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MiamiHuskie Online
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Less than optimistic outlook
10-17-2020 07:45 AM
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epasnoopy Offline
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RE: Less than optimistic outlook
Don't read the season predictions on the MAC board.
10-17-2020 07:48 AM
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MiamiHuskie Online
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RE: Less than optimistic outlook
(10-17-2020 07:48 AM)epasnoopy Wrote:  Don't read the season predictions on the MAC board.

Pretty accurate, though. This is a young, untested team.
The running back position is wide open.Who knows if there's another Wolfe/Spann/Harbison in the wings.

Lost a lot from both the D and O line.

This is pretty much a Hammock team now. Let's see how it goes.
10-17-2020 08:54 AM
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TXHuskieJA26 Offline
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RE: Less than optimistic outlook
I think the offense will be a lot better than this is giving credit for.
The line has 4 spots locked in and the other wil be a good competitions between guys with some serious size.
Bowers in year 2 with this system and with these teammates will be an improvement, and watching tape on Neville he seems like an upgrade at backup QB.
The RB group wil be fine with Collins, Gregory and Ducker. Not to mention the high praise of the explosive ability of Waylee so far in camp.
WR should turn out to be a major stength. Tucker and Richie are good. McCray should easily take over for Robinson considering he is also a big and strong possession receiver but with one major difference; the kid catches everything!! Toure should take a big step after getting some field time last year and if Love doesn't do te same then he could very well give up his spot to Trayvon Rudolph who has been so good in camp that he was given a scholarship after less then 8 months as a walk on.
Crawford will be his usual self at tight end and the guys behind him have great size to help in the run game and be nice red zone targets.

I think they have a chance to be a much more explosive offense than we have seen in rece t years.
10-17-2020 10:51 AM
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MiamiHuskie Online
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RE: Less than optimistic outlook
(10-17-2020 10:51 AM)TXHuskieJA26 Wrote:  I think the offense will be a lot better than this is giving credit for.
The line has 4 spots locked in and the other wil be a good competitions between guys with some serious size.
Bowers in year 2 with this system and with these teammates will be an improvement, and watching tape on Neville he seems like an upgrade at backup QB.
The RB group wil be fine with Collins, Gregory and Ducker. Not to mention the high praise of the explosive ability of Waylee so far in camp.
WR should turn out to be a major stength. Tucker and Richie are good. McCray should easily take over for Robinson considering he is also a big and strong possession receiver but with one major difference; the kid catches everything!! Toure should take a big step after getting some field time last year and if Love doesn't do te same then he could very well give up his spot to Trayvon Rudolph who has been so good in camp that he was given a scholarship after less then 8 months as a walk on.
Crawford will be his usual self at tight end and the guys behind him have great size to help in the run game and be nice red zone targets.

I think they have a chance to be a much more explosive offense than we have seen in rece t years.
There is some size on the OL. 12 guys 300 lbs and above with most of the DT's above 290. Hopefully there's athleticism in those big guys.They've had extra time for strength training.

Carey was more of a defensive guy, with the offense, except for a few games like the 2018 MACC, kind of throttled back.
Childers was a great runner, but never seemed to get the long passing game going. He was a tough kid and a good competitor.

Let's see if the offense can air it out with Bowers this year, he has an arm like a cannon. He doesn't seem like a true dual threat, except for those awesome (but dangerous) flips into the endzone.

