Sunday, August 16, 2009

2009 Preview - Southwestern Oklahoma

2008 Recap
Southwestern was a bit of an unknown at the beginning of last season. While some viewed them as a team that may sneak up on some teams and be a player for the LSC North crown, their season just never seemed to gain any steam. They appeared to be on the verge of a major upset against Tarleton Week 5, but a but a 64 yard hail mary with 13 seconds to go cost them the game. After that, they were just unable to mount much of a threat to anyone. They finished the season a disappointing 3-8 and went through a coaching change, bringing in new coach Dan Cocannouer.

At the start of the season, many wondered who would step up and lead the SWOSU offense. One game into the season it became obvious. QB Steve Day would end the season with 2,561 yards and 18 TD’s. His 17 interceptions would cause problems though, as the Bulldogs were not able to overcome all of the turnovers. Day’s 232 yards per game were 5th best in the LSC, but his 103.9 Passing Efficiency would put him at the bottom of the conference. RB Luke Lundy would finish 10th in the conference with 55 rushing yards per game.

Quick - take a guess which defense in the LSC finished #1 in yards per game given up. If you guessed Southwestern Oklahoma you’re right. In what turned out to be a really strange statistical oddity, the Bulldog defense was #1 in yards per game (only 309.9), but would finish 7th overall in points allowed (25.5 per game), and 11th in Turnover Margin (-4). Jaron Burgess seems to have found a home at Linebacker after making the odd move from Wide Receiver to Safety. He finished the season as 1st Team LSC North.

2009 Outlook
Out with the old

WR Kyle Wimberley - 1st Team LSC - 678 yards, 5 TD’s
OG Jerrod Hunt - 1st Team LSC
LB Ruzell McCoy - 1st Team LSC - 107 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 FF
DT Justin Cannon - 2nd Team LSC
S Demarcus Render - 2nd Team LSC - 39 tackles, 5 INT, 3 fumbles
RB Luke Lundy - 1st Team LSC - 762 total Yards, 2 TD’s - Left program
RB Ovie Esalomi - 464 total yards, 4 TD’s - Left program

Welcome Back
QB Steve Day - Honorable Mention LSC - 2,561 yards, 18 TD’s
WR Johnathan Haggerty - 392 yards, 4 TD’s
TE Joseph Sawyer - 1st Team LSC, 519 yards, 5 TD’s
LT Jake Olivarez
RT Jordan Pettitt - 2nd Team LSC
LG Stephen Speer
DE Tim Stephenson - 15 tackles, 1 sack
DL Cory Summers - 19 tackles, 3 sacks
LB Jason Burgess - 1st Team LSC - 81 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, 12 tackles for Loss
LB Fred Leak - 64 tackles, 5 tackles for loss
CB Jeff Lemon - Honorable Mention LSC - 23 tackles, 5 INT
CB Carlos Bates - 21 tackles, 2 tackles for los
SS Sam Nwafor - 38 tackles

In with the new
RB Andre Patterson - 5’9 175 pds, City College of San Francisco
DB Anthony Laws - 5’10 195 pds, Santa Rosa JC

All Conference Candidates
WR Jonathan Haggerty
TE Joe Sawyer
LB Jason Burgess

Big Games
Southwestern @ Northeastern
Southwestern vs. East Central
Southwestern vs. Oklahoma Panhandle

Best Case Scenario
6-5 Steve Day cuts down on the INT’s, the Bulldogs find someone to take over the RB duties, and they win all of their “winnable” games. It’s going to be tough for them to jump up and upset someone. They have some tough games on their schedule in the crossover, facing both West Texas and Tarleton.

Worst Case Scenario
2-9 The offense struggles, and the Defense doesn’t produce the way it did last year. No one steps up at RB and things get ugly quick, forcing Day into pass-mode early and often. The winnable games are also games you could see the Bulldogs slipping up and losing in. If all of that happens, this is about as bad as it will get.

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