<![CDATA[CFB RSS Feed]]> en 120 <![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
<![CDATA[Bowling Green Falcons 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart]]> https://sportschatplace.com/cfb-picks/2017/05/12/bowling-green-falcons-2017-college-football-preview-schedule-prediction-depth-chart#comments The Bowling Green Falcons look to avoid a slow start to reach Bowl eligibility in 2017. 

Overview: Mike Jinks went 4-8 in his first year at the helm for Bowling Green with a three game winning streak to end 2016. The Falcons look to bounce back behind an offense that has potential while hoping the defensive side of the football can hold their own.

Offense: The Bowling Green Falcons lost quarterback James Knapke to graduation but fortunately James Morgan started several games as a freshman in 2016 and will at least have some experience as the…

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The Bowling Green Falcons look to avoid a slow start to reach Bowl eligibility in 2017. 

Overview: Mike Jinks went 4-8 in his first year at the helm for Bowling Green with a three game winning streak to end 2016. The Falcons look to bounce back behind an offense that has potential while hoping the defensive side of the football can hold their own.

Offense: The Bowling Green Falcons lost quarterback James Knapke to graduation but fortunately James Morgan started several games as a freshman in 2016 and will at least have some experience as the fulltime starter in 2017. BGSU didn’t get a lot from Morgan in the air for the most part but he will have weapons to improve with several highly regarded three star recruits coming in so the options at wide receiver can only help the passing attack improve. The Falcons have not been known for their ability to run the football but the strength of the offense could be on the ground with Josh Cleveland and Donovan Wilson giving the backfield speed and power although only two starters return along the offensive line to run behind which isn’t ideal on paper.

Defense: The Bowling Green defense was better against the run then pass but a  youthful secondary in 2016 has hopefully gained enough experience to show improvement. The defensive line will lean on David Konowalski at tackle and end Gus Schwieterman but the Falcons need to develop a rotation. The BGSU linebacking unit appears to be set with Austin Valdez, Dorian Hendrix and Brandon Harris back in the fold. The Bowling Green secondary saw corners Will Watson and Clint Stephens miss significant time last season because of injuries so by default, the defense was forced to play some younger players which translates in to shaky performances in 2016 that improve in 2017 because of experience. Jamari Bozeman is back at safety so the Falcons passing ‘D’ should have a bit more bite.

Special Teams: Joe Davidson gave the Bowling Green Falcons special teams some star power with his huge leg at punter at 46 yards per boot but outside of Davidson this unit things weren’t all that impressive.

Outlook: The Falcons have enough talent on offense to be able to find the endzone consistently and if the defense is at least competitive a Bowl invitation is not out of the question in Jinks second season.

Schedule:

9-2 @ Michigan State

9-9 vs. South Dakota

9-16 @ Northwestern

9-23 @ Middle Tennessee

9-30 vs. Akron

10-7 @ Miami (Ohio)

10-14 vs. Ohio

10-21 vs. Northern Illinois

10-31 @ Kent State

11-7 @ Buffalo

11-15 vs. Toledo

11-21 @ Eastern Michigan

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Fri, 12 May 2017 20:18:05 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=85305
<![CDATA[Akron Zips 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart]]> https://sportschatplace.com/cfb-picks/2017/05/09/akron-zips-2017-college-football-preview-schedule-prediction-depth-chart#comments The 2017 Akron Zips hope to avoid the injury bug and the late season struggles of a season ago.

Overview: Terry Bowden has proven himself at Akron but a 5-7 record in 2016  was the result of numerous injuries but the team has enough talent back to reverse their fortunes if health isn’t an issue although depth is a question.

Offense: The Akron Zips have to have a healthy Thomas Woodson under center after showing tremendous potential in 2016 but if he struggles or gets hurt the team will have ex-Virginia QB Nick Johns running the show. One Area…

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The 2017 Akron Zips hope to avoid the injury bug and the late season struggles of a season ago.

Overview: Terry Bowden has proven himself at Akron but a 5-7 record in 2016  was the result of numerous injuries but the team has enough talent back to reverse their fortunes if health isn’t an issue although depth is a question.

Offense: The Akron Zips have to have a healthy Thomas Woodson under center after showing tremendous potential in 2016 but if he struggles or gets hurt the team will have ex-Virginia QB Nick Johns running the show. One Area that has the Zips concerned has to be at receiver with JoJo Natson and Jerome Lane graduating which has Tra’Von Chapman moving to WR and joining Austin Wolf, Kwadarrius Smith and Kevin Gladney. If Akron does struggle to throw the football then the rushing game has to carry the load and that means Van Edwards Jr., Manny Morgan and Deltron Sands (via Oregon State) will be in the spotlight. The good news for Akron is the offensive line returns all five starters so the ground game should be strong.