I don't know if we'll ever get back to the Harnish/Lynch MACtion days, but a more explosive offense is always fun to watch.
10-17-2020 11:03 AM
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NIUfilmmaker Offline
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RE: Less than optimistic outlook
Hammock's recruiting seems to be solid, I feel like we could have our next nice run soon once he has a decent Covid-interruption-free stretch.
10-17-2020 11:10 AM
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thxjoenovak Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Less than optimistic outlook
(10-17-2020 10:51 AM)TXHuskieJA26 Wrote:  I think the offense will be a lot better than this is giving credit for.
The line has 4 spots locked in and the other wil be a good competitions between guys with some serious size.
Bowers in year 2 with this system and with these teammates will be an improvement, and watching tape on Neville he seems like an upgrade at backup QB.
The RB group wil be fine with Collins, Gregory and Ducker. Not to mention the high praise of the explosive ability of Waylee so far in camp.
WR should turn out to be a major stength. Tucker and Richie are good. McCray should easily take over for Robinson considering he is also a big and strong possession receiver but with one major difference; the kid catches everything!! Toure should take a big step after getting some field time last year and if Love doesn't do te same then he could very well give up his spot to Trayvon Rudolph who has been so good in camp that he was given a scholarship after less then 8 months as a walk on.
Crawford will be his usual self at tight end and the guys behind him have great size to help in the run game and be nice red zone targets.

I think they have a chance to be a much more explosive offense than we have seen in rece t years.

Agree on the “O”.

The “D” with the loss of Heflin, Lorbeck etc will be tough to watch this year.

Tip: Take the “over”.
10-17-2020 12:14 PM
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Suptroop Offline
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RE: Less than optimistic outlook
My biggest concern by far will be the DBs. That's not a good position to be breaking in all new guys especially when I can't forsee a consistently good pass rush.

I agree the offense should be improved and think the D can hold the run especially with a good linebacking crew. But think we're going to give up a ton of air yards.
10-17-2020 01:00 PM
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BDB5yp Offline
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RE: Less than optimistic outlook
(10-17-2020 12:14 PM)thxjoenovak Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 10:51 AM)TXHuskieJA26 Wrote:  I think the offense will be a lot better than this is giving credit for.
The line has 4 spots locked in and the other wil be a good competitions between guys with some serious size.
Bowers in year 2 with this system and with these teammates will be an improvement, and watching tape on Neville he seems like an upgrade at backup QB.
The RB group wil be fine with Collins, Gregory and Ducker. Not to mention the high praise of the explosive ability of Waylee so far in camp.
WR should turn out to be a major stength. Tucker and Richie are good. McCray should easily take over for Robinson considering he is also a big and strong possession receiver but with one major difference; the kid catches everything!! Toure should take a big step after getting some field time last year and if Love doesn't do te same then he could very well give up his spot to Trayvon Rudolph who has been so good in camp that he was given a scholarship after less then 8 months as a walk on.
Crawford will be his usual self at tight end and the guys behind him have great size to help in the run game and be nice red zone targets.

I think they have a chance to be a much more explosive offense than we have seen in rece t years.

Agree on the “O”.

The “D” with the loss of Heflin, Lorbeck etc will be tough to watch this year.

Tip: Take the “over”.

Almost forgot about Heflin. The delayed start to the season might be a blessing in disguise for some of the guys that needed some fine tuning.
10-17-2020 02:17 PM
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RE: Less than optimistic outlook
(10-17-2020 02:17 PM)BDB5yp Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 12:14 PM)thxjoenovak Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 10:51 AM)TXHuskieJA26 Wrote:  I think the offense will be a lot better than this is giving credit for.
The line has 4 spots locked in and the other wil be a good competitions between guys with some serious size.
Bowers in year 2 with this system and with these teammates will be an improvement, and watching tape on Neville he seems like an upgrade at backup QB.
The RB group wil be fine with Collins, Gregory and Ducker. Not to mention the high praise of the explosive ability of Waylee so far in camp.
WR should turn out to be a major stength. Tucker and Richie are good. McCray should easily take over for Robinson considering he is also a big and strong possession receiver but with one major difference; the kid catches everything!! Toure should take a big step after getting some field time last year and if Love doesn't do te same then he could very well give up his spot to Trayvon Rudolph who has been so good in camp that he was given a scholarship after less then 8 months as a walk on.
Crawford will be his usual self at tight end and the guys behind him have great size to help in the run game and be nice red zone targets.

