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Sun Belt Pre-Spring - Team Problems
Troy QB Corey Robinson
Troy QB Corey Robinson
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 19, 2012


2012 SuN Belt Pre-Spring Preview - What Every SuN Belt Team Should Be Grouchy

2012 Pre-Spring Preview   

Why To Be Grouchy - Sun Belt

 
Arkansas State | Florida Atlantic | FIU | Middle Tennessee
North Texas | South Alabama  | Troy | UL Lafayette | ULM | WKU

2012 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
- Recruiting 2012 Sun Belt Rankings & Breakdown

Arkansas State

Gus Malzahn has some decent pieces to start, but the Red Wolves have a ton of turnover to deal with and it’s going to take a while this spring to find the right starting mix. Three starters are gone from the offensive line including both Delano Moore and Alex Kautai from the left side, and leading receiver Dwayne Frampton is done. The defense takes the biggest hit with pass rushing end Brandon Joiner and tackling machine linebacker Demario Davis just two of the eight starters that have to be replaced. Punter Neely Sullivent is also gone.

Florida Atlantic

The Owls ran for a pathetic 1,268 yards and ten touchdowns. Alfred Morris accounted for 1,186 of the yards and nine of the scores. He was the lone weapon on the nation’s worst offense. There aren’t huge losses on offense, but it won’t help to have to replace LT Sam McRoy and RB Chris Newbold. The defense might only lose one starter, but DE Kevin Cyrille was one of the Sun Belt’s best all-around linemen.

FIU

The Golden Panthers might have a slew of good receivers returning, but they’re not going to have T.Y. Hilton, who did a little bit of everything. He wasn’t just the team’s leading receiver, he was also one of the nation’s top kickoff returners and was FIU’s most electrifying playmaker. Jake Medlock got his feet wet as a true freshman, and eventually he’ll be an upgrade at quarterback, but Wesley Carroll was a steady leader and came up with a relatively mistake-free season with just four picks.

Middle Tennessee

The linebacking corps needs a little bit of retooling after losing strongside linebacker Darin Davis and Gorby Loreus from the middle. All four starters, including leading tackler Eric Russell, are gone from the Sun Belt’s best secondary. Russell was also the team’s top kick and punt returner. WLB Roderic Blunt is the only returning starter to the back seven. The offensive line will be fine, but C Colin Boss and LT Mike Williams were key parts to the puzzle. The kicking game wasn’t anything special, but both P Nathaniel Toulson and PK Alan Gendreau have to be replaced.

North Texas

Is Dan McCarney healthy? He suffered a stroke, and while he appears to be on his way to recovery, his healthy will be an ongoing concern. On the field, there’s no replacing what RB Lance Dunbar provided over the last few years finishing with 49 career touchdowns and over 5,500 yards of total offense. The secondary has some major retooling to do. It finished last in the Sun Belt with yards allowed and now has to replace all four starters. It won’t help that leading pass rusher Brandon Akpunku is gone.

South Alabama

The Jaguar offense that struggled to consistently put points on the board has to do some rebuilding up front with three starters gone, including both tackles. The really, really young passing game should be more effective now that QB C.J. Bennett and receivers Bryant Lavender and Jeremé Jones know what they’re doing, but the reliable tight ends – Kevin Helms and Paul Bennett – have to be replaced. PK Jordan Means, who nailed 13-of-15 field goals, is gone.

Troy

The defense that finished last in the Sun Belt and 113th in the nation can’t afford to lose a slew of top players. DE Jonathan Massaquoi’s early defection to the NFL hurts, while not having top linebacker Xavier Lamb or end John Robles won’t help. With FS LaDarrius Madden also done, two of the top three tacklers are gone. The O line should be fine in time, but LT James Brown was an NFL talent and the anchor to a good group in pass protection.

UL-Lafayette

The Ragin’ Cajuns weren’t exactly dominant on defense, and now it’s going to take some work to find the right pieces to rebuild right away. Three starters are gone off the line including tackle Tyrell Gaddies, while the secondary that struggled throughout last year should have even more problems with three starters gone including NFL prospect Bill Bentley from one corner. Offensively, it’s not every day that Sun Belt teams have a tight end that can play like Ladarius Green. He was one of the key parts of the passing game over the last few years.

UL Monroe

The ULM defensive front needs some new starters with ends Ken Dorsey and Troy Evans gone after serving as the team’s top pass rushers, and linebacker Jason Edwards also needing to be replaced. Three starters including corners Tim Taylor and Nate Brown have to be replaced in a secondary that was among the Sun Belt’s best last year. Offensively, WR Anthony McCall might not have been a top target last year, but he was the veteran of the group. Center Ryan McCaul and RT Anthony Montgomery have to be replaced.

Western Kentucky

The Hilltoppers might return most of the offensive starters, but there’s no replacing Bobby Rainey, who finished second in the nation in rushing yards per game averaging 141. Four starters are back up front, but the best of the lot – LT Wes Jeffries – has to be replaced. Can Kawaun Jakes make the passing game go? He might have the experience, but WKU hasn’t been able to move the ball when Rainey wasn’t rocking, and he’s just not a passer. The Hilltoppers will have to manufacture yards.
  
Arkansas State | Florida Atlantic | FIU | Middle Tennessee
North Texas | South Alabama  | Troy | UL Lafayette | ULM | WKU

2012 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
- Recruiting 2012 Sun Belt Rankings & Breakdown