The straight scoop
from Colonel Mustard
Aug. 20, 2002
I know that I am late this week, but I wanted to wait for the depth chart to come out. Let's start with the offense. We have heard nothing but bad things about the line, including from me. But let's see how they look against someone other than our defense. It appears that we have talent and three non-senior starters. So let's reserve judgment until we see them play. This is an area of the team that could easily get better as the season progresses.
We have quality and quantity at TE. I think Ringenberg will have a big year. As for the other receivers, I want to see more of LeFlore, McLaughlin and Pilkington, as these guys give us a core of young talent. As for this year, Thomas is proven and Hassebroek will give us a big blocker. I hope we see a lot more of the double wing and like formations in which we could sub some of our young talent and speed at IB for the WB. We have two excellent players at FB and we could win with either. This, like TE, is a strong position. We have too many great IBs to leave them on the bench. I feel one of the big keys to the season is whether Frank is clever enough to get all these playmakers on the field. Diedrick and Collins will give us good change of pace. I believe unless he is injured Collins will get more carries as the season progresses. He was really coming into his own late in the season. At QB, Lord will be and should be given every opportunity. I have a feeling he isn't the man and that Dukes is the best QB we have. I hope we don't redshirt him, because I believe we will need him before the season is over and we had better get him ready. I hope I am wrong about Lord because he has waited his turn.
Our defense will be better because we have playmakers at safety and WLB. Bland and Williams are difference-makers where we need them. The line is better, and Kabongo, Bingham and Smith will be better than we had last year. As I said, I thought Ruud should have started last year. He is amazing; sometime on a play just watch him. Teams will throw away from Groce, so Ricketts, who is a fine cover man, will get a lot action. We will see about SS. Hopkins is an athlete and the Bullocks are big hitters, so we should be fine on the back line. Shanle and the rush ends were up and down last year. If Shanle is solid, I would be fine with that. We need big plays from the rush ends. I think Johnson will break out, and I hope Kelsay plays up to his talent.
We have excellent return men in Davis and Groce and a super punter in Larson. Our placekicking is inconsistent ,so let's hope that a game doesn't come down to that.
The bottom line is that we open with three easy games including ASU. This should give us time to straighten out our problems. This will be a fun season because so much is unknown. But don't believe the gloom and doom -- this program is to strong for that. But I want to see this team develop leadership that our championship teams have had and last year's lacked.