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MAC Pre-Spring Preview - The Concerns
Toledo QB Terrance Owens
Toledo QB Terrance Owens
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Mar 1, 2013


2013 MAC Pre-Spring Preview - Why Every MAC Team Should Be Grouchy

2013 Pre-Spring Preview   

Why To Be Grouchy - MAC

 
2013 MAC Pre-Spring Preview
- Why Every Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Team Needs To Work On  
- MAC East Schedule Breakdown
- MAC West Schedule Breakdown
- MAC Composite Schedule Breakdown
- 2013 MAC Pre-Preseason Rankings 

EAST

Akron
Start: April 2 Spring Game: April 27

Quarterback Dalton Williams will be missed. He was the one positive in an ugly season, and while he wasn’t efficient, he bombed away and did a decent job of keeping pace with the defense giving up yards and points in chunks. The defense that was among the worst in America against the run has to improve despite the loss of linebackers Kurt Mangum and Troy Gilmer, while the right side of the offensive line, a relative positive last year, needs replacements after losing tackle Adam Bice and guard Mitch Straight.

Bowling Green
Start: March 13 Spring Game: April 12

The defense that led the MAC in total defense, rush defense and pass defense might be loaded with experienced veterans, but the two losses are massive. Dwayne Woods was a guided missile of a linebacker who dominated over the last three years, while defensive tackle Chris Jones was one of the nation’s best interior playmakers who was the tone-setter for the D. There might be several good players returning to pick up the slack, but those two were special. The kicking game has to be better after Brian Schmiedebusch had an off year punting and the placekicking was mediocre.

Buffalo
Start: March 26 Spring Game: April 20

The defensive front that was a big positive last season has to replace end Steven Means and nose guard Wyatt Cahill. Using a front three, the Bulls were outstanding against the run and held its own so Khalil Mack and the linebackers could fly into the backfield. However, Means was one of the team’s best pass rushers and was one of the team’s key veterans. The linebacking corps needs a few reinforcements to step up with Isaac Baugh, Dalonte Wallace, Imani Chatman and Scott Pettigrew out of the rotation.

Kent State
Start: April 2, Spring Game: April 27

Seven starters are gone from a defense that wasn’t necessarily a rock in the first place. It was great at taking the ball away, and it was terrific at generating pressure into the backfield, but top pass rusher Jake Dooley is gone as is big tacklers Luke Batton and fellow linebacker C.J. Malauulu. The offense has to find a replacement for steady starter Spencer Keith along with three offensive linemen including tackles Brian Winters and Kent Cleveland.

Massachusetts

There’s a ton of work to do. There’s a strange mix of lots of young talent that’s going to be given time to mature and even more young talent that’s going to need to get through a season. Only five starters return to an offense that couldn’t stop throwing the ball away and couldn’t score on a regular basis, and while the defense gets most of the key parts back, both starting defensive tackles are gone. There’s hope for the future, but this looks like another lump-taking season while Charley Molnar tries to put all the pieces together.

Miami University
Start: March 25, Spring Game: April 26

Yes, four offensive linemen are back, but that hasn’t necessarily meant anything to MU’s offense over the years. Last year the line was 112th in the nation in sacks allowed and the ground game was the third-worst. In 2011, MU allowed the second-most sacks and finished dead last in rushing. In 2010, the line gave up 30 sacks and the ground game averaged 98 yards per game. It’s partly because of the design of the offense, but the wheel probably won’t be reinvented with this year’s attack, either.

Ohio
Start: March 13, Spring Game: April 13

The offense should be a killer with all the stars back, but the line has to replace center Skyler Allen and guard Eric Herman – two of the team’s key run blasters. The bigger problem is on defense where linebackers Alphonso Lewis and Jelani Woseley are gone on the outside. Free safety Gerald Moore will also be missed. Rock-solid kicker Matt Weller needs to be replaced; the new guy will have to prove to be as clutch.

WEST


Ball State
Start: March 26 Spring Game: April 20

There’s plenty of talent returning, but the few losses are massive, starting with linebackers Travis Freeman and Tony Martin, the team’s two top tacklers. Losing backup Justin Cruz won’t help the cause in the 4-2-5 alignment, while strong safety Jarrett Swaby has to be replaced. For a team that won several close games, losing kicker Steven Schott, who finished second in the nation in field goals, and punter Scott Kovanda will be a big problem.

Central Michigan
Start: March 12 Spring Game: April 13

Why did the offense improve so much over the second half of last year? Eric Fisher and the offensive line started to dominate, but he’s gone along with two other starters up front. Losing quarterback Ryan Radcliff will be a step back for the attack, while the defense that didn’t rush the passer last season has to try to improve despite losing Joe Kinville and Caesar Rodriguez on the outside. Making matters worse is the loss of playmaking strong safety Jahleel Addae and corners Anthony Young and Lorenzo White

Eastern Michigan
Start: March 12, Spring Game: TBD

It’s going to be hard to get the ground game ramped up with three starters gone off the offensive line. The bigger issue is a defense that struggled to generate any semblance of a pass rush and was the worst in America against the run. Only five starters are back, and while the lost veterans didn’t get the job done, the lack of experience is going to be a problem early on. The entire starting linebacking corps has to be replaced.

Northern Illinois
Start: March 20, Spring Game: April 13

The defense has to come up with some huge replacements. The Huskies were first in the MAC in tackles for loss and solid against the run and great against the deep ball, but they have to replace Sean Progar, Alan Baxter and most of the defensive front. Corner Rashaan Melvin and safety Demetrius Stone are gone in the secondary, and linebackers Victor Jacques and Tyrone Clark will be missed. There’s talent waiting in the wings, but it might take a little while for it all to come together.

Toledo
Start: March 14, Spring Game: April 12

The defense needs a ton of tweaking considering it couldn’t stop anyone’s passing game and eight starters are gone. Tackling-machine linebacker Dan Molls is gone from the middle, three starters have to be replaced up front, and three starters are gone from a secondary that got ripped to shreds allowing a MAC-worst 291 yards per game. After getting blown out by Utah State 41-15 in the bowl game, there’s lots of work to do.

Western Michigan
Start: March 19, Spring Game: April 20

The offense might have Tyler Van Tubbergen in place for quarterback Alex Carder, but six starters are gone with the line a big problem losing four starters including tackle Dann O’Neill. The attack didn’t blow up like it was supposed to, and now there should be a bit of a rebuilding period. Van Tubbergen isn’t going to fly around, and the line needs to be able to protect him. Top target Jaime Wilson is back, but outside playmaker Eric Monette and veteran tight end Blake Hammond are done.

2013 MAC Pre-Spring Preview
- Why Every Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Team Needs To Work On  
- MAC East Schedule Breakdown
- MAC West Schedule Breakdown
- MAC Composite Schedule Breakdown
- 2013 MAC Pre-Preseason Rankings