I think they have a chance to be a much more explosive offense than we have seen in rece t years.

Agree on the “O”.

The “D” with the loss of Heflin, Lorbeck etc will be tough to watch this year.

Tip: Take the “over”.

Almost forgot about Heflin. The delayed start to the season might be a blessing in disguise for some of the guys that needed some fine tuning.

Heflin is a back up and Lorbeck not listed in depth chart. Hope they get some playing time to show what they can do. I’m sure Heflin will rotate in often.
10-17-2020 02:23 PM
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TXHuskieJA26 Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Less than optimistic outlook
(10-17-2020 12:14 PM)thxjoenovak Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 10:51 AM)TXHuskieJA26 Wrote:  I think the offense will be a lot better than this is giving credit for.
The line has 4 spots locked in and the other wil be a good competitions between guys with some serious size.
Bowers in year 2 with this system and with these teammates will be an improvement, and watching tape on Neville he seems like an upgrade at backup QB.
The RB group wil be fine with Collins, Gregory and Ducker. Not to mention the high praise of the explosive ability of Waylee so far in camp.
WR should turn out to be a major stength. Tucker and Richie are good. McCray should easily take over for Robinson considering he is also a big and strong possession receiver but with one major difference; the kid catches everything!! Toure should take a big step after getting some field time last year and if Love doesn't do te same then he could very well give up his spot to Trayvon Rudolph who has been so good in camp that he was given a scholarship after less then 8 months as a walk on.
Crawford will be his usual self at tight end and the guys behind him have great size to help in the run game and be nice red zone targets.

I think they have a chance to be a much more explosive offense than we have seen in rece t years.

Agree on the “O”.

The “D” with the loss of Heflin, Lorbeck etc will be tough to watch this year.

Tip: Take the “over”.

The defense will definitely have some experience issues, especially at DE and in the secondary. Not sure that they will be all that bad though.
I loved some of the flashes Mattox showed as a true freshman at DE. I really don't see any of the young/inexperienced being a downgrade from Lorbeck. We have basically had zero pass rush since Corcoran and Smith left. So its kind of an only can get better situation at DE to me, and some young guys might step up and surprise us. Inside there are 3-4 guys next to Kramer that have played, they just weren't THE guy. So we will see what they can do with more of an opportunity.
LB there isn't much to say. The top 6 all have significant playing/starting experience. If they stay healthy they will be a very good group, simple as that.
The secondary is interesting. Thomas started a good portion of last year at CB after switching from S. It seems likely he will be much improved in a 2nd season at CB with a lot of lessons learned last year. After him there is virtually no playing experience, however let's not forget that Aitken won the starting job last year out of camp before being injured after 1 game. March is a 3 star who was highly regarded as a recruit 2 years ago. So there is some talent there to work with at least.
Safety I feel pretty good about for 2 reasons. First, Xavior Williams is GOOD. There are a lot of experts who believe he is a draftable player, UDFA at worst. Who plays opposite him is a total mystery but the fact that the transfer Appolon and true freshman Jackson have already been moved to LB lends me to believe there is someone there that they believe in. Most likely candidates seem like Henderson or early enrollee Brown.
My hope is that the defense can at least be opportunistic and force some turnovers.
10-17-2020 03:06 PM
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Post: #12
RE: Less than optimistic outlook
(10-17-2020 02:23 PM)Rabid Squirrel Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 02:17 PM)BDB5yp Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 12:14 PM)thxjoenovak Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 10:51 AM)TXHuskieJA26 Wrote:  I think the offense will be a lot better than this is giving credit for.
The line has 4 spots locked in and the other wil be a good competitions between guys with some serious size.
Bowers in year 2 with this system and with these teammates will be an improvement, and watching tape on Neville he seems like an upgrade at backup QB.
The RB group wil be fine with Collins, Gregory and Ducker. Not to mention the high praise of the explosive ability of Waylee so far in camp.
WR should turn out to be a major stength. Tucker and Richie are good. McCray should easily take over for Robinson considering he is also a big and strong possession receiver but with one major difference; the kid catches everything!! Toure should take a big step after getting some field time last year and if Love doesn't do te same then he could very well give up his spot to Trayvon Rudolph who has been so good in camp that he was given a scholarship after less then 8 months as a walk on.
Crawford will be his usual self at tight end and the guys behind him have great size to help in the run game and be nice red zone targets.

