The 2009 season for the Savage Storm was a nice step forward. It looked a bit shaky coming into the season because of questions at the Quarterback position, but Justin Pitrucha showed up and had a pretty good season. They were able to nip new LSC North foe Eastern New Mexico by 2 points in a shootout, and nearly made a run at the LSC North title before a late fumble returned for a TD cost them the game against A&M-Commerce. The Storm offense had a good season, averaging 31 points (5th in LSC) and 378 yards (8th) per game. Their defense gave up 29 points (8th) and 380 yards (8th) per game. WR Daniel Nichols had a great season, winning LSC North WR of the Year. Baylen Laury also had a great season with 1,000+ total yards before being injured and missing the final game of the year.
Out with the old
QB Justin Pitrucha (2nd LSC North, 1,981 passing yards, 17 TD's) had a surprisingly good season after being away from football for awhile, but his career at SOSU appears to be over after a shaky off the field history. The Storm passing offense takes even more hits losing WR Daniel Nichols (1st LSC North, LSC North WR of the Year, 72 catches for 971 yds, 12 TD's), WR Ty Hull (1st LSC North, 37 catches for 512 yds, 4 TD's) and their receiving threat at TE Jerrod Temple (2nd LSC North, 26 catches for 359 yds, 4 TD's). They do catch a break on the offensive line though, losing only OT Jerrod Anderson (1st LSC North). One of the most dangerous return men in LSC history is also not returning this season in Jerome Hewitt (1st LSC North, avg 16.7 yds per punt return and 30.5 yds per kickoff return, with 5 total return TD's.) Defensive leader ILB Noe Lopez (2nd LSC North, 86 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 INT) moves on, as does S Bernard Daniel (1st LSC North, 76 tackles, 6 TFL). The special teams will be starting over as well after K Cole Jones (HM LSC North) and P Will White (HM LSC North) move on.
While the Storm are losing most of their skill position players, luckily they are returning 3 starting offensive linemen in Sean Taglialatela (2nd LSC North), Ryan Sullivan and Robert Westbrook. One of the most dangerous offensive threats in the LSC, RB Baylen Laury (2nd LSC North, 1,048 total yards, 7 TD's) returns after garnering pre-season LSC North Offensive Player of the Year accolades. SOSU's front seven should be in good hands, with 5 returners coming back: DL Dexter Elliot (2nd LSC North, 38 tackles, 4 sacks), DL Alex Moore (1st LSC North, 33 tackles, 3 sacks), LB Johnny Seals (2nd LSC North, 46 tackles, 3 sacks), LB Brad Chesshir (37 tackles, 2 INT), and LB Brandon Ford (17 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT). The secondary will get some help with S Steven Harris (2nd LSC North, 66 tackles, 2 sacks) and CB Mathew Leatherwood (25 tackles, 4 INT) returning.
In with the new
Probably the biggest question facing the Save Storm this season is whether or not QB Logan Turner, a transfer from SMU, will be able to shake off the rust after being away from football for a few years. He might be getting some help from transfer WR's Sam Roberson from the Univ. of North Texas and Daqualon Evans from Navarro JC.
All Conference Candidates
QB Logan Turner
RB Baylen Laury
DL Alex Moore
All American Candidates
October 2 @ Texas A&M-Commerce - If the Savage Storm are going to win the North, it's probably going to have to start with a win in Commerce.
October 16 @ Central Oklahoma - SOSU will probably be favored to win this game, but it's the 2nd of 3 must win games against tough North teams on the road.
October 30 @ Eastern New Mexico - The last North game of the year for the Storm, and they have Angelo State and TAMK the 2 following weeks to finish the season. Can you say trap game?
Best Case Scenario - 8-3
This would be tough to pull off, but possible. In this scenario, the Savage Storm go undefeated in the North , beat Incarnate Word and win their OOC game against Henderson State. The Angelo State game is a possibility, but tough considering the offensive losses for the Storm, and hoping Turner can step in without missing a beat.
Worst Case Scenario -5-6
The only way this happens is if the Savage Storm can't replace the offensive losses from last season and don't get QB production. Laury is back and will have another great season, but a lot of the offense is going to rest on QB Logan Turner. He's been away from football a long time. Will the rust be gone quick enough to step in without losing a step?