<![CDATA[CFB RSS Feed]]> en 120 <![CDATA[Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart]]> https://sportschatplace.com/cfb-picks/2017/06/21/louisiana-lafayette-ragin-cajuns-2017-college-football-preview-schedule-prediction-depth-chart#comments The 2017 Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns shoot for their 6th Bowl appearance in seven seasons under Mark Hudspeth.

Overview: Mark Hudspeth needs to revive an offense that was little more then average at best in 2016 and hope an experienced UL Lafayette defense can jell and carry the team to the postseason once again.

Offense: The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns are hoping Jordan Davis is ready to step up from a backup at quarterback to a starting role with Anthony Jennings graduating. The Cajuns lose two of their top three receiving options…

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The 2017 Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns shoot for their 6th Bowl appearance in seven seasons under Mark Hudspeth.

Overview: Mark Hudspeth needs to revive an offense that was little more then average at best in 2016 and hope an experienced UL Lafayette defense can jell and carry the team to the postseason once again.

Offense: The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns are hoping Jordan Davis is ready to step up from a backup at quarterback to a starting role with Anthony Jennings graduating. The Cajuns lose two of their top three receiving options of a season ago but the cupboard is not bare with Devin Scott coming back from injury to join Ryheem Malone (SMU transfer), Ja’Marcus Bradley and Keenan Barnes to give the passing attack some explosive potential. UL Lafayette sees running back Elijah McGuire graduate which has the spotlight on Darius Hoggins and Jordan Wright with both fighting for carries behind an experienced offensive line that gets back seven players with starting experience. 

Defense: The Ragin’ Cajuns defense might have to carry the load if the offense struggles and the defensive line looks up to the task with seven of the top eight returning for a unit that helped form a top 35 ‘D’ against the run. End Joe Dillon recorded over 12 TFL and seven sacks and forms a solid nucleus with tackles Kevon Perry and Taboris Lee. ULL received a ton of production at linebacker a year ago but the top three in this group are gone which means we’ll have to wait and see how things go. The Louisiana-Lafayette secondary could certainly use all the help they can get from the linebacking corps because the group ranked in the bottom quarter versus the pass in 2016.

Special Teams: Big leg punter Steven Coutts brings back a hefty 44 yard average  while dependable PK Steve Artigue is also back and both were the main reasons this unit was top 35 material. 

Outlook: The Ragin’ Cajuns need a viable rushing attack to prevent the opposition from keying on the pass and at least give a potentially good defense a fighting chance. The schedule looks tough and ULL will have to win a game or two on the road against difficult competition to go Bowling.

Schedule:

9-2 vs. Southeastern Louisiana

9-9 @ Tulsa

9-16 @ Texas A&M

9-23 vs. UL Monroe

10-7 @ Idaho

10-12 vs. Texas State

10-19 @ Arkansas State

11-4 @ South Alabama

11-11 @ Ole Miss

11-18 vs. New Mexico State

11-25 vs. Georgia Southern

12-2 @ Appalachian State

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Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:14:32 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=88080
<![CDATA[South Alabama Jaguars 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart]]> https://sportschatplace.com/cfb-picks/2017/06/08/south-alabama-jaguars-2017-college-football-preview-schedule-prediction-depth-chart#comments The South Alabama Jaguars look for some consistency to make an impact in 2017.

Overview: The South Alabama Jaguars seem to play to the level of their competition and need to avoid this scenario to make a run at Bowl eligibility and the Sun Belt crown.

Offense: Quarterback Dallas Davis looked both good and bad at times in his inaugural campaign as starter for South Alabama with some injuries mixed in as well in 2016 but the team needs a steadier presence and fewer mistakes this season especially with a year of experience to lean on. The issue…

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The South Alabama Jaguars look for some consistency to make an impact in 2017.

Overview: The South Alabama Jaguars seem to play to the level of their competition and need to avoid this scenario to make a run at Bowl eligibility and the Sun Belt crown.

