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Blueraiders.com Early Look at 2009 Sunbelt Football

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Blueraiders.com Early Look at 2009 Sunbelt Football

http://blueraiders.dnj.com/article/20090505/BLUERAIDERS01/90505008/1095/Early+look+at+2009+Sun+Belt+football

Early look at 2009 Sun Belt football

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Spring is over. Fall is still quite a while away. But Sun Belt football is beginning to come into focus.

The completion of spring practice, developments in a few key position competitions and injury updates have hinted at Sun Belt football’s direction this season. Here’s some very, very early predictions for the 2009 Sun Belt football season and a roundup of each team:
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2009 SUN BELT FOOTBALL PREDICTIONS
1. Troy
2. Arkansas State
3. Middle Tennessee
4. Florida Atlantic
5. Florida International
6. Louisiana-Monroe
7. Louisiana-Lafayette
8. North Texas
9. Western Kentucky
———
TROY
• Title chances/how: Very, very good — Beat Arkansas State and MTSU in first two conference games to get in driver’s seat
• Best player(s): QB Jamie Hampton/Levi Brown, RB DuJuan Harris, WR Jerrel Jernigan, LBs Boris Lee, DE Brandon Lang
• Strength(s): Passing game, running out of spread, speed on defense
• Question mark(s): Inexperience on offensive line

ARKANSAS STATE
• Title chances/how: Very good — Beat Troy in first conference game and avoid letdowns on road
• Best player(s): QB Corey Leonard, RB Reggie Arnold, DE Alex Carrington, K Josh Arauco
• Strength(s): Offensive skill players, proven leadership
• Question mark(s): 3 new starters on offensive line, replacing MLB Ben Owens

MTSU
• Title chances/how: Better than most — See above. Beat Troy in September, stay healthy
• Best player(s): CB Alex Suber, S Jeremy Kellem, LB Danny Carmichael, OL Mark Fisher
• Strength(s): Deep WR corps, athletic defense
• Question mark(s): QB Dwight Dasher, offensive run game, thin at LB

Florida Atlantic
• Title chances/how: Still OK — Bring youngsters along quickly and win early rather than late
• Best player(s): QB Rusty Smith, WR Cortez Gent, OL David Matlock, DB Tavious Polo
• Strength(s): Passing offense with Smith, athletic defensive secondary
• Question mark(s): Depth on defensive line; Smith’s consistency

Florida International
• Title chances/how: Not very good — Must beat rival FAU first
• Best player(s): OL Brad Serini, WR/Ret. T.Y. Hilton, LB Scott Bryant, CB Anthony Gaitor
• Strength(s): Hilton, Hilton, Hilton (anywhere on field); also secondary’s trend of forcing turnovers
• Question mark(s): Repeating/sustaining improvement from 2008

Louisiana-Monroe
• Title chances/how: Hit or miss — Enough talent, but likely only a spoiler
• Best player(s): RB Frank Goodin, LB Josh Thompson/Cardia Jackson, DB James Truxillo, DL Aaron Morgan
• Strength(s): A lot of talent on defense
• Question mark(s): New QB, direction of offense

Louisiana-Lafayette
• Title chances/how: Bad — Not a contender unless 2008 seniors QB Michael Desormeaux and RB Tyrell Fenroy return and play in disguise
• Best player(s): OL Chris Fisher, OL Brad Bustle, LB Grant Fleming, DB Gerren Blount
• Strength(s): Very deep linebacking corps
• Question mark(s): Replacing Desormeaux, Fenroy, WR Jason Chery

North Texas
• Title chances/how: Zero — become college football’s best turnaround story
• Best player(s): RB Cam Montgomery, OL Kelvin Drake (back from injury), LB Tobe Nwigwe, S/LB Kylie Hill
• Strength(s): Deep at offensive line, running back
• Question mark(s): Fixing broken defense, statistically worse in nation

Western Kentucky
• Title chances/how: Zero — Win low-scoring games, but it’s not going to happen every week
• Best player(s): RB Tyrell Hayden, WR Jake Gaebler, LB Blake Boyd, S Mark Santoro
• Strength(s): Strong linebackers, experience with 16 starters returning
• Question mark(s): Finding playmakers, reliable quarterback

— Adam Sparks, 615-278-5174

Well right away this guy has NO IDEA what he's talking about. Tavious Polo one of our best players? There's this kid I think he plays TE, I think he wears # 88 maybe he's heard of him his name is Jason Harmon. Rumor has it this kid once jumped over an MTSU player the first game of the year 2 season ago. I don't know if he's any good though lol, he may want to look into that.

MTSU got VERY VERY VERY VERY lucky last year, with Harmon back that won't happen again this year. This game is at Lockhart so we should beat them like we usually always do

My two favorite teams are FAU, and who ever is beating FIU!
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Re: Blueraiders.com Early Look at 2009 Sunbelt Football

Just knock down that one pass and we would not have to deal with mtsu until play them. But that didn't happen, so we have to deal with it. They have bragging rights. I don't get consistency as a weakness of Rusty though, if this guy did his research he'd have known about our receivers' hands of stone in the first half of last year. A lot of belt rivals like to put down Rusty, but the reality is that teams with a fourth year senior at qb who has won two consectutive bowl games, are usually pretty successful.
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Re: Blueraiders.com Early Look at 2009 Sunbelt Football

You know, fine, we lost to them but so what? We went to a bowl game (and won) and they didn't. Plus this year we have them at home and we're pissed about what happened last year. I expect FAU to get its revenge.

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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Re: Blueraiders.com Early Look at 2009 Sunbelt Football

What a biased Joke!  I refuse to believe that Middle Tennessee State Community College is in the running with ARK ST., Troy, FAU, and i would even put FIU above them.  Here's a team that was a hail marry away from being 4-8 last year! Cannot wait for next Halloween!
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Re: Blueraiders.com Early Look at 2009 Sunbelt Football

The said

What a biased Joke!  I refuse to believe that Middle Tennessee State Community College is in the running with ARK ST., Troy, FAU, and i would even put FIU above them.  Here's a team that was a hail marry away from being 4-8 last year! Cannot wait for next Halloween!


Well with Troy's old offensive coordinator everyone expects their offense to pick up. There's no doubt that FAU probably has the best offense in the belt it's just a matter if our D can stop anyone else's O

My two favorite teams are FAU, and who ever is beating FIU!
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Re: Blueraiders.com Early Look at 2009 Sunbelt Football

uhh whos Jason Harmon????

also i mean i wouldnt mention that kid Morris that ESPN has an eