Thursday, August 20, 2009

2009 Preview - Tarleton State

2008 Recap
The Texans came out of the gate hot last year, opening the season 5-0 and ranked as high as #13. The offense was averaging 38.6 points (3rd in LSC) and 400 yards per game (4th in LSC). The defense was stifling, giving up just 12.8 points (2nd in LSC) and 225 yards per game (1st). They appeared to be primed to challenge for an LSC title and playoff spot. But that was all against the LSC North. Against the LSC South the numbers were more pedestrian: the Texans finished the LSC South 3-3, getting outscored by an average of 24-29, and outgained by 355-398 yard per game margin, capped by a season ending 51-0 blowout at West Texas A&M with a playoff spot still possible.

Overall, the offense finished fourth in the LSC in both scoring (30.5) and yardage (375.5) per game. The offense was the most balanced in the LSC, 187 yards per game and scoring 25 TDs rushing and passing for 188 yards per game. Scott Grantham threw for 1,993 yards, with 14 TDs and 11 Ints, completing 54% of his passes. Eric Foreman and Devin Guinn combined to catch 76 passes for 1,129 yds and 8 TDs. Roderick Smith led the rushing game with 1,024 yards and 13 TDs. The offensive line loses three starters, plus a two time second team All LSC South FB and their top WR.

Defensively, despite their late season struggles, the Texans led the LSC in points allowed (21.8) and were second in yards allowed (39.3). The pass defense was tops in the conference (197 yards per game), while the run defense was 9th (122 yards per game). Those stats didn't translate to individual honors - just 2 Texans were 1st team All LSC South, only1 named to the 2nd team and just 1 honorable mention. Tarleton will need to replace 5 starters from last year, with the secondary needing the most attention (3 starters lost).

2009 Outlook
Out with the old
FB George Murray - 2nd LSC South (2007 & 2008)
WR Eric Foreman - 40-661 3 TD receiving
OL Jarrod Sheppard
OL Devin Livingston - 1st LSC South
OL Mike Hernandez
DT Bryant Waters - 25 tackles, 1.5 TFL
LB Courtney Vincent - 23 tackles, 3 TFL
DB Tremaine Wright - 34 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2 Int, 4 Passes BU - 1st LSC South
DB Keon Perry - 44 tackles, 2 Ints
DB O'Lindsey Brown - 66 tackles

Welcome Back
QB Scott Grantham - 154-283-1,993 14 TD, 11 Int
RB Roderick Smith - 137-1,024 13 TD, 4-201 1 TD KR - 1st LSC South - Preseason LSC South Off Player of the Week
RB/RS Travis Evans - 680 yds, 6 TDs rushing, 26 yd avg, 1 TD kick return - HM LSC South RS
WR Devin Guinn - 36-468 5 TD
WR Jahmeel Hobson - 15-178
TE Tanner Maher - 8-74 2 TD - 2nd LSC South
OL Dustin Washburn - HM LSC South
DL Alonzo Horton - 36 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks - HM LSC South
DL Jamaal Steamer - 52 tackles, 18 TFL, 4.5 sacks - 2nd LSC South
DL Ben Taifane - 20 tackles, 6 TFL
LB Marcus Phillips - 66 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 Int, 4 passes BU - 1st LSC South
DB Vance Ibewuike - 33 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 3 passes BU
DB Brandon Johnson - 37 tackes, 2 TFL, 5 passes BU
PK Garrett Lindholm - 12-19 FG, 42-43 PAT, 78 points

In with the new
OL Adrian Campbell - Arkansas/Butler JC
WR Devon Gray - Dodge City CC
LB Corey White - Trinity Valley CC
DB Lonnie Buchanan - Mississippi Delta CC
DB Korey Smith - Navarro JC
DB J D Perkins - Tyler JC
DB Jeremy Sifford - Hutchison CC

All Conference Candidates
RB Roderick Smith
RB/RS Travis Evans
WR Devin Guinn
DL Alonzon Horton
DL Jamaal Steamer
LB Marcus Phillips
DB Brandon Johnson

All American Candidates
RB Roderick Smith
DL Jamaal Steamer

Big Games
Aug 27 Arkansas Monticello
Sep 19 @ Central Oklahoma
Oct 3 @ Texas A&M-Kingsville
Oct 10 Midwestern State
Oct 24 Abilene Christian
Nov 7 West Texas A&M

Best Case Scenario
9-2 If Roderick Smith justifies his preseason selection as LSC South offensive player of the year and Scott Grantham returns to his 2007 form, Tarleton's offense should be very formidable. The defense needs to replace most of the secondary, but if they can, Tarleton could be a playoff team. The schedule sets up nicely with 4 of the toughest games at Memorial Stadium.

Worst Case Scenario
5-6 The defensive replacements struggle to keep Tarleton at the top of the LSC charts against a wicked slate of offenses. The offensive line is not up to recent standards, causing the run game to slip and the passing game does not improve enough to compensate.

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