six games. Plus, it only picked off seven balls all year. Of greater concern, three starters from that group have since graduated, including talented safeties Delano Howell and Michael Thomas. A quartet of last year’s sophomores, led by corners Barry Browning and Terrence Brown, will be asked to grow up quickly in the offseason.

Washington

The play of the defense. Be it the run or the pass, the Huskies had all kinds of problems stopping the opposition, culminating in a bowl game debacle that cost coordinator Nick Holt his job. If U-Dub is going to take another step forward and compete in the North Division, it’ll have to make a few more stops and create a few more takeaways. The Huskies cannot continue to partake in so many shootouts and expect to elevate much higher than break-even. It’s time for the D to start pulling a little more of the weight.

Washington State

Getting a push up front. No, Wazzu won’t have a lot of teeth on defense this year, but if it can generate a little more heat, everyone on the unit is going to benefit. The Cougars were 10th in the Pac-12 in sacks, which trickled down to a secondary that yielded 24 touchdown passes and intercepted just eight balls. A Leach-led team is unlikely to win with defense. However, even modest progress from the D would have a profound impact on the school’s quest to inch closer to the .500 mark.

North California | Oregon | Oregon St | Stanford | Washington | Washington State
South Arizona | Arizona St | Colorado | UCLA | USC | Utah 

2012 Pac-12 Pre-Spring Preview
- Pre-Preseason Pac-12 North Rankings
- Pre-Preseason Pac-12 South Rankings
- Why Every Pac-12 North Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Pac-12 South Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Pac-12 North Team Should Be Grouchy
- Why Every Pac-12 South Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Pac-12 North Team Needs To Work On 
- What Every Pac-12 South Team Needs To Work On 
2012 Recruiting Rankings Pac-12 North | Pac-12 South