Defense: The effectiveness of the Akron defense could also depend on remaining healthy along with contributions from numerous transfers which Bowden always seems to sign. The Zips were banged up at defensive tackle a season ago and the success of this unit rests with the healthy return of Davon’te Jest and Brock Boxen who join Ibrahima Camara and Darius Copeland to help clog the middle versus the run. The Zips do need somebody to step up at defensive end and incumbent Deon’Tae Moore and his three TFL is the only guy back with the top three graduating. Akron also loses their top three cornerbacks leaving Kyron Brown and his one pick as the top guy back so transfers Mark Ellis and Darian Dailey are hopefully ready to step up. Akron needs Zach Guiser to be 100% at safety while leading tackler Alvin Davis is penciled in at rover. Linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III looks to match his 11.5 TFL including four sacks and three passes defensed but the Zips might need to mix and match players and positions.

Special Teams: The Akron special teams features a strong placekicker in Tom O’Leary who hit 10-11 field goals with Van Edwards Jr. averaging almost 24 yards on kick returns, however, punting and punt returns was an area that did not stand out. 

Outlook: The Zips don’t possess a ton of depth so remaining healthy is an obvious key and so will be the contributions of transfers. I’d say a healthy Akron will a tough out but difficult to project because we didn’t see a full lineup in 2016 although a Bowl eligible year is what I think.

Schedule:

9-2 @ Penn State

9-9 vs. Ark-Pine Bluff

9-16 vs. Iowa State

9-23 @ Troy

9-30 @ Bowling Green

10-7 vs. Ball State

10-14 @ Western Michigan

10-21 @ Toledo

10-28 vs. Buffalo

11-7 @ Miami (Ohio)

11-14 vs. Ohio

11-21 vs. Kent State

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Tue, 09 May 2017 19:45:41 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=85089
<![CDATA[Central Michigan Chippewas 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart]]> https://sportschatplace.com/cfb-picks/2017/05/08/central-michigan-chippewas-2017-college-football-preview-schedule-prediction-depth-chart#comments The Central Michigan Chippewas look for a winning record and back to back Bowl appearances in 2017.

Overview: Head coach John Bonamego has some pieces to work with on the offensive side of the football but needs a consistent effort from his defense for the Chippewas to improve on 2016.

Offense: The Central Michigan Chippewas say good bye to quarterback Cooper Rush and will likely have an unproven starter under center. Tommy Lazzaro appears to be the guy that Bonamego is going with but he did not throw a pass in 2016 and last saw the field in…

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The Central Michigan Chippewas look for a winning record and back to back Bowl appearances in 2017.

Overview: Head coach John Bonamego has some pieces to work with on the offensive side of the football but needs a consistent effort from his defense for the Chippewas to improve on 2016.

Offense: The Central Michigan Chippewas say good bye to quarterback Cooper Rush and will likely have an unproven starter under center. Tommy Lazzaro appears to be the guy that Bonamego is going with but he did not throw a pass in 2016 and last saw the field in community college in 2015. Whoever grabs the starting job at quarterback for the Chips will have a solid receiving corps to throw to with Corey Willis leading the way with Mark Chapman and Brandon Childress giving the team solid options. Devon Spaulding was a capable runner and receiver coming out of the backfield a year ago and should benefit from the return of five offensive linemen with starting experience so competent play under center and Central Michigan should be able to move the chains.

Defense: The Central Michigan Chippewas defense was healthy for the most part last season which was a good thing  because the team seldom went deep in their rotation and might not again with many starters coming back. Defensive ends Mike Danna and Joe Ostman were in the backfield often with 18 TFL and nearly eleven sacks but the Chippewas need production from some unknowns. Linebacker Malik Fountain gave the Chips another ten TFL but didn’t get to the quarterback often. The Chippewas have plenty coming back at cornerback with Amari Coleman, Sean Bunting and Josh Cox but safety could be a concern. CMU lost it’s top two safeties and will likely turn to Otis Kearney and Tyjuan Swain so the cupboard  is not completely bare with several high ranked recruits coming in.

Special Teams: Central Michigan did not stand out in any phase of special teams play and were ranked near the bottom in college football so revamping this unit has to be on the mind of Bonamego.

Outlook: The Chippewas  have the potential to win seven games with the talent that is returning but this is always a team where it’s wise to watch and see what happens rather then try and make predictions.

