2012 Pre-Spring Preview
What To Work On - SEC West
Spring will be all about getting the new talents involved in bigger roles. There might be a ton of turnover on defense, and finding a dangerous No. 1 receiver is a must, but the defending national champions don’t have too much to work on or worry about. The offense should use the time to open things up a bit more for AJ McCarron now that he has a championship and a year of experience under his belt as he gets acquainted with new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. The punting game could stand to use a bit more pop, and someone has to be established as the main running back now that Trent Richardson is gone, but that’s nitpicking. The team has to tweak more than rebuild.
The Hogs could stand to hold on to the ball more. The offense doesn’t have a problem scoring or keeping the chains moving, but it had a hard time controlling the clock keeping it for just over 28 minutes per game finishing 106th in the nation in time of possession. The run defense could stand to be a bit stronger with Texas A&M, Auburn, Vanderbilt, and LSU all cranking out over 200 yards, and Alabama coming close, but the front seven tightened up in the Cotton Bowl when focused on Kansas State’s Collin Klein.
The Tigers have find a passing game again. As it turned out, there wasn’t life after Cam Newton for an offense that averaged just 156 yards per game. The running game rolled against Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and it had no problems against the weak teams, but the offense failed to come up with more than 17 points in six of the final nine games. Defensively, the front seven has to get to the quarterback on a more regular basis and stronger play against the run is a must. The Tigers finished last in the SEC in pass efficiency defense.
It’s time to find a passing game. LSU won with timely plays and a punishing ground game that wore teams down, but the passing attack didn’t exactly help the cause. The Tigers were efficient through the air, but that was because so many defenses sold out to stop the run. The D is so good that the offense should be allowed to take more shots down the field and come up with more chances, but that only happens if the quarterback play is steadier. Defensively, this spring will be about getting used to the new key starters with all-stars like DT Michael Brockers and QB Morris Claiborne gone.
Hugh Freeze has to generate some offense. SEC attacks might not be fun ‘n’ gun, but the Rebels had a whole host of problems scoring just 13 points over the final three games and finishing 114th in the nation in total offense and 116th in scoring offense. The offensive inconsistency started with the shockingly poor play from a line that should’ve been far better. Quarterbacks never had time, and it showed with one of the nation’s least efficient passing games. Defensively, the line that was supposed to be a terror at times couldn’t generate a pass rush and was rolled over against the run.
The special teams weren’t a glaring problem throughout 2011, but the kickoff return game was non-existent averaging just 18.55 yards per pop. Offensively, the attack has to be more efficient and more effective throwing the ball to or else defense will once again load up to stop the ground game. MSU was able to run a bit helped by former starting quarterback Chris Relf. While the offense was balanced, working on getting more of a downfield passing game is a must. Defensively, finding a disruptive force on the line to replace Fletcher Cox is a priority.
The Aggies have to figure out translate the great pass rush into more production from the secondary. Almost everyone in the Big 12 was able to throw, but A&M’s defensive backfield needed to do more considering the front seven was No. 1 in the nation in sacks. The D only forced 15 turnovers and almost never came up with the clutch stop. Get A&M into the fourth quarter, and the game could be had. The SEC might not have the Big 12’s passing games, but the defense as a whole has to prove it can slow down a top attack.
| Ole Miss
| Texas A&M
2012 SEC Pre-Spring Preview
- CFN 2012 Pre-Preseason SEC East Rankings
- CFN 2012 Pre-Preseason SEC
Why Every SEC East Team Should Be Excited
Why Every SEC West Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every SEC East Team Should Be Grouchy
- Why Every SEC West Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every SEC East Team Needs To Work On
- What Every SEC West Team Needs To Work On
2012 Recruiting Rankings SEC East |