Offense: Quarterback Dallas Davis looked both good and bad at times in his inaugural campaign as starter for South Alabama with some injuries mixed in as well in 2016 but the team needs a steadier presence and fewer mistakes this season especially with a year of experience to lean on. The issue for Davis and the Jaguars is finding some dependable receivers with the top four options gone leaving Jordan McCray and Sam Harris as possible top targets at wide receiver with tight end Maaseiah Francis being the only known quantity. Xavier Johnson gives USA a potential 1,000 yard back that will run behind five players with starting experience that includes a few transfers. 

Defense:  The Jaguars have generally fielded a decent defense but their run ‘D’ wasn’t very good and their pass defense was so opponents usually ran the ball often in 2016. The South Alabama defensive line gets back Tyree Turner and Finesse Middleton who combined for 14 TFL with Middleton recording 4.5 sacks. Darrell Songy leads the linebacking unit with his ability to get behind the opposing line while USA has numerous transfers and freshman throughout the front seven that should give the team production and depth. Jalen Thompson, Devon Earl and Jeremy Reeves paced an active South Alabama secondary but we’ll see if this group gets help from a pass rush.

Special Teams: Big leg punter Brandon McKee has graduated and his 44+ yard average will be difficult to match but most everybody is back although the numbers say this unit might struggle.

Outlook: South Alabama has to prove they can stop the run and their passing attack is competitive to challenge Bowl eligibility. I think USA is postseason material but winning the Sun Belt doesn’t look promising.

Schedule:

9-2 @ Ole Miss

9-8 vs. Oklahoma State

9-16 vs. Alabama A&M

9-23 vs. Idaho

9-30 @ Louisiana Tech

10-11 @ Troy

10-21 vs. UL Monroe

10-26 @ Georgia State

11-4 vs. UL Lafayette

11-11 vs. Arkansas State

11-18 @ Georgia Southern

12-2 @ New Mexico State

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Thu, 08 Jun 2017 19:00:00 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=87207
<![CDATA[Texas State Bobcats 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart]]> https://sportschatplace.com/cfb-picks/2017/06/08/texas-state-bobcats-2017-college-football-preview-schedule-prediction-depth-chart#comments The Texas State Bobcats hope for across the board improvement in 2017 to rebound from a two win campaign last season.

Overview: Everett Withers begins his second season at the helm of the Texas State Bobcats and he has some returning talent that should make the future a bit brighter.

Offense: Texas State loses quarterback Tyler Jones and his 64% completion rate but the team has a few high ranked freshman coming in along with Mississippi State transfer Damian Williams to fill the void. Whoever captures the starting job under center for the Bobcats…

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The Texas State Bobcats hope for across the board improvement in 2017 to rebound from a two win campaign last season.

Overview: Everett Withers begins his second season at the helm of the Texas State Bobcats and he has some returning talent that should make the future a bit brighter.

Offense: Texas State loses quarterback Tyler Jones and his 64% completion rate but the team has a few high ranked freshman coming in along with Mississippi State transfer Damian Williams to fill the void. Whoever captures the starting job under center for the Bobcats has a myriad of receivers to throw to including Tyler Watts, Thurman Morbley and Elijah King, Running back Stedman Mayberry was also a threat out of the backfield with 40+ receptions although he didn’t give Texas State a huge presence in the rushing game. The Bobcats suffered their share of injuries along the offensive line a season ago and lost some experience to graduation so younger players will be called o to produce.

Defense:  Texas State did not defend the run very well last season so the thinking is another year of experience has to be a positive thing.  The Bobcats do have tackle Jordan Mittie and end Ishmael Davis back on the defensive line along with some freshman and transfers so the unit is hopeful an improvement versus the run is in the works. Texas State does get back everyone that was a major contributor at linebacker including Gabe Loyd, Bryan London and Frankie Griffin although the front seven were not really a threat at rushing the opposing quarterback. The Texas State secondary was the strength of the defensive side of the football and have experience and depth but it will be a tough row to hoe if the front seven don’t generate a pass rush.

Special Teams: The Bobcats were a decent special teams squad a season but a few key contributors have either graduated or transferred so the unit has a few voids to fill.

Outlook: Texas State won their first two games in 2016 and never tasted victory again so there is hope that a year of seasoning will have to help although a little improvement will not have an earth changing impact in the win column.

