What you need to know ...
The West Coast attack did absolutely nothing last season
finishing 117th in the nation in total offense and 116th in
scoring averaging 257 yards and 13.8 points per game. Worse yet,
things got worse as the season went on. There's hope for
immediate improvement with talented sophomores at running back
and the line to build around and good young receivers to push
starters Tim Lane and Rice Moss. Can one of the quarterbacks get
things moving? Perry Patterson is the main man, but he'll be
pushed hard by Joe Fields, Cameron Dantley and Matt Hale.
Passing: Perry Patterson
130-273, 1,504 yds, 6 TD, 11 INT
Rushing: Kareem Jones
123 carries, 108 yds, 0 TD
Receiving: Tim Lane
27 catches, 341 yds, 1 TD
Star of the offense: Senior QB Perry Patterson
Player that has to step up and become a star: Patterson
Unsung star on the rise: Redshirt freshman WR Lavar
Best pro prospect: Lobdell
Top three all-star candidates: 1) RB Curtis Brinkley, 2)
OG Carroll Madison, 3) Patterson
Strength of the offense: Young prospects, running back
Weakness of the offense: Proven
quarterback, line depth
It's a chicken and egg problem for
the Orange quarterbacks. Are they not that good, or do they not
have any talent around them to work with? Experience certainly
won't be an issue with Perry Patterson the main man over the
last 39 games and Joe Fields a veteran reserve. Cameron Dantley
is an interesting young prospect, while big Matt Hale is a big
option if the offense is looking for a pure passer.
The key to the unit: Efficiency. SU quarterbacks
finished 117th in the nation in passing efficiency with only
Ohio and Duke having more problems. Getting the offense moving
in some way, shape, or form is priority one.
Quarterback Rating: 6
- Perry Patterson, Sr. - 139-273, 48%, 1,504 yds, 6 TD,
11 INT, 3 rushing touchdowns
Theoretically, Patterson should be a nice fit for what the
coaching staff wants to do. He's a 6-4, 242-pound bomber with a
great arm and enough mobility to design running plays around,
but it just hasn't worked out for him over the course of his
career. While he's seventh on the school's all-time passing
list, he has only completed 53% of his passes over the course of
his career with 13 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions. The
coaching staff has basically given him the starting job, but he
has to produce early this fall.
- Joe Fields, Jr. - 9-28, 32%, 155 yds, 3 INT, 25
carries, 64 yds, 2.6 ypc
Fields has seen plenty of time over his first two seasons
getting a few starts. He's not the big passer that Perry
Patterson is and he has had problems with interceptions, but
he's a good runner who could provide a spark now that he knows
what he's doing. He'll get every shot to step up and take away
the starting job this summer.
- Cameron Dantley, RFr.
A good passer with big-time upside, the 6-1, 222-pound son of
former NBA star Adrian Dantley might not be in the mix for the
number one job this season, but he should see plenty of work if
things start to go south again.
- Matt Hale, Jr. - 0-2
A big 6-5, 221-pound pro-style quarterback, Hale saw a little
bit of tome against Virginia misfiring on both of his passes. He
might be number four in the quarterback race, but he has enough
practice experience to work his way up the depth chart if he can
The loss of Damien Rhodes took away 219 of the team's 396
carries and 900 of the team's 1,172 yards, but there's hope for
the nation's 107th ranked rushing attack to make a big
improvement. There's plenty of talent with sophomores Curtis
Brinkley and Kareem Jones each good enough grow into a special
featured back. Paul Chiara is a good-looking young back who'll
get every shot at the starting job, while Jeremy Sellers is back
from injury to provide some power.
The key to the unit: Make things happen. There's
plenty of quickness and potential among the young backs. There's
no reason to only average three yards a carry again.
Running Back Rating: 6
- Curtis Brinkley, Soph. - 7 carries, 26 yds, 3.7 ypc
Brinkley is neck and neck with Paul Chiara for the starting
tailback job, but he has way too much talent to not be the
featured back. He adds a bit more flash and more talent with the
speed to be a solid kick returner.
- Fullback Stephen McDonald, Jr. - 2 carries, 12 yds, 2
catches, 16 yds
McDonald finally broke the injury curse coming back from a
broken leg to start in six games. He's a 240-pound blocker with
enough power to be used as a regular for the ground game in
short yardage situations.
- Paul Chiara, Soph. - 16 carries, 94 yds, 4 catches, 30
yds, 7.5 ypc
Chiara got the top spot on the depth chart coming out of spring
ball combining with Curtis Brinkley. He was an All-Big East
performer in the classroom, and now he needs to provide a little
bit of power along with his decent speed burst. Don't expect him
to be a workhorse, but he should be effective with 10-15 carries
- Kareem Jones. Soph. - 42 carries, 108 yds, 2.6 ypc, 5 catches, 43 yds, 8.6 ypc
Jones made his mark as a kickoff returner and second leading
rusher as a true freshman. Now he'll use his speed and size to
be more of a factor in the running back rotation where he should
quickly find around ten carries per game. He's a slippery back
with a little bit of power between the tackles..
- Jeremy Sellers, Jr.
A safety and receiver early in his career, the 203-pound junior
suffered a foot injury early on last year and ended up missing
the rest of the season. He should grow into a part-time role
once he's 100%.
- Fullback Bryone Evans, Soph. - 3 catches, 8 yds
Evans will combine with Tony Flammetta for the backup fullback
job after seeing plenty of action as a reserve last season. He
has decent hands and isn't a bad blocker.
Depending on the quarterback improvement,
expect the receiving corps to be much better. Tim Lane and Rice
Moss are decent veterans who might be quickly pushed out of the
way by 2005's star recruit Lavar Lobdell, who's back from a
season-ending shoulder injury, and JUCO transfer Taj Smith. In
other words, there are more options this year. Steady tight end
Joe Kowlewski has to be replaced, but Tom Ferron and Brandon
Darlington will be more than fine.
The key to the unit: The receiver have to make the
quarterbacks better and provide some sort of a threat to take
the heat off the ground game.
Receiver Rating: 6.5
- Tim Lane, Sr. - 27 catches, 341 yds, 12.6 ypc, 1 TD
Lane had a consistent year at the X, but he was hardly explosive
with a high game of 74 yards coming against Cincinnati. He's a
physical 6-2, 206 pounds with nice hands and the speed to be a
decent kick returner. Now he has to be more of a big-play
- Rice Moss, Jr. - 26 catches, 359 yds, 13.8 ypc
He's 6-2, 201 pounds, and fast. The team's leading yardage
receiver last season, Moss was mostly a possession target until
catching six passes for 116 yards in the season finale against
Louisville. With his experience and skills, he needs to get the
ball in his hands at least 40 times.
- Tight end Brandon Darlington, Sr. - 1 catch, 12 yds
The career reserve has good hands and is a strong blocker, but
he's not great at getting open. The 6-4, 260-pound senior will
be part of a steady rotation being used mostly in the running
- Lavar Lobdell, RFr.
Lodbell was the program's big recruit last season and was thrown
into the mix right away as a true freshman before getting
knocked out for the year with a shoulder injury. He's 6-3 and
201 pounds with next-level skills. If the Orange passing game is
going to make a quick turnaround, Lobdell will be a main reason.
- Taj Smith, Jr.
The JUCO transfer is expected to make an immediate impact
challenging for time behind Rice Moss. He caught 53 passes and
scored ten touchdowns last season for Bakersfield Community
College. He's 6-1 and 184 pounds with good hands and great
- Jeremy Horne, RFr.
A strong prospect who'll be slowly brought into the mix, the 6-2
Horne will look for time as a third receiver and on special
- Tight end
Tom Ferron, Soph. - 3 catches, 46 yds, 15.3 ypc
Ferron didn't see a lot of action as a true freshman, but he
made an impact when he was on the field. He's a tough all-around
player with better receiving skills than Brandon Darlington.
He'll be a major factor in two tight end sets.
The line has to be better after allowing 37 sacks and paving
the way for a mere 107 rushing yards per game, but it might not be right
away with several new starters and no experienced depth. There is hoe
for a bit of a turnaround as the season goes on with four promising
sophomores to build around and an all-star JUCO transfer in Ian Hammond
to bring a little bit of experience.
The key to the unit: Improve from week to week. This
hardly going to be a dominant line in September, but it could be the
strength of the team in 2007.
Offensive Line Rating: 6
- OT Corey Chavers, Soph.
Chavers will take over one of the starting tackle spots after spending
last year on the bench. He's a tall, athletic 6-5 and 295 pounds with
plenty of upside, but he's raw and will need time to learn on the fly.
- OG Carroll Madison, Soph.
Madison got in better shape working his way down to 316 pounds last year
and now returns as one of the team's most experienced linemen. Able to
play anywhere on the line with starts at left tackle and left guard,
he'll have to be a rock for the young line.
- C Justin Outten, Sr.
Despite starting every game last year, Outten is hardly a lock to get
the job come fall. He's strong and isn't a bad all-around blocker, but
he's only 274 pounds and gets pushed around a little too much.
- OG Ryan Durand, Soph.
The team's most talented lineman, the 6-5, 312-pound sophomore saw time
as a reserve last year and now will take over for Steve Franklin at
right guard. His emergence could be a big boost to a line sorely in need
of an upgrade.
- OT Eugene Newsome, Soph.
The massive 6-7, 322-pound sophomore was mostly a special teamer last
season. Now he'll get the start at right tackle replacing Quinn Ojinnaka.
He has the long frame to grow into a strong pass protector, but he's
going to need time to figure out what he's doing.
- C Marvin McCall, Jr.
At 292 pounds, he's a much bigger option than Justin Otten in the
middle. McCall didn't play over the last two years but saw plenty of
practice time at both guard and center.
- T Ian Hammond, Jr.
The All-America JUCO transfer is expected to be an instant factor at
tackle battling Corey Chavers for time. He's 6-3 and 308 pounds
with great pass blocking technique.