Schedule:

8-31 vs. Rhode Island

9-8 @ Kansas

9-16 @ Syracuse

9-23 vs. Miami (Ohio)

9-30 @ Boston College

10-7 @ Ohio

10-14 vs. Toledo

10-21 @ Ball State

11-1 @ Western Michigan

11-8 vs. Eastern Michigan

11-14 @ Kent State

11-24 vs. Northern Illinois

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Mon, 08 May 2017 19:00:00 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=85026
<![CDATA[Northern Illinois Huskies 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart]]> https://sportschatplace.com/cfb-picks/2017/05/05/northern-illinois-huskies-2017-college-football-preview-schedule-prediction-depth-chart#comments The Northern Illinois Huskies look for a bounce back year in 2017 which depends on the team staying healthy under center.

Overview: The Huskies suffered injuries to four quarterbacks a season ago yet finished 2016 with wins in three of four so head coach Rod Carey has something to build on if he can replace numerous starters on the defensive line and put together a competent receiving corps. 

Offense: The first order of business for the Northern Illinois Huskies is settling on a quarterback and hope he remains healthy for a full season. Ryan…

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The Northern Illinois Huskies look for a bounce back year in 2017 which depends on the team staying healthy under center.

Overview: The Huskies suffered injuries to four quarterbacks a season ago yet finished 2016 with wins in three of four so head coach Rod Carey has something to build on if he can replace numerous starters on the defensive line and put together a competent receiving corps. 

Offense: The first order of business for the Northern Illinois Huskies is settling on a quarterback and hope he remains healthy for a full season. Ryan Graham, Daniel Santacaterina or Anthony Thompson will open up the year under center for the Huskies but all better be prepared to play give the team’s recent issues at quarterback. Whoever gets the starting job will have a great runner to hand the ball to in Jordan Huff who will be given the chance to be the feature back in the Huskies run oriented attack. NIU does return three starters along the offensive line including All MAC tackle  Max Scharping which should keep the rushing game going. The Huskies passing game is a concern with the top six receiving options departing which leaves Iowa State transfer Jauan Wesley, DJ Brown, Christian Blake and Shane Wimann as the top guys but none are proven.

Defense: The Northern Illinois defense was vastly improved during their season ending hot streak in 2016 but there has been some turnover along the front seven so the question is can this unit be close to that effectiveness. NIU loses seven of the top eleven players in the front seven and need to shore up this area to help out the offensive side of the football. William Lee is the most productive defensive tackle the Huskies have back which puts the pressure on ends Joe Sanders and Josh Corcoran. Alex Schwab and Bobby Jones IV give Northern Illinois experience at linebacker yet the front seven still has some holes, especially at tackle. NIU should be strong against the pass with corners Shawun Lurry and Mayomi Olootu returning along with the safety tandem of Mycial Allen and Brandon Mayes.

Special Teams: Northern Illinois gets back placekicker Christian Hagan but are in need of just everything else which might not be as bad as it sounds with the special teams having problems overall and ranking close to the bottom in college football.

Outlook: The Huskies need to stay healthy at quarterback and get somebody to catch the ball and find contributors on the O-Line and defensive line in order to be considered a contender in the MAC. Sounds like a lot but adversity from 2016 could work in favor of Northern Illinois and it’s not wise to overlook this team.

Schedule:

9-1 vs. Boston College

9-9 vs. Eastern Illinois

9-16 @ Nebraska

9-30 @ San Diego State

10-7 vs. Kent State

10-14 @ Buffalo

10-21 @ Bowling Green

10-26 vs. Eastern Michigan

11-2 @ Toledo

11-9 vs. Ball State

11-15 vs. Western Michigan

11-24 @ Central Michigan

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Fri, 05 May 2017 19:06:33 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=84795
<![CDATA[Eastern Michigan Eagles 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart]]> https://sportschatplace.com/cfb-picks/2017/05/05/eastern-michigan-eagles-2017-college-football-preview-schedule-prediction-depth-chart#comments The Eastern Michigan Eagles surprised the world of college football with a Bowl appearance last season so does the team have enough gas in the tank for a repeat performance in 2017? 

Overview: Chris Creighton and the Eastern Michigan Eagles ended decades of futility with a Bowl game and a winning record a year ago so for the first time in memory the team has expectations and enough talent back at the skill positions to keep the momentum going.

Offense: The Eastern Michigan Eagles survived the loss of running back Shaq Vann to injury in 2016 and…

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The Eastern Michigan Eagles surprised the world of college football with a Bowl appearance last season so does the team have enough gas in the tank for a repeat performance in 2017? 