Schedule: 

9-2 vs. Houston Baptist

9-9 @ Colorado

9-16 vs. Appalachian State

9-23 vs. UTSA

9-30 @ Wyoming

10-7 vs. UL Monroe

10-12 @ UL Lafayette

10-28 @ Coastal Carolina

11-4 vs. New Mexico State

11-11 vs. Georgia State

11-18 @ Arkansas State

12-24 @ Troy

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Thu, 08 Jun 2017 19:00:00 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=87225
<![CDATA[New Mexico State Aggies 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart]]> https://sportschatplace.com/cfb-picks/2017/06/06/new-mexico-state-aggies-2017-college-football-preview-schedule-prediction-depth-chart#comments The New Mexico State Aggies hope for a breakthrough season from the defensive side of the football to make some noise in 2017.

Overview: Head coach Doug Martin and the New Mexico State Aggies were just 3-9 a year ago and need a healthy rushing attack and a viable passing game to overcome some defensive deficiencies.

Offense: New Mexico State needs some balance on offense and that means quarterback Tyler Rogers (granted one more year of eligibility)  has to complete passes and he has some options to play catch with. The Aggies top receiving options…

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The New Mexico State Aggies hope for a breakthrough season from the defensive side of the football to make some noise in 2017.

Overview: Head coach Doug Martin and the New Mexico State Aggies were just 3-9 a year ago and need a healthy rushing attack and a viable passing game to overcome some defensive deficiencies.

Offense: New Mexico State needs some balance on offense and that means quarterback Tyler Rogers (granted one more year of eligibility)  has to complete passes and he has some options to play catch with. The Aggies top receiving options are OJ Clark, Jaleel Scott, Gregory Hogan and Izaiah Lottie but the passing attack has to be competent, not earth shattering if the rushing game stays healthy. NMSU is hoping running back Larry Rose III remains healthy for a full 12 game slate for two reasons; he is very good and depth behind him is an unknown. New Mexico State should be fine up front with transfers and returning players giving the line plenty of potential.

Defense: New Mexico State had their moments stopping the run but struggled mightily against the pass. The front seven showed potential versus the run but didn’t help a porous secondary much with virtually no pass rush as opposing quarterbacks generally had a field day in the air. The NMSU defensive line gets back Stody Bradley and Kourtland Busby and has several ranked freshman and JUCO transfers coming in. The Aggies linebacking unit features Dalton Herrington and Terrill Hanks who made numerous TFL in run defense while for better or worse the secondary gets back virtually everyone and the thinking is a year of experience has to be a good thing.

Special Teams: The Aggies return punter Payton Theisler and placekicker Parker Davidson with Gregory Hogan handling return duties but coverage units were poor at best.

Outlook: New Mexico State is in their last season in the Sun Belt so a Bowl would be a great way to head in to their role as an Independent in 2018. I believe a healthy Aggies squad could become Bowl eligible but their schedule looks to be too tough.

Schedule:

8-31 @ Arizona State

9-9 @ New Mexico

9-16 vs. Troy

9-23 vs. UTEP

9-30 @ Arkansas

10-7 @ Appalachian State

10-14 @ Georgia Southern

10-28 vs. Arkansas State

11-4 @ Texas State

11-18 @ UL Lafayette

11-25 vs. Idaho

12-2 vs. South Alabama

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Tue, 06 Jun 2017 19:00:00 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=87090
<![CDATA[Idaho Vandals 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart]]> https://sportschatplace.com/cfb-picks/2017/06/02/idaho-vandals-2017-college-football-preview-schedule-prediction-depth-chart#comments The Idaho Vandals are hoping to make their last season in the FBS one to remember.

Overview: The Idaho Vandals won nine games including the Potato Bowl a year ago and should have enough offense to cause problems for opponents although head coach Paul Petrino has some holes on the defensive side of the football.

Offense: Quarterback Matt Linehan is the undeniable leader of the Idaho offense as he spread the ball around and was highly efficient with a 62% completion rate. A few of the Vandals top receivers are gone so Linehan and the receiving…

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The Idaho Vandals are hoping to make their last season in the FBS one to remember.

Overview: The Idaho Vandals won nine games including the Potato Bowl a year ago and should have enough offense to cause problems for opponents although head coach Paul Petrino has some holes on the defensive side of the football.

