Tony DeMeo

2010 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

The  2010 College Football Season is upon us.  The University of Charleston opens the season on the road against Tusculum College. This will be a tough opener for us and hopefully we’ll rise to the challenge.
 
We will have a new starting QB for the first time since 2007. Blaine Wilson, a 6’2” 225 red shirt sophomore, will be pulling the trigger of The Triple Gun.  Blaine had a great spring and pre-season camp and is surrounded by an experienced cast. Our entire starting offensive line returns as well as our top reserves. That line features 2 seniors and 2 juniors. The wide receivers also return intact.  Andre’ Higgins 6’5” led the team in receiving in 2009.  At running back 6 out of top 7 are returning. The advantage of playing a lot of players is not only keeping players fresh and developing depth but also having experienced players to take over for graduating seniors.
 
Defensively we lose 8 seniors but have 8  seniors starting this year. We have 9 starters on defense who started at least one game last year. Again this is the advantage of playing a lot of people and getting as many players as possible ready to play. So last year we graduated 3 senior linebackers, and this year we are starting 3 senior linebackers.  
 
Our kicking game is in good hands.  Wes Sherrill is in his 4th year as our starting kicker & punter.  We also return many experienced punt and kick returners and other special teamers.
 
We finished the regular season in 2009 with a 9-2 record, ranked 19th in the AFCA poll.  Despite that achievement we felt deprived because of the playoffs snub.  Sometimes it’s good starting the season with a chip on your shoulder.
I’m looking forward to the continued growth of the Georgia Tech program under Paul Johnson.  PJ’s squad is only going to get better and better, much to the chagrin of the “anti-option” media.
 
Troy Calhoun at Air Force will also continue to surprise. Their performance against Houston in their bowl game was very, very impressive. Troy’s option attack is more diverse than P.J.’s, and it’s always interesting to see what new wrinkles he adds.
 
Coach Ken has it going at Navy and may have the best option QB in the nation.  Navy’s opener vs. Maryland will be an important game for both squads.  I’ve coached against Ralph Friedgen’s DC, Donny Brown, and he has a good grasp defending the option. Given all pre-season to work against it rather than the normal 3 days, Maryland could present Coach Ken some problems. It may come down to James Franklin’s offense vs. Navy’s defense.
 
Army seems to be back on track and will push to go bowling. They got better as the season wore on in 2009 and their unique brand of option will be better in 2010.
 
Chip Kelly did a better job than Lou Holtz in shutting up Mark May. May called for Chip’s head after his opening loss! Chip brought the Ducks back and wound up in the Rose Bowl. Chip has always thought outside the box and his teams are always fun to watch.
 
Frank Solich at Ohio University has really taken to the Pistol Offense and led the Bobcats to a bowl last year. Speaking of the Pistol, it’s creator Chris Ault will have Nevada cranked up & ready to go.
 
Some other notes:
1. Ohio State will explode on offense with Terrell Pryor.
2. Rich Rod will have Michigan in a bowl game.
3. ‘Bama will be better than ever.
4. Nebraska will take another step under Bo Pelini.
 
All our high school Triple Gunners will have exciting seasons.
I’m anxious to see how our 2-day camp schools perform. We saw a lot of talent this summer in our travels and I can see some real surprises this season. Please use the High School Scoreboard to report your results. My advise: Stay the course. If you’re struggling then get simpler, reduce your menu and do what you do just do it better. Reps are always the answer but the reps must be detailed. Most playbooks are too fat, like the fisherman that has a tackle box full of fancy lures but when there are no bites it’s back to worms.