I think they have a chance to be a much more explosive offense than we have seen in rece t years.

Agree on the “O”.

The “D” with the loss of Heflin, Lorbeck etc will be tough to watch this year.

Tip: Take the “over”.

Almost forgot about Heflin. The delayed start to the season might be a blessing in disguise for some of the guys that needed some fine tuning.

Heflin is a back up and Lorbeck not listed in depth chart. Hope they get some playing time to show what they can do. I’m sure Heflin will rotate in often.

Pretty sure Heflin is the back up to deviyon Nixon who was recruited heavily by NIU and committed for a minute.
(This post was last modified: 10-17-2020 03:48 PM by HuskiePride12.)
10-17-2020 03:47 PM
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epasnoopy Offline
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RE: Less than optimistic outlook
(10-17-2020 03:47 PM)HuskiePride12 Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 02:23 PM)Rabid Squirrel Wrote:  Heflin is a back up and Lorbeck not listed in depth chart. Hope they get some playing time to show what they can do. I’m sure Heflin will rotate in often.

Pretty sure Heflin is the back up to deviyon Nixon who was recruited heavily by NIU and committed for a minute.

Wow, seems like a waste of transferring to be a backup and Lorbeck not even on the depth chart. They both would have kept their starting roles here.

I'm wondering how Brinkman feels down at USF this season. He's playing on a bad team and his numbers aren't going to be as good as his last season at NIU.
(This post was last modified: 10-17-2020 04:25 PM by epasnoopy.)
10-17-2020 04:19 PM
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NIU05 Offline
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RE: Less than optimistic outlook
(10-17-2020 02:23 PM)Rabid Squirrel Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 02:17 PM)BDB5yp Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 12:14 PM)thxjoenovak Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 10:51 AM)TXHuskieJA26 Wrote:  I think the offense will be a lot better than this is giving credit for.
The line has 4 spots locked in and the other wil be a good competitions between guys with some serious size.
Bowers in year 2 with this system and with these teammates will be an improvement, and watching tape on Neville he seems like an upgrade at backup QB.
The RB group wil be fine with Collins, Gregory and Ducker. Not to mention the high praise of the explosive ability of Waylee so far in camp.
WR should turn out to be a major stength. Tucker and Richie are good. McCray should easily take over for Robinson considering he is also a big and strong possession receiver but with one major difference; the kid catches everything!! Toure should take a big step after getting some field time last year and if Love doesn't do te same then he could very well give up his spot to Trayvon Rudolph who has been so good in camp that he was given a scholarship after less then 8 months as a walk on.
Crawford will be his usual self at tight end and the guys behind him have great size to help in the run game and be nice red zone targets.

I think they have a chance to be a much more explosive offense than we have seen in rece t years.

Agree on the “O”.

The “D” with the loss of Heflin, Lorbeck etc will be tough to watch this year.

Tip: Take the “over”.

Almost forgot about Heflin. The delayed start to the season might be a blessing in disguise for some of the guys that needed some fine tuning.

Heflin is a back up and Lorbeck not listed in depth chart. Hope they get some playing time to show what they can do. I’m sure Heflin will rotate in often.
Heflin is going to play and will probably get drafted.
10-17-2020 04:37 PM
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BDB5yp Offline
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RE: Less than optimistic outlook
(10-17-2020 04:19 PM)epasnoopy Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 03:47 PM)HuskiePride12 Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 02:23 PM)Rabid Squirrel Wrote:  Heflin is a back up and Lorbeck not listed in depth chart. Hope they get some playing time to show what they can do. I’m sure Heflin will rotate in often.