Offense: Quarterback Matt Linehan is the undeniable leader of the Idaho offense as he spread the ball around and was highly efficient with a 62% completion rate. A few of the Vandals top receivers are gone so Linehan and the receiving corps will depend on Rueben Mwehla, Jacob Sannon and a few youngsters to keep the chains moving. Idaho wasn’t much of rushing threat but the expectations are higher with Aaron Duckworth and Isaiah Saunders competing for carries. The Vandals return a trio of offensive linemen with starting experience and they have size but depth is definitely a worry especially if the injury bug bites.

Defense:  The Vandals were solid against the run and poor versus the pass a season ago but things could be reversed in 2017. This is because the defensive line lost four of their top five in this unit which wasn’t deep to begin with so the Vandals have questions aplenty up front. The Idaho pass defense in 2016 was non-existent at times and poor overall and some injuries were partly to blame but the pass ‘D’ could get a boost if CB Dorian Clark and safety Jordan Grabski make a return from injury. Fortunately, the Vandals linebacking crew of Ed Hall, Kaden Elliss and Tony Lashley were more then capable versus the run and pass but they did receive help from the D-Line a year ago and that might not be the case in 2017.

Special Teams: Idaho was a top 20 special teams unit in 2016 but the unit needs an overhaul and will likely fall in the national rankings especially with the big foot of Austin Rehkow impossible to replace.

Outlook: I would love to see Idaho end their FBS run with another Bowl win but the receiving corps, running game and defensive line need to prove themselves on the field and we also can’t assume the pass defense will be solid either so I’m not confident of a postseason bid and I hope I’m wrong.

Schedule:

8-31 vs. Sacramento State

9-9 vs. UNLV

9-16 @ Western Michigan

9-23 @ South Alabama

10-7 vs. UL Lafayette

10-14 vs. Appalachian State

10-21 @ Missouri

10-28 vs. UL Monroe

11-2 @ Troy

11-18 vs. Coastal Carolina

11-25 @ New Mexico State

12-2 @ Georgia State

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Fri, 02 Jun 2017 19:00:00 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=86790
<![CDATA[Georgia State Panthers 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart]]> https://sportschatplace.com/cfb-picks/2017/05/31/georgia-state-panthers-2017-college-football-preview-schedule-prediction-depth-chart#comments The Georgia State Panthers open a new stadium with a new head coach and hopes of a Bowl in 2017.

Overview: Shawn Elliott takes over a Georgia State program that is still testing the FBS waters. Elliott has some pieces to lean on but will it be enough in the top heavy Sun Belt?

Offense: The Georgia State Panthers have been known for their passing style offense and with one year of experience under his belt, quarterback Connor Manning will look for more consistency. The good news for the Panthers receiving corps is Penny Hart is due back after…

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The Georgia State Panthers open a new stadium with a new head coach and hopes of a Bowl in 2017.

Overview: Shawn Elliott takes over a Georgia State program that is still testing the FBS waters. Elliott has some pieces to lean on but will it be enough in the top heavy Sun Belt?

Offense: The Georgia State Panthers have been known for their passing style offense and with one year of experience under his belt, quarterback Connor Manning will look for more consistency. The good news for the Panthers receiving corps is Penny Hart is due back after missing much of 2016 with injuries and he’ll join the cast of Jawan Nobles, TE Ari Werts and several freshman to form a competent group. The GSU ground game wasn’t very productive but Kyler Neal showed some potential in an injury riddled 2016. The offensive line wasn’t a world beating unit a season ago and four starters are back along with some highly touted freshman so this group logically should be better. 

Defense: Georgia State doesn’t have a history of being great defensively but they were very competitive a season ago and bring back many of those faces in 2017. End Makendy Cheridor made his share of plays along the Panthers defensive line with NT Julien Laurent giving the interior of the line some beef and altogether this unit gets back four of their top six. Michael Shaw gave Georgia State 12 TFL at linebacker and three of the top four return for this group. The Panthers stout passing defense will be strong once again with the secondary getting back six of their top seven so the defense that once was an afterthought has become a dependable strength.

Special Teams: The Panthers were not a very good special teams squad and virtually ever body returns. Punter Brandon Wright doesn’t have a big leg and his punts were generally returned while longer field goals were not on the menu which was is why Georgia State was ranked near the bottom in special teams.