Overview: Chris Creighton and the Eastern Michigan Eagles ended decades of futility with a Bowl game and a winning record a year ago so for the first time in memory the team has expectations and enough talent back at the skill positions to keep the momentum going.

Offense: The Eastern Michigan Eagles survived the loss of running back Shaq Vann to injury in 2016 and quarterback Brogan Roback to suspension for the first two games. EMU gets both back for a full year and hopes Roback continues to avoid sacks and turnovers while distributing the ball in the passing attack. The Eagles get back receivers Dieuly Aristilde, Sergio Bailey and Antoine Porter which should give Roback enough weapons to consistently move the chains through the air. A healthy Vann (if 100%) gives Eastern Michigan a strong runner and if he needs a break, backup Ian Eriksen showed he has the grit to produce which he did when Vann missed 2016. The wild card for the Eagles is the offensive line who need to break in several players and stay healthy or the outlook for the offense won’t be as rosy.

Defense: The Eagles haven’t had a whole lot of success stopping opposing offenses but showed enough improvement to at least be a competitive unit which was a positive. Unfortunately, Pat O’Connor is gone and takes 14.5 TFL including 8.5 sacks with him which will be difficult, if not impossible to replace. Defensive ends Maxx Crosby and Jeremiah Harris did get in to the backfield as witnessed by their combined 14.5 TFL and five sacks but the linebacking unit struggled to get behind the line of scrimmage with around nine TFL. The Eagles secondary looks set at the safety position with Ikie Calderon, Jason Beck and Vince Calhoun back while Jalen Phelps and Kevin McGill will step in to bigger roles at cornerback. 

Special Teams: Eastern Michigan punter Austin Barnes averaged over 43 yards per boot and Paul Fricano was deadly on field goals up to 40 yards but a boost in punt and kick returns is needed.

Outlook: If we look at Eastern Michigan we see the team has many faces back from last season’s Bowl team so many will say another postseason appearance is there for the taking. While I agree, the Eagles need to prove their 2016 success can be sustained and I’ll sit back and wait for that to happen and root for the perennial underdog.

Schedule:

9-1 vs. Charlotte

9-9 @ Rutgers

9-23 vs. Ohio

9-30 @ Kentucky

10-7 @ Toledo

10-14 @ Army

10-21 vs. Western Michigan

10-26 @ Northern Illinois

11-2 vs. Ball State

11-8 @ Central Michigan

11-15 @  Miami (Ohio)

11-21 vs. Bowling Green

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Fri, 05 May 2017 19:00:00 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=84780
<![CDATA[Western Michigan Broncos 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart]]> https://sportschatplace.com/cfb-picks/2017/05/04/western-michigan-broncos-2017-college-football-preview-schedule-prediction-depth-chart#comments The 2017 Western Michigan Broncos have a new coach in Tim Lester who has some holes to fill if another MAC title is to become reality.

Overview: The Western Michigan Broncos were able to do everything well last season on the way to a 13-1 record and a conference crown. Head coach PJ Fleck  left for Minnesota and former quarterback Tim Lester takes over a program that is expected to contend for the MAC title behind a strong rushing attack and a solid defense.

Offense: The Western Michigan Broncos were one of the top mid-major squads in the game…

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The 2017 Western Michigan Broncos have a new coach in Tim Lester who has some holes to fill if another MAC title is to become reality.

Overview: The Western Michigan Broncos were able to do everything well last season on the way to a 13-1 record and a conference crown. Head coach PJ Fleck  left for Minnesota and former quarterback Tim Lester takes over a program that is expected to contend for the MAC title behind a strong rushing attack and a solid defense.

Offense: The Western Michigan Broncos were one of the top mid-major squads in the game in 2017 but with quarterback Zach Terrell gone along with the three top receivers, the passing game becomes a huge question mark. Tom Flacco (Brother of Joe Flacco) is supposed to give the Broncos stability under center but most of excitement centers around his ability to run and that might be a plus with the receiving corps returning D’Wayne Eskridge and tight end Donnie Ernsberger and their combined 19 receptions.  Rodney Graves, Anton Curtis and Hunter Broersma along with a few freshman will be given a chance to impress in the Broncos passing attack but experience is an issue. WMU does return Jarvion Franklin and Jamauri Bogan in the run game along with All MAC linemen John Keenoy and Chukwuma Okorafor.