Pretty sure Heflin is the back up to deviyon Nixon who was recruited heavily by NIU and committed for a minute.

Wow, seems like a waste of transferring to be a backup and Lorbeck not even on the depth chart. They both would have kept their starting roles here.

I'm wondering how Brinkman feels down at USF this season. He's playing on a bad team and his numbers aren't going to be as good as his last season at NIU.
.
I wonder if they regret their choices. These shortsighted decisions.
10-17-2020 07:19 PM
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NIU05 Offline
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RE: Less than optimistic outlook
Brinkman made a solid decision, had to go to make sure he played. The MAC and 10ers really don't and didn't want to play. He's doing fine.
10-18-2020 06:11 PM
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NILAW Offline
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RE: Less than optimistic outlook
(10-17-2020 03:06 PM)TXHuskieJA26 Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 12:14 PM)thxjoenovak Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 10:51 AM)TXHuskieJA26 Wrote:  I think the offense will be a lot better than this is giving credit for.
The line has 4 spots locked in and the other wil be a good competitions between guys with some serious size.
Bowers in year 2 with this system and with these teammates will be an improvement, and watching tape on Neville he seems like an upgrade at backup QB.
The RB group wil be fine with Collins, Gregory and Ducker. Not to mention the high praise of the explosive ability of Waylee so far in camp.
WR should turn out to be a major stength. Tucker and Richie are good. McCray should easily take over for Robinson considering he is also a big and strong possession receiver but with one major difference; the kid catches everything!! Toure should take a big step after getting some field time last year and if Love doesn't do te same then he could very well give up his spot to Trayvon Rudolph who has been so good in camp that he was given a scholarship after less then 8 months as a walk on.
Crawford will be his usual self at tight end and the guys behind him have great size to help in the run game and be nice red zone targets.

I think they have a chance to be a much more explosive offense than we have seen in rece t years.

Agree on the “O”.

The “D” with the loss of Heflin, Lorbeck etc will be tough to watch this year.

Tip: Take the “over”.

The defense will definitely have some experience issues, especially at DE and in the secondary. Not sure that they will be all that bad though.
I loved some of the flashes Mattox showed as a true freshman at DE. I really don't see any of the young/inexperienced being a downgrade from Lorbeck. We have basically had zero pass rush since Corcoran and Smith left. So its kind of an only can get better situation at DE to me, and some young guys might step up and surprise us. Inside there are 3-4 guys next to Kramer that have played, they just weren't THE guy. So we will see what they can do with more of an opportunity.
LB there isn't much to say. The top 6 all have significant playing/starting experience. If they stay healthy they will be a very good group, simple as that.
The secondary is interesting. Thomas started a good portion of last year at CB after switching from S. It seems likely he will be much improved in a 2nd season at CB with a lot of lessons learned last year. After him there is virtually no playing experience, however let's not forget that Aitken won the starting job last year out of camp before being injured after 1 game. March is a 3 star who was highly regarded as a recruit 2 years ago. So there is some talent there to work with at least.
Safety I feel pretty good about for 2 reasons. First, Xavior Williams is GOOD. There are a lot of experts who believe he is a draftable player, UDFA at worst. Who plays opposite him is a total mystery but the fact that the transfer Appolon and true freshman Jackson have already been moved to LB lends me to believe there is someone there that they believe in. Most likely candidates seem like Henderson or early enrollee Brown.
My hope is that the defense can at least be opportunistic and force some turnovers.

Thanks TXHuskieJA26 (and others) for your thoughts on the offense, the defense and outlook for this shortened season.

The preview was less than optimistic, but I agree we have a chance to be better than Dave Drury’s prediction.

Offense: I agree that the O has a chance to be a much more explosive offense and better than he is saying.