Outlook: The Georgia State defense might be leaned on once again if their counterparts on offense struggle throwing the ball and have more issues on the ground but I think the potential is there for Bowl eligibility.

Schedule:

8-31 vs. Tennessee State

9-16 @ Penn State

9-23 @ Charlotte

9-30 vs. Memphis

10-7 @ Coastal Carolina

10-14 @ UL Monroe

10-21 vs. Troy

10-26 vs. South Alabama

11-4 @ Georgia Southern

11-11 @ Texas State

11-25 vs. Appalachian State

12-2 vs. Idaho

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Wed, 31 May 2017 19:00:00 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=86658
<![CDATA[Arkansas State Red Wolves 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart]]> https://sportschatplace.com/cfb-picks/2017/05/30/arkansas-state-red-wolves-2017-college-football-preview-schedule-prediction-depth-chart#comments The Arkansas State Red Wolvers look for their 7th consecutive postseason bid in 2017.

Overview: Head coach Blake Anderson looks to continue his successful run at Arkansas State and he has the pieces to do that if the rushing attack takes some of the burden off of the passing game.

Offense: The Arkansas State rushing attack was lackluster a season ago but the team received a boost in the passing attack with Justice Hansen who threw to everybody that was allowed to catch a pass. That shouldn’t change with ASU returning seven of the top eight pass…

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The Arkansas State Red Wolvers look for their 7th consecutive postseason bid in 2017.

Overview: Head coach Blake Anderson looks to continue his successful run at Arkansas State and he has the pieces to do that if the rushing attack takes some of the burden off of the passing game.

Offense: The Arkansas State rushing attack was lackluster a season ago but the team received a boost in the passing attack with Justice Hansen who threw to everybody that was allowed to catch a pass. That shouldn’t change with ASU returning seven of the top eight pass catchers with Cam Echols-Luper, Dijon Paschal, Chris Murray and tight end Blake Mack leading the way although for good or bad, there was no ‘go to’ receiver. ASU gets Warren Wand back at running back but he was ordinary for the most part in 2016 and the running game as a whole is a mystery with the entire offensive line being rebuilt with guard Troy Elliott and two starts being the only real experience. The Red Wolves will look to transfers and recruits to fill the void but the line is an unknown.

Defense:  The Arkansas State defense was airtight after a slow start to the 2016 season. The ASU depth might be the biggest question mark heading in to the year as some back ups might be forced in to starting roles with at least seven in the secondary and defensive line combined having departed. Ja’Von Rolland-Jones give Arkansas State a playmaker along the defensive line that seemed to always be making plays in the opponents backfield while tackle Dee Liner was getting stronger as 2016 progressed. Linebacker Kyle Wilson gave the Red Wolves 12.5 TFL while Blaise Taylor, Jamaris Hart and Justin Clifton lead the secondary. ASU has several ranked recruits coming in but depth and experience isn’t as good as last season.

Special Teams: Damon Foncham is back at punter and Sawyer Williams will be the new placekicker while Cameron Echols-Luper can handle all return duties.

Outlook: I think Arkansas State might be a little better on offense and perhaps not as stingy on defense then we saw in 2016 but their track record says another postseason bid should be there for the taking.

Schedule:

9-2 @ Nebraska

9-9 vs. Miami

9-16 vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff  

9-23 @ SMU

10-4 @ Georgia Southern

10-14 vs. Coastal Carolina

10-19 vs. UL Lafayette

10-28 @ New Mexico State

11-11 @ South Alabama

11-18 vs. Texas State

11-25 @ UL Monroe

12-2 vs. Troy

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Tue, 30 May 2017 19:00:00 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=86595
<![CDATA[Appalachian State Mountaineers 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart]]> https://sportschatplace.com/cfb-picks/2017/05/24/appalachian-state-mountaineers-2017-college-football-preview-schedule-prediction-depth-chart#comments The Appalachian State Mountaineers have the talent to make a run at the Sun Belt title in 2017.

Overview: Scott Satterfield and the Appalachian State Mountaineers will lean on a strong rushing attack and a workable schedule to build on their impressive FBS and Sun Belt record.

Offense: The Appalachian State Mountaineers love to grind things out on the ground and try to avoid putting the football in the air. The Mountaineers have weapons with quarterback Taylor Lamb  using his legs effectively while throwing sparingly. If ASU needs to put the…

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The Appalachian State Mountaineers have the talent to make a run at the Sun Belt title in 2017.

Overview: Scott Satterfield and the Appalachian State Mountaineers will lean on a strong rushing attack and a workable schedule to build on their impressive FBS and Sun Belt record.

Offense: The Appalachian State Mountaineers love to grind things out on the ground and try to avoid putting the football in the air. The Mountaineers have weapons with quarterback Taylor Lamb  using his legs effectively while throwing sparingly. If ASU needs to put the ball in the air there will be some options in the receiving corps with Shaedon Meadors, Isaiah Lewis, Deltron Hopkins, Mock Adams and Zy Letman among the leaders of the deepest unit on the team. With Marcus Cox gone, Jalin Moore will be the Appalachian State feature back and he proved he was capable of handling the load when Cox missed four games with an injury. The Mountaineers also return four players along the offensive line which is key for a team that seldom throws.

Defense: Appalachian State might be best known for their rushing ability but the defensive side of the football deserves a Lion’s share of the credit for the team’s FBS success. The Mountaineers defensive line saw ends Okon Godwin and Caleb Stewart combine for 17.5 TFL a year ago but the only tackle of not coming back is Myquon Stout so some younger faces will be asked to contribute. ASU is set at linebacker if the injury bug doesn’t bite too severely while corners Tae Hayes and Clifton Duck are nothing short of outstanding versus the pass. Appalachian State is also solid at the safety so this unit should have plenty of stopping power especially if some quality depth can be found in case injuries become an issue.

Special Teams: Michael Rubino was a dependable placekicker but the Mountaineers need a punter and more punch in an average return game.

Outlook: On paper, Appalachian State has the inside track to winning the Sun Belt crown if injuries don’t derail them and exposes some young players. Double digits in wins might sound bold but this team has been formidable and I see that continuing.

Schedule:

9-2 @ Georgia

9-9 vs. Savannah State

9-16 @ Texas State

9-23 vs. Wake Forest

10-7 vs. New Mexico State

10-14 @ Idaho

10-21 vs. Coastal Carolina

10-28 @ UMass

11-4 @ UL Monroe

11-9 vs. Georgia Southern

11-25 @ Georgia State

12-2 vs. UL Lafayette

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Wed, 24 May 2017 20:11:59 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=86148
<![CDATA[Ohio Bobcats 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart]]> https://sportschatplace.com/cfb-picks/2017/05/16/ohio-bobcats-2017-college-football-preview-schedule-prediction-depth-chart#comments The 2017 Ohio Bobcats  look for another MAC East title and Bowl invitation.

Overview: Frank Solich and his Ohio Bobcats are sometimes overlooked but if the offense can step up and help out the defensive side of the football then this team can’t be counted out.

Offense: The Ohio Bobcats will give the reins of the offense to quarterback Quinton Maxwell who showed great potential at times as a freshman in 2016 although he made too many mistakes which cost him a shot at leading the team in the conference championship game and their Bowl.  The Bobcats…

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The 2017 Ohio Bobcats  look for another MAC East title and Bowl invitation.

Overview: Frank Solich and his Ohio Bobcats are sometimes overlooked but if the offense can step up and help out the defensive side of the football then this team can’t be counted out.

Offense: The Ohio Bobcats will give the reins of the offense to quarterback Quinton Maxwell who showed great potential at times as a freshman in 2016 although he made too many mistakes which cost him a shot at leading the team in the conference championship game and their Bowl.  The Bobcats do need somebody to step up at receiver with the top three options graduating leaving Elijah Ball, Papi White and tight end Troy Mangen as the likely candidates with several recruits hoping to make an impact. AJ Ouellette, Maleek Irons and Dorian Brown give Ohio options on the ground which might be forced to carry the load if the passing attack falters. The Bobcats return three  starters on the offensive line although five players have starting experience.

Defense: The Bobcats were a solid defensive squad in 2016 despite replacing most of the secondary which also fell victim to the injury bug. The Bobcats could rush the quarterback but that could be an area of concern in 2017 with five of the top seven on the defensive line graduating. This unit was deep so the returning players have saw the field but Ohio now needs depth to prevent problem spots if somebody gets hurt. If the D-Line holds up then the Bobcats bring back experience at linebacker in Chad Moore and Quentin Poling. The Ohio secondary is loaded with young players that saw action a season ago with cornerback Kylan Nelson and safety Javon Hagan leading the group with a combined six interceptions.

Special Teams: Ohio possesses an above average special teams with punter Michael Farkas bringing back almost 41 yards per boot while Louie Zervos nailed 29-35 field goal attempts including 7-10 from 40+ yards.

Outlook: If you follow Ohio Bobcats football, their best weapon could be flying under the radar before pouncing on somebody and squeezing out a win. The Bobcats have concerns at quarterback and at receiver on offense and the line is a worry on defense but the potential is there for another Bowl and MAC East crown.

Schedule:

9-2 vs. Hampton

9-8 @ Purdue

9-16 vs. Kansas

9-23 @ Eastern Michigan

9-30 @ UMass

10-7 vs. Central Michigan

10-14 @ Bowling Green

10-21 vs. Kent State

10-31 vs. Miami (Ohio)

11-8 vs. Toledo

11-14 @ Akron

11-24 @ Buffalo

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Tue, 16 May 2017 19:52:20 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=85572
<![CDATA[Buffalo Bulls 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart]]> https://sportschatplace.com/cfb-picks/2016/06/16/buffalo-bulls-2017-college-football-preview-schedule-prediction-depth-chart#comments The Buffalo Bulls look to rebound from a 2-10 season in their third year under Lance Leipold.

Overview: There were high expectations when the Buffalo Bulls hired Lance Leipold in 2015 but Leipold has many areas to address if improvement is to come quickly.

Offense: The Buffalo Bulls will likely stick with quarterback Tyree Jackson who was unremarkable in 2016 as he struggled to complete passes with any kind of consistency although he did show potential on the ground. Even if Jackson gives the Bulls more efficiency under center, the passing attack…

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The Buffalo Bulls look to rebound from a 2-10 season in their third year under Lance Leipold.

Overview: There were high expectations when the Buffalo Bulls hired Lance Leipold in 2015 but Leipold has many areas to address if improvement is to come quickly.

Offense: The Buffalo Bulls will likely stick with quarterback Tyree Jackson who was unremarkable in 2016 as he struggled to complete passes with any kind of consistency although he did show potential on the ground. Even if Jackson gives the Bulls more efficiency under center, the passing attack needs receivers with KJ Osborn, Kamathi Holsey and Tito Overton among the mix for playing time. The UB rushing attack has potential with 2016 backups Johnathan Hawkins and Emmanuel Reed sharing the bulk of the carries. Whoever is carrying the ball will have four starters along the offensive line back and a few transferscoming in so Buffalo will lean on the run unless the passing game produces which would be a surprise.

Defense: The Buffalo defense was decent versus the pass  but struggled mightily against the run as they were near the bottom statistically in the FBS and the opposition knew it. The UB defensive line loses Brandon Crawford and his 14.5 TFL and must not only replace his production but find a way to force opponents in to passing downs which didn’t happen often a season ago. The Bulls linebacking unit appears to be set with all starters back including Ishmael Hargrove and Khalil Hodge. Buffalo does return six of their top seven in the secondary and has several highly ranked youngsters looking to earn playing time. The Bulls still need a competent run ‘D’ or opposing attacks won’t be throwing often.

Special Teams: The Buffalo special teams was not so special as they were near the bottom in the FBS and now everybody is back for better or worse.

Outlook: Leipold might need another year or two to get Buffalo in position to win some games but in 2017 the passing attack and run defense are sizable question marks.

Schedule:

8-31 @ Minnesota

9-9 @ Army

9-16 vs. Colgate

9-23 vs. Florida Atlantic

9-30 @ Kent State

10-7 vs. Western Michigan

10-14 vs. Northern Illinois

10-21 @ Miami (Ohio)

10-28 @ Akron

11-7 vs. Bowling Green

11-16 @ Ball State

11-24 vs. Ohio

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Tue, 16 May 2017 19:00:00 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=85560