Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2013 Preview - Texas A&M-Commerce

Colby CarthelIt's a brand new day in Commerce.  A new coaching staff and a revamped roster have Lion fans optimistic about their future.  Colby Carthel took over as head coach back in Janaury, becoming the 19th head coach in Lion history.  His staff is heavy on coaches from West Texas A&M and former LSC foe East Central University, as well as several former TAMC players.

2012 Recap - The Lions won just one game for the second straight year, but were competitive in several others.  The lone win came against Texas A&M-Kingsville, but Angelo State, Abilene Christian and Eastern New Mexico narrowly defeated TAMC, with ACU and ASU needing 4th quarter scores to escape with wins.  On the flip side, the Lions lost 5 other games by an average of 32.4 points.

Who's Back - On offense, 2 offensive linemen with at least 5 starts last year as well as QB Deric Davis (the team's leading passer) and WR Garret Smith (the leading receiver with 51 receptions and the only returning player to have received All-LSC honors last year).  Defensively, the Lions return four linemen with at least 20 tackles last year.  Behind them, Kristoddie Woods and Matt Clagett combined for 88 tackles at LB.  Joel Wren and Marcus Fore are the most experienced returnees in the secondary.  Cameron Frosch returns at punter after averaging over 42 yards per punt last season.

Who's New - A whole lot of new faces this fall.  At QB, former Auburn commit Tyrik Rollison (as four star Scout and Rivals prospect) and Harrison Stewart should compete for the starting position.  Aaron Fields and Vincent Moore are new running back transfers, while half a dozen WR transfers, including Stacy Howard, Jordon Jenkins and Vernon Johnson, should be in the mix.  The offensive line has 7 new transfers, led by Francis Talavou and Dillon Jordan.  Ten new defensive linemen add much needed depth up front, with John Q. Jones and Leo Migo backing them up at linebacker.  Not to be left out, six transfers (including  Tyren Watts, Ronald Fields and Dwan Gill) come in to help out the secondary. 


2013 Outlook - With so many new faces it may take a while to gel.  While several 2012 starters return, do not be surprised if several of them do not start in 2013.  The opener against Sul Ross State provides a nice chance for the team to work on timing and settle the depth chart.  The next three weeks will be tough, with Delta State (normally a national power) and 2013 playoff participants West Texas A&M and Midwestern State.  October sees the Lions travel to Southeastern Oklahoma, Texas A&M-Kingsville and Tarleton State, while hosting McMurry.  November closes out the season with Angelo State, Houston Baptist and Eastern New Mexico.

Realistically, the Lions could win 5 games (maybe 6 if everything goes right).  On the flip side, if the team does not come together quickly, a 2 win season could be the reality.  Prediction: 4-7 with a surprise from some LSC team overlooking them.

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