I am very optimistic about Bowers this year. I am hoping the O-line comes together and keeps him upright and not taking a lot of hits. Coaches; please no designed QB runs for Bowers! Neville does look like an upgrade at backup QB. I’m very optimistic about Fletcher being the QB of the future, but not this year or maybe not next year.

I see RB group with Collins, Gregory and Ducker as being much more explosive, both running (if the O-line gels and opens holes) and catching passes out of the backfield. If Ducker and Fletcher play up to expectations, I am very optimistic about our future offfensive backfield!

The WR group has a solid foundation with Tucker and Richie, and I am excited to see what McCray can do in the mix. I am hoping for a big year from Crawford. With Crawford at TE, the WRs and our RBs I see our O forcing defenses to defend the whole field.

Defense: Getting Pugh and Deveaux back (if they can stay healthy) along with Cole and the others the LBs should be very good and by far the strength of the D.

After that the lack of experience makes it tough to predict how our D will do. I think Hammock kas done a great job with recruiting, but we just don’t know how our inexperienced guys will do. Kramer will be the leader on the D line and I hope the inexperienced guys step up.

The secondary is also a big question mark. Thomas should be solid at one CB spot. With Aitken coming back after his injury last year we hopefully have 2 sold CBs. I thought we would see Appolon at one safety position and perhaps Xavior Williams or maybe Jackson (the true FR) at the other safety spot. However, with both being moved to LB good point about the safety positions – there are players we don’t know much about and the coaches see as starters. It sure looks like Xavior Williams will be one safety and let’s hope he lives up to the hype.

I am concerned about the lack of a pass rush and lack of experience in the defensive backfield leading to giving up big passing yards and points. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more blitzes to help with the pass rush and protect our defensive backfield.

Oh yea, here is another article by Dave Drury about NIU story lines: https://www.hustlebelt.com/2020/10/17/21...is-huskies
10-18-2020 07:26 PM
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NIU1981 Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Less than optimistic outlook
While anything can happen in the MAC (see CMU's leap from 2018 to '19), it is likely there will be some growing pains with a large number of young Huskies playing this fall. It's awesome they will have this developmental opportunity though, and as I've noted before, 2021 and 2022 could be tons of fun.
(This post was last modified: 10-18-2020 07:32 PM by NIU1981.)
10-18-2020 07:31 PM
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BDB5yp Offline
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RE: Less than optimistic outlook
(10-18-2020 07:26 PM)NILAW Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 03:06 PM)TXHuskieJA26 Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 12:14 PM)thxjoenovak Wrote:  
(10-17-2020 10:51 AM)TXHuskieJA26 Wrote:  I think the offense will be a lot better than this is giving credit for.
The line has 4 spots locked in and the other wil be a good competitions between guys with some serious size.
Bowers in year 2 with this system and with these teammates will be an improvement, and watching tape on Neville he seems like an upgrade at backup QB.
The RB group wil be fine with Collins, Gregory and Ducker. Not to mention the high praise of the explosive ability of Waylee so far in camp.
WR should turn out to be a major stength. Tucker and Richie are good. McCray should easily take over for Robinson considering he is also a big and strong possession receiver but with one major difference; the kid catches everything!! Toure should take a big step after getting some field time last year and if Love doesn't do te same then he could very well give up his spot to Trayvon Rudolph who has been so good in camp that he was given a scholarship after less then 8 months as a walk on.
Crawford will be his usual self at tight end and the guys behind him have great size to help in the run game and be nice red zone targets.

I think they have a chance to be a much more explosive offense than we have seen in rece t years.

Agree on the “O”.

The “D” with the loss of Heflin, Lorbeck etc will be tough to watch this year.

Tip: Take the “over”.

