Southwestern Oklahoma took a small step forward last year, winning two more games than in 2009. There is plenty of room for improvement, as 6 of the team's 8 losses were by 20 or more points. Going forward, things look brighter. The Bulldogs were 3-3 against the LSC (which the 2011 will be much more comparable to), the team was 3-3, and had just bad game.
Offense - The offense was the least productive of any LSC team, averaging just 16.8 points and 288 yards per game, but that was an improvement of 4 points and 55 yards. Against the LSC North , SWO did much better - 20.2 points and 354 yards per game. Two linemen who received All-LSC North honors last fall return. Stephen Speer (2nd team) and Kane Bryen (honorable mention) lead a group that must improve on an LSC-worst 33 sacks allowed. Also back is TE Ryan Corbin (honorable mention LSC North). Corbin caught 36 passes for 389 yards and 2 TDs. There should be open competition at QB. Last year Dustin Stenta and Mike Van Deripe split time, but neither was particularly effective, combining to complete 200 of 408 passes for 1,926 yards, 9 TDs and 15 interceptions. The top five recievers also return, led by Bruce Hatton who had 44 catches for 344 yards. Leading rusher Dwight Pete (489 yards and 6 TDs) is gone, leaving D.C. Walker and Isaac Tucker as the top returning backs.
Defense - The defense was a bit better, but still allowed 34.7 points and 400 yards per game. While not great, this was also an improvement of 1.5 points and 37 yards per game. Again, the numbers versus the LSC North were not bad - 21.5 points and 323 yards per game. The secondary was a strength for the Bulldogs. Jonathan Darby (1st LSC North), Marvin Tribble (2nd LSC North), Clarence Laster, Anthony Laws, and Demarcus Miller all had strong junior seasons for SWO, though Shane Scott will be missed. The linebacking corps will have to replace Jaron Burgess (2nd LSC North), but Preston Margain (HM LSC North), Ryan Feller and Bronze Withem do return. Up front Henry Niutei (2nd LSC North) has moved on, leaving Cash Johnson (HM LSC North), Sean Gordon and Ozzie Donato as the leaders returning.
Special Teams - The two main specialists return. Bruce Hatton (2nd LSC North) averaged 21.5 yards on kick returns and 8.6 on punt returns, while Colton Rainey was 7-14 on FGs and 22-22 on PATs, and averaged 32.4 on punts, with 13 downed inside the 20 and 6 fair catches.
Top 5 signees
WR Andre Simmons (Sr) - the #35 Rivals JC prospect in 2009, played one season at the University of Colorado
OL Dylan Laurens - ESPN Recruiting Insider ranks him as the #144 OG prospect, had DI offers
DL David Benton - a Dave Campbell top 300 selection, coaches feel he's a DI caliber player
LB Kale Sawatzky (Fr) - Multiple all state in high school, was OU's scout team player of the year last fall
LB Jim O'Brien (Jr)- was an all-conference pick at San Bernardino Valley College, leading the league in tackles
Other top signees
OL Kaleb Brigman
OL Coyt Butler
OL Dylan Fedor
DL Jake Doyle
DL Manako Tuifua (Jr)
LB Tyler George
LB J. Collier Ward
Ath Jabari Harris (Jr)
The Bulldogs loaded up on the offensive line, signing more than 20 just for those slots. Several will push for playing time right away, with the coaches having the luxury of redshirting a lot of youngsters for the future. The defensive line and linebacker spots also got a big infusion of players, several of whom will be on the field this fall. The coaches are also high on several high schoolers (that aren't mentioned above) down the road. QB Ben Curtis, who split time at Saddleback, could push for playing time as well. SWO had some big needs and did a nice job addressing the present, while still building for the future. Grade A-