This page is dedicated to scouting the opponents the Noles will face in 2009. Whenever you see news on an opposing team, post it in this comment section (which will remain open for eternity or until 2010). This page can be found in the left column under "special pages."
07.27.09 Massive Update
- Miami Hurricanes Examiner Good piece by a Hurricane fan
- CFN http://cfn.scout.com/2/859854.html
- CFN Offense http://cfn.scout.com/2/879354.html
- CFN Defense http://cfn.scout.com/2/879353.html
- CFN Depth Chart http://cfn.scout.com/2/879351.html
- Know Your Enemies 3 (Coastal)- Miami " UNC Football Blog
@ Brigham Young University (BYU)
- BYU had 3 starting/ Contributing defensive linemen leave for Mormon missions or fail out. Tialavea had started for two years ('07 and 08). Russell Tialavea (6-3 305) is a defensive tackle, and Ian Dulan (6-1 275) is the defensive end. Afutti is the 3rd. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705311402/BYU-football-Lineman-Afutiti-ruled-ineligible-for-09-season.html BYU loses another defensive lineman. BYU announced Thursday that junior defensive lineman Bernard Afutiti has been ruled academically ineligible and will not compete for the Cougars in 2009. Afutiti is the latest in a string of D-linemen who will not play for BYU this season. Starters Ian Dulan and Russell Tialavea, both juniors, have opted to serve missions. According to the depth chart released after spring practices, Afutiti was listed as Jan Jorgensen’s backup at left end. Afutiti, who was projected to be a major contributor this season, was sidelined for almost all of spring ball for academic reasons.
- There are no slogans for the Cougars this season, after last year’s "Quest for Perfection" ended with a 10-3 record. The Cougars will be lucky to leave their 2009 opener with a victory. They open the season against Oklahoma at the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium in Arlington, Texas. BYU also plays home games against Florida State on Sept. 19, TCU on Oct. 24 and Utah on Nov. 28. Quarterback Max Hall returns, but four starters on the offensive line must be replaced. The Cougars also lost top receivers Austin Collie and Michael Reed. The offense might be OK if tailback Harvey Unga stays healthy. Eight starters return on defense, but BYU still had questions at cornerback at the end of spring practice.
South Florida (USF)
- USF had an unsustainable high success rate on passing downs (2nd and 8+, 3rd/4th and 5+) http://footballoutsiders.com/varsity-numbers/2009/varsity-numbers-2008-offensive-buffet
- Rivals.com College Football - Rivals.com 120 Countdown: No. 25 South Florida
- The Quad Countdown: No. 40 South Florida - The Quad Blog - NYTimes.com
@ Boston College
- BC Linebacker Mark Herzlich has Ewings Sarcoma (Bone Cancer), and will undergo Chemo. BC is now without their top 4 linebackers from last year (studs), and without their two monster defensive tackles.
