College Football Preview – Pac-10 Offenses
David Funk, a good friend and writer of the Fantasy Sports Network blog, put together a ranking of the Big Ten college football defenses. He was kind enough allow me to post his breakdown on my site to pass the great information on to you. This is very useful info as you gear up for the college football season, especially if you play the Sporting News College Football Salary Cap game.
2. Arizona State – Starters returning: 6
The Sun Devils may have the best skillset of players on offense in the Pac-10, but their offensive line play has to improve. Quarterback Rudy Carpenter, running back Keegan Herring, and receivers Michael Jones and Chris McGaha all return. They return two lineman, and must protect Carpenter better after allowing a mind-boggling 55 sacks as a team a year ago.
3. Arizona -Starters returning: 10
Willie Tuitama returns at quarterback to lead a team that ranked 10th in the nation in passing yards per game a year ago. Mike Thomas, Terrell Turner, and Delashaun Dean are back as receivers with strong depth behind them. Nic Grigsby returns at running back, but someone will have to step up behind him because he’s not an every-down back. The offensive line returns four starters.
4. Oregon – Starters returning: 5
The team will miss quarterback Dennis Dixon and running back Jonathan Stewart, but they have capable players to replace them. Nate Costa is the dual-threat quarterback, but he tore knee ligaments when he started and Justin Roper took over. Jeremiah Johnson looked good in the spring at running back. Receiver Jaison Williams returns as does three offensive lineman.
5. Washington – Starters returning: 6
Jake Locker is a star in the making at quarterback, and he has three returning lineman up front to protect him. Brandon Johnson and Johri Fogerson look to replace the departed Louis Rankin at running back. The receiving corps is inexperienced, but the talent is there with D’Andre Goodwin and Chris Polk likely to start. Watch for freshmen Anthony Boyles and Devin Aquilar to see the field plenty of times at receiver, too.
6. Oregon State – Starters returning: 7
Lyle Moevao, who went 4-0 as starting quarterback a year ago, returns as does three offensive lineman. Ryan McCants is a highly touted running back, but hasn’t carried the ball in college yet. The receiving corps gets a boost after Sammie Stroughter was awarded an extra year of eligibility. Darrell Catchings and James Rodgers will be the other receivers, and Howard Croom returns to play tight end.
7. Washington State – Starters returning: 6
Gary Rogers will start at quarterback and he’ll have star receiver Brandon Gibson to throw to. Running back Dwight Tardy is coming off a torn ACL, so speedster Chris Ivory could see more carries this year. Jeshua Anderson and Michael Willis will join Gibson at the other receiver spots. The experienced offensive line returns four starters, but the offense will have to adjust very quickly to the new spread look that is installed.
8. California – Starters returning: 4
Quarterback Nate Longshore will have his hands full holding off Kevin Riley, who was great in last year’s Armed Forces Bowl. The offensive line is experienced with three starters returning, but the rest of the offense has question marks. Jahvid Best will start at running back despite being hampered with injuries in the spring. DeSean Jackson will be missed at receiver, and Michael Calvin is likely their top threat for the coming season.
9. UCLA – Starters returning: 4
Quarterback Ben Olsen will start after Patrick Cowen tore an ACL in the spring. Raymond Carter and Kahlil Bell are the leading candidates at running back, but both are coming off injuries so freshman Aundre Dean may see action. Marcus Everett leads the receiving corps and Dominique Johnson will be the other starter. The offensive line returns two starters, and depth is a concern up front.
10. Stanford – Starters returning: 7
Tavita Pritchard returns at quarterback with an experienced offensive line that returns three starters. Anthony Kimble is returning at running back and depth is good behind with Tyrone McGraw likely to see his share of carries. The receiving corps is a concern because of experience, but Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin show potential as starters for the unit.
Stud offenses: USC, Arizona State
Rising offense: Washington
Falling offense: California
Overall analysis: This conference is loaded with plenty of offensive talent. USC and Arizona State should be great starts every week, and Arizona has the experience and talent to be good provided they get consistency in the running game. Oregon and Washington have plenty of talent to be a strong option all season. California and Washington State have question marks with running backs returning from injuries, and Oregon State is inexperienced at running back, too. UCLA and Stanford have enough experience at quarterback, but too many other questions marks loom for them as the season comes along.