Monday, August 10, 2009

2009 Preview - Eastern New Mexico

2008 Recap
Last year was expected to be a learning experience for the Greyhounds - and it was. They weren't predicted to win very many games - and they didn't. But they played hard and made teams earn their wins - ENMU led Southeastern Oklahoma 14-0 at half, trailed Angelo State by just 2 going into the 4th quarter, West Texas A&M by just 10 late into the 3rd quarter, and losing to A&M-Kingsville by just a FG.

Along the way, the offense passed for 2,719 yds and 18 TDs, while rushing for just 260 yards, with a starting lineup that was extremely young (3 frosh, 5 sophs, 2 jrs, 1 sr). J.J. Harp took over at QB in week 5 (against #4 ACU) and showed improvement as the season progressed. Darian Dale, Jessie Poku and Matt Handler combined to catch 153 passes for 1,634 yds and 14 TDs and all return as do four offensive linemen. Losing Joseph Banyard (transfer to UTEP) hurts.

The defense was also young and struggled mightily (12th in points allowed, last in yards allowed), especially in LSC South divisional play (45 pts and 460 yds per game). The pass defense finished last in the LSC, allowing 280 yds per game and 28 TDs (both LSC worst marks). The run defense was better, giving up 139 yds a game, but loses two stalwarts on the defensive line. A total of 7 starters return, including 4 at LB - Nathan Uland and Texavier Henry were honorable mention All LSC South last fall.

2009 Outlook
Out with the old
RB - Joseph Banyard - 651 total yds, 7 TDs (transferred to UTEP)
OL - Carlos Downey
DL - Ronald Green - 17.5 TFL (2nd LSC South)
DL - Kyle Wilson - 9 TFL, (2007 HM LSC South, 2006 2nd LSC South)
DB - Jeremy Hibbler - 127 tackles (2nd LSC South, 2007 HM LSC South)

Welcome Back
QB JJ Harp - 1,900 yds and 14 TDs passing
WR Darian Dale - 62-704-4 (HM LSC South)
WR Jessie Poku - 55-565-4 (HM LSC South)
WR Matt Handler - 36-365-6
WR Juston Campos - 23-189-0
OL Karlton Graves, T.J.Cleavinger, Ryan Torres, Tanner Streety
DL Patrick McGrath
LB Derek Dimitroff, Nathan Uland (HM LSC South), Texavier Henry (HM LSC South), Edward Zamora - 248 combined tackles, 19.5 TFL
DB Tilman Stevens, Marc Patterson - 136 combined tackles, 2 INTs

In with the new
QB Wes Wood
WR Cody Bullard
OL Chris Awambu
DL Ian Ogando
LB Sau Fuahala
LB Peyton Whitlock

All Conference Candidates
WR Darian Dale
WR Jessie Poku
LB Texavier Henry
LB Nathan Uland

Big Games
8/29 Colorado State-Pueblo - first meeting between schools
10/3 Angelo State - Homecoming
10/17 @West Texas A&M - Wagon Wheel

Best Case Scenario
5-6 Team gels early, getting out of gate quickly before hitting LSC South divisional play. Defense takes big step forward, while offense continues to mature.

Worst Case Scenario
1-10 Team continues to struggle to find footing, especially on defense, defeating only Incarnate Word in season finale.

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