- http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_college/2009/05/acc-spring-prospectus-no-8-boston-college.html (before the bone cancer for Herzlich)
- College Football News preview http://cfn.scout.com/2/859843.html
- CFN Offense Preview http://cfn.scout.com/2/859860.html
- CFN Defense Preview http://cfn.scout.com/2/859860.html
- CFN Depth Chart http://cfn.scout.com/2/872120.html
- BC's coach: "we won’t be spreading it out or throwing it a bunch. we will be pro style 2 back rushing"
- Know your enemies (UNC blog) http://tarheeltds.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/know-your-enemies-9-atlantic-boston-college/
- Know Your Enemies 2 (Coastal)- Georgia Tech Preview
- Phil Steele UNC Preview (download)
- Rivals.com College Football - Rivals.com 120 Countdown: No. 28 North Carolina
- Scout.com: NEW ... 2009 CFN North Carolina Preview
- Phil Steele NC State Preview Page (a very good download)
- Note: probably unsustainable level of long distance downs success
- Know Your Enemies- 6 (Atlantic)- NC State " UNC Football Blog
- http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_college/2009/05/acc-spring-prospectus-no-7-clemson.html Not very well done
- Know your enemies (UNC blog) http://tarheeltds.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/know-your-enemies-8-atlantic-clemson/
- Rivals.com College Football - Rivals.com 120 Countdown: No. 32 Clemson
- CollegeFootballNews http://cfn.scout.com/2/859849.html
- CFN Offense http://cfn.scout.com/2/865524.html
- CFN Defense http://cfn.scout.com/2/865523.html
- CFN Depth Chart http://cfn.scout.com/2/865523.html
- Know your Enemies http://tarheeltds.wordpress.com/2009/07/26/know-your-enemies-10-atlantic-wake-forest/
- CollegeFootballNews Preview http://cfn.scout.com/2/859850.html
- CFN Offense http://cfn.scout.com/2/870207.html
- CFN Defense http://cfn.scout.com/2/870206.html
- CFN Depth Chart http://cfn.scout.com/2/870205.html
- Very Biased DL – Much of the defensive line’s success will come from whether or not junior DT Dion Armstrong stays academically eligible. Right now, Friedgen said that Armstrong is probably 50/50. The Terps are already without DE Mack Frost, DT Jeremy Navarre (Jaguars) and DE Trey Covington (Jets, I think) but both were guys who never lived up to their potential. Senior lineman Travis Ivey will start but missed part of the spring with an injury. Redshirt freshmen AJ Francis and Masengo Kabongo may start but will definitely get playing time either way. True freshmen DeOnte Arnett and Zach Kerr could see the field and have the talent, but may not be needed.
LB – Dave Philistin and Moise Fokou both got picked up by NFL teams after going undrafted, and the Terps have some big shoes to fill. However, junior Adrian Moten could be an all-conference player if he stays healthy. Junior Alex Wujciak led the team in tackles last year (133 total) and is a monster in the middle. Sophomore Ben Pooler should contribute and could start by the fall, but has to heal a lingering injury first. Redshirt freshman Demetrius Hartsfield may start and nearly saw the field last year. He has earned high praise from Friedgen and is an attacking backer with serious athleticism. Junior Drew Gloster, a former tight end with academic/attitude issues, switched to linebacker and has turned some heads.
CB – Kevin Barnes got drafted by the Redskins but was out for the majority of the year with a shoulder injury, which meant several reserves got meaningful playing time. Senior Anthony Wiseman leads the crew and starts alongside senior Nolan Carroll. Fifth-year senior Richard Taylor should get granted an extra year of eligibility after getting hurt last season. Other reserves include sophomore Trenton Hughes, who didn’t play last season, and sophomore Cam Chism, who may break through the depth chart and see the field a lot, if not start at some point. The depth is a bit of a concern but with a new scheme it may be a good time to have the young kids learning the new formations and plays.
S – The Terps lose Jeff Allen but return senior Terrell Skinner, a senior known for making some big hits last season. Senior Jamari McCollough started just two games at strong safety last year but picked off four passes and should be a solid starter in a senior-laden secondary. Sophomore Kenny Tate is a monster at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds and has great instincts for a young player, and should see the field a lot.
Defensive injuries/academics/questionables – The Terps stole first-year defensive coordinator Don Brown from his head coaching gig at UMASS and he has already made waves. Brown is an old-school dude with a mustache and a gruff voice, who loves to blitz and put pressure on the quarterback. This is a welcomed change from former DC Chris Cosh (Kansas State), who played a very soft zone predicated on reacting to a play rather than altering it. The defensive line will be much, much stronger if Armstrong can stay eligible.
K – Obi Egekeze is gone and Maryland must figure out a way to replace him, despite a fairly weak leg and some consistency issues. Fighting for the starting gig are Mike Barbour and Nick Wallace (IUP transfer). Nick Ferrara, a heralded high school kicker in Long Island, NY, may swoop in and take the job when he begins class this fall.