Defense: The Broncos have pieces on the defensive side of the football which is a good thing especially if the offense falters or is slow to find the groove. Defensive ends Nathan Braster and Eric Assoua gave Western Michigan 13.5 TFL but Andre Turner is the only tackle with decent experience so the interior of the line is an area to watch unless somebody steps up. The WMU linebacking unit is on solid ground behind the twosome of Caleb Bailey and Asantay Brown while several highly rated recruits are coming in. The Broncos appear to be set in the secondary with corners Obbie Jackson, Sam Beal and Darius Phillips bringing back 21 passes defended along with five picks while Justin Tranquill and Davontae Ginwright anchor the safety position.

Special Teams: The Western Michigan special teams loses their placekicker and punter with Butch Hampton and James Coleman gone so  replacements are needed while Darius Phillips is slated to handle all return duties.

Outlook: The Broncos won’t be as good as last season but they are loaded in the running game and the defense should be able to hold their own. I see WMU competing for another conference championship and going to another Bowl so Lester still has high expectations staring him in the face.

Schedule:

9-2 @ USC

9-9  @ Michigan State

9-16 vs. Idaho

9-23 vs. Wagner

9-30 vs. Ball State

10-7 @ Buffalo

10-14 vs. Akron

10-21 @ Eastern Michigan

11-1  vs. Central Michigan

11-8 vs. Kent State

11-15 @  Northern Illinois

11-24 @ Toledo

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Thu, 04 May 2017 19:00:00 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=84699
<![CDATA[Toledo Rockets 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart]]> https://sportschatplace.com/cfb-picks/2017/05/04/toledo-rockets-2017-college-football-preview-schedule-prediction-depth-chart#comments The Toledo Rockets have the weapons in place to win the MAC in 2017 if they can get by Western Michigan and Northern Illinois.

Overview: The Toledo Rockets have loads of talent but haven’t been able to get over the hump and capture that elusive MAC crown and usually Western Michigan or Northern Illinois takes them down. The Rockets have recruited well and have the best signal caller in the conference so will this be their year?

Offense: The Toledo Rockets have an experienced and very talented quarterback in Logan Woodside who spreads the ball…

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The Toledo Rockets have the weapons in place to win the MAC in 2017 if they can get by Western Michigan and Northern Illinois.

Overview: The Toledo Rockets have loads of talent but haven’t been able to get over the hump and capture that elusive MAC crown and usually Western Michigan or Northern Illinois takes them down. The Rockets have recruited well and have the best signal caller in the conference so will this be their year?

Offense: The Toledo Rockets have an experienced and very talented quarterback in Logan Woodside who spreads the ball around with great success while limiting mistakes. Woodside and the Rockets get back  Cody Thompson along with Jon’Vea Johnson, Diontae Johnson, Danzel McKinley-Lewis and some strong recruits to give the passing game more then enough options. Toledo will miss Kareem Hunt but Terry Swanson gives the rushing attack plenty to look forward to and his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield gives the team options galore. Look for Art Thompkins to get plenty of carries as well and with an experienced O-Line opening holes and protecting Woodside, the Rockets have the best offense in the conference.

Defense: The Rockets defense was strongest against the pass and were susceptible to the run at times and a lack of depth last season could have been the reason as fatigue likely hurt this unit. That could change with the Rockets signing several three star athletes to help Toledo up front but incumbents Daniel Davis and Marquise Moore at tackle and Adeniyi Olasunkanmi at end will be part of any rotation along with Tyler Taafe and Ja’Wuan Woodley at linebacker. The secondary will feature a rotation of Ka’Dar  Hollman, Trevon Mathis, Josh Teachey and DeDarallo Blue with Marcus Whitfield and Aaron Covington in the mix but Toledo needs help at safety and the effectiveness of the run and passing defense could hinge on what happens there.

Special Teams: The Rockets were one of the lower ranked squads in special teams performance as in bottom third nationally so an upgrade in most spots would be welcome but unlikely to happen.

Outlook: I always say that on paper Toledo has a better then average shot at winning the conference if they can avoid letdowns against WMU and Northern Illinois or anybody for that matter. I’m at the point where I expect something bad to happen and ruin their title hopes but this should be the team to beat.

Schedule:

8-31 vs. Elon

9-8 @ Nevada

9-16 vs. Tulsa

9-23 @ Miami

10-7 vs. Eastern Michigan

10-14 @ Central Michigan

10-21 vs. Akron

10-26 @ Ball State

11-2 vs. Northern Illinois

11-8 @ Ohio

11-15 @  Bowling Green

11-24 vs. Western Michigan

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Thu, 04 May 2017 19:00:00 -0400 https://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=84702