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2009 WAC Preview - Unit Rankings
San Jose State S Duke Ihenacho
San Jose State S Duke Ihenacho
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 4, 2009


2009 CollegeFootballNews.com Preview - WAC Unit Rankings

2009 CFN WAC Preview

Unit Rankings

 

Team Previews & Predictions
- Boise State |
Fresno State | Hawaii | Idaho | Louisiana Tech
- Nevada | New Mexico State | San Jose State | Utah State


- 2009 CFN WAC Preview
- WAC Team-by-Team Capsules

- CFN All-WAC Team & Top 30 Players
-
WAC Unit Rankings

- WAC Schedules & Predictions

- 2008 CFN WAC Preview

Offenses

1. Nevada
The Nevada Pistol offense will once again revolve around the all-around talents of QB Colin Kaepernick, one of the nation’s best running quarterbacks. He led the way for the No. 3 running attack that averaged 278 yards per game, and now that he’s more experienced, he’ll get more of a chance to open up the offense with the passing game. However, the stars are in the backfield with 1,521-yard back Vai Taua returning. The receiving corps loses its two best players, Marko Mitchell and Mike McCoy, meaning Chris Wellington has to use his excellent speed to take advantage of everyone stacking up against the run. The offensive line welcomes back two of the WAC’s best tackles, Mike Gallett and Alonzo Durham, but needs to play around with the inside.

2. Fresno State
3. Boise State
4. Louisiana Tech
5. San Jose State
6. Hawaii
7. Utah State
8. Idaho
9. New Mexico State

Quarterbacks

1. Nevada
With Nick Graziano leaving for Arkansas Tech, this is Colin Kaepernick’s job and Kaepernick’s offense. He’s a special player who needs to take another leap up in his production now that he has two years of experience, and he has to be more accurate. Luke Collis and Tyler Lantrip are promising, and now they need to be reliable.

2. Boise State
3. Hawaii
4. Fresno State
5. San Jose State
6. Louisiana Tech
7. Utah State
8. Idaho
9. New Mexico State

Running Backs

1. Fresno State
This is the strength of the Bulldog team, and if everyone could stay healthy for a full season, this could be the nation's best stable of backs. There's quickness, speed, power, and experience. The health problems aren't even that big an issue considering all the talent in the backfield. The coaching staff will be counting on this group to carry the team until the quarterback issues are settled.

2. Nevada
3. Boise State
4. Louisiana Tech
5. Idaho
6. San Jose State
7. Utah State
8. New Mexico State
9. Hawaii

Receivers

1. Fresno State
The receiving corps has the potential to blow up if the quarterbacks start bombing away. There's good experience, nice upside among the backups, and lots of home-run hitting ability. Consistency will be an issue, but the opportunity for big plays will be there considering all the attention that'll be paid to the running game.

2. San Jose State
3. Hawaii
4. Boise State
5. Louisiana Tech
6. Nevada
7. Utah State
8. New Mexico State
9. Idaho

Offensive Line

1. Fresno State
Fresno State's O lines are almost always terrific. Last year's line was a brick wall, and if everyone is healthy and if the tackles can come through, this year's line should be just as good, if not better by the end of the year. the interior will be a rock, as long as Andrew Jackson's back is fine, while Devon Cunningham will be good if he stays at right tackle, even if he has a few problems with speed rushers. The young, large reserves are promising, but they need time.

2. Louisiana Tech
3. Boise State
4. Nevada
5. San Jose State
6. Utah State
7. Hawaii
8. Idaho
9. New Mexico State

Defenses

1. Boise State
The defense has some major rebuilding to do, but everything will be fine. The line has to replace three starters to work around star end Ryan Winterswyk, but there's size, athleticism, and promise to keep up the production from a group that camped out in opposing backfields. The big question will be the consistent alignment. The 4-3 won't be scrapped, but there are so many good defensive backs, and so many options, there will be a 4-2-5 used more often than not. The secondary is loaded with four starters returning to a group that was second in the nation in pass efficiency defense. CB Kyle Wilson will play in the NFL, while CB Brandyn Thompson and FS Jeron Johnson are sure-thing all-stars. The linebacking corps is the typical undersized, scrappy unit that Boise State always has, and while the starting experience isn't there, outside of Derrell Acrey, tackling won't be an issue.

2. San Jose State
3. Fresno State
4. Nevada
5. Louisiana Tech
6. Hawaii
7. Utah State
8. Idaho
9. New Mexico State

Defensive Line


1. Nevada
The defensive front was fantastic throughout last year finishing eighth in the nation in tackles for loss, tenth in sacks, and sixth against the run. This is a big group that’s ultra-active on the outside and tough enough on the inside to get by. There needs to be a bit more from the backups this year and Kevin Basped and Dontay Moch have to stay healthy.

2. Boise State
3. San Jose State
4. Fresno State
5. Louisiana Tech
6. Hawaii
7. Utah State
8. Idaho
9. New Mexico State

Linebackers

1. Boise State
After a down year for the linebackers in 2007, the unit rocked last year. Now there are several good, young players to work with, and the spotlight will be on. With so much turnover in the front four, this group has to produce right away or the defense will be exposed by Oregon and Fresno State in the first three games.

2. San Jose State
3. Hawaii
4. Fresno State
5. Louisiana Tech
6. Nevada
7. Utah State
8. New Mexico State
9. Idaho

Defensive Backs

1. Boise State
A case could be made that Boise State's highly-rated secondary didn't exactly face a who's who of passing teams, with the WAC passing games getting by more on reputation than production, but New Mexico State and Hawaii combined for just 344 yards with no touchdowns and six interceptions. Whatever. The Broncos allowed just eight touchdown passes with 22 interceptions, and now all the key parts are back.

2. San Jose State
3. Fresno State
4. Louisiana Tech
5. Idaho
6. Hawaii
7. Nevada
8. New Mexico State
9. Utah State

Special Teams

1. Boise State
The special teams could be the best in America. PK/P Kyle Brotzman is a weapon who'll be a difference maker in at least one tight game, if Boise State plays any close ones, while Jeremy Avery and Kyle Wilson are terrific returners.

2. Fresno State
3. Idaho
4. Utah State
5. San Jose State
6. Louisiana Tech
7. New Mexico State
8. Hawaii
9. Nevada