P – Junior Travis Baltz returns as one of the top punters in the nation, first-team All-ACC and led the ACC in punting as a sophomore.
QB – For the first time in several years, there is no quarterback controversy. Chris Turner has the gig for once and for all. QBs Jordan Steffy (graduated) and Josh Portis (transferred) are no longer with the program. Turner has been effective, though not a stud by any means. He started nine games as a sophomore and 12 games as a junior, so he has good experience for an ACC quarterback. Turner doesn’t have a cannon but does have the ability to make good throws and should be one of the better returning ACC quarterbacks. His biggest asset is probably his ability to keep an even keel, something that the coaching staff jokes about as he is a California kid.
RB – Top rusher Da’Rel Scott (209 car, 1,113 yards, 8 TDs) returns, as do Nos. 2 and 3 in sophomore Davin Meggett (89 car, 457 yds, 4 TDs) and Morgan Green (24 car, 112 yds, 3 TDs). While those are the top three running backs on the roster, the Terps do lose a mobile QB in Portis, who carried for 186 yards last season, and WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (15 car, 202 yds, TD), who ran reverses and trick plays last year. Scott missed part of the spring with a sprained knee but should be 100% back to health by June.
FB – Senior fullback Cory Jackson is one of the best players on the Terps’ offense. Though he rarely gets carries, he paved the way for NFL RBs Keon Lattimore and Lance Ball, and has a high motor. As a sophomore, he broke his hand against UNC before the half, got his hand taped up and started the second half.
OL – Easily the biggest concern for this team, having graduated three off the line, including center Edwin Williams. Junior Bruce Campbell has NFL talent if he can stay academically eligible (it looks likely he will), but other than Campbell and senior Phil Costa, the o-line has very little experience. Costa is taking over at center despite never having played at center in college. A pair of redshirt freshmen in RJ Dill and Justin Lewis are slated as starters and earned praise from head coach Ralph Friedgen, but it is certainly still an area of concern.
WR – Junior receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey bolted to the NFL (#7 overall to the Raiders), yet the star wideout was under-utilized and only ended up with 23 percent of the team’s receiving yards. Still, he was the top receiving option and a terrific deep threat. Danny Oquendo, the team’s top possession receiver, graduated, leaving a crop of several young-but-unproven receivers to shoulder the load. Sophomores Ronnie Tyler (20 recs, 225 yds, TD) and Torrey Smith (24 recs, 336 yds, 2 TDs) dazzled at time last year and will be two of the top targets. Juniors Adrian Cannon (3 recs, 75 yds, TD) and Emani Lee-Odai (12 recs, 115 yds) should contribute as well, while redshirt freshmen Kevin Dorsey and Kerry Boykins have the talent to see the field this year. The wide receiving unit, while unproven, is expected to be one of the strong points on the team.
TE – Gone is Dan Gronkowski (brother of Arizona’s Rob Gronkowski), a heady blocking tight end who got selected in the 7th round of the NFL Draft. Everyone else in the TE corps comes back, though. Senior Tommy Galt will be the primary blocking tight end and the Terps have a trio of tight ends who are known for their hands: sophomore Lansford Watson (10 recs, 115 yds), Matt Furstenburg (RS-Fr) and Devonte Campbell (RS-Fr), who should all be good options for Turner to find.
Offensive injuries/academics/questionables – Offensive coordinator James Franklin is in his second year after coming to Maryland from Kansas State. He was named the head coach in waiting in the offseason and is a very good recruiter. However, last year the Terps lacked some offensive sizzle that Franklin was expected to bring, running a fairly vanilla scheme. Potential future pro Bruce Campbell has to fight to stay academically eligible but missed part of spring practice to hit the books.
I plan to update this page throughout the offseason and during the season. Anything you find, put it in this comment section. Help the cause, and in turn, we'll write better previews for our games.