The defense will definitely have some experience issues, especially at DE and in the secondary. Not sure that they will be all that bad though.
I loved some of the flashes Mattox showed as a true freshman at DE. I really don't see any of the young/inexperienced being a downgrade from Lorbeck. We have basically had zero pass rush since Corcoran and Smith left. So its kind of an only can get better situation at DE to me, and some young guys might step up and surprise us. Inside there are 3-4 guys next to Kramer that have played, they just weren't THE guy. So we will see what they can do with more of an opportunity.
LB there isn't much to say. The top 6 all have significant playing/starting experience. If they stay healthy they will be a very good group, simple as that.
The secondary is interesting. Thomas started a good portion of last year at CB after switching from S. It seems likely he will be much improved in a 2nd season at CB with a lot of lessons learned last year. After him there is virtually no playing experience, however let's not forget that Aitken won the starting job last year out of camp before being injured after 1 game. March is a 3 star who was highly regarded as a recruit 2 years ago. So there is some talent there to work with at least.
Safety I feel pretty good about for 2 reasons. First, Xavior Williams is GOOD. There are a lot of experts who believe he is a draftable player, UDFA at worst. Who plays opposite him is a total mystery but the fact that the transfer Appolon and true freshman Jackson have already been moved to LB lends me to believe there is someone there that they believe in. Most likely candidates seem like Henderson or early enrollee Brown.
My hope is that the defense can at least be opportunistic and force some turnovers.

Thanks TXHuskieJA26 (and others) for your thoughts on the offense, the defense and outlook for this shortened season.

The preview was less than optimistic, but I agree we have a chance to be better than Dave Drury’s prediction.

Offense: I agree that the O has a chance to be a much more explosive offense and better than he is saying.

I am very optimistic about Bowers this year. I am hoping the O-line comes together and keeps him upright and not taking a lot of hits. Coaches; please no designed QB runs for Bowers! Neville does look like an upgrade at backup QB. I’m very optimistic about Fletcher being the QB of the future, but not this year or maybe not next year.

I see RB group with Collins, Gregory and Ducker as being much more explosive, both running (if the O-line gels and opens holes) and catching passes out of the backfield. If Ducker and Fletcher play up to expectations, I am very optimistic about our future offfensive backfield!

The WR group has a solid foundation with Tucker and Richie, and I am excited to see what McCray can do in the mix. I am hoping for a big year from Crawford. With Crawford at TE, the WRs and our RBs I see our O forcing defenses to defend the whole field.

Defense: Getting Pugh and Deveaux back (if they can stay healthy) along with Cole and the others the LBs should be very good and by far the strength of the D.

After that the lack of experience makes it tough to predict how our D will do. I think Hammock kas done a great job with recruiting, but we just don’t know how our inexperienced guys will do. Kramer will be the leader on the D line and I hope the inexperienced guys step up.

The secondary is also a big question mark. Thomas should be solid at one CB spot. With Aitken coming back after his injury last year we hopefully have 2 sold CBs. I thought we would see Appolon at one safety position and perhaps Xavior Williams or maybe Jackson (the true FR) at the other safety spot. However, with both being moved to LB good point about the safety positions – there are players we don’t know much about and the coaches see as starters. It sure looks like Xavior Williams will be one safety and let’s hope he lives up to the hype.

I am concerned about the lack of a pass rush and lack of experience in the defensive backfield leading to giving up big passing yards and points. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more blitzes to help with the pass rush and protect our defensive backfield.

Oh yea, here is another article by Dave Drury about NIU story lines: https://www.hustlebelt.com/2020/10/17/21...is-huskies

I’m really excited to see Aitken. He was playing at a high level before his injury. If they stay healthy DB will also be the strength. Our biggest lost I feel was in that D- line.
10-18-2020 08:15 PM
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TXHuskieJA26 Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Less than optimistic outlook
As the season gets closer and closer I've been going back and watching high school film on guys who could be called upon this year that haven't had a chance to show what they can do at NIU yet. Really excited to see what some of these tight ends can do. We have had a pretty good run of quality tight ends that has kept some seemingly very talented guys from seeing the field thus far. Guys like Soraghan and DeHaan could finally get a chance to show out this year.
10-18-2020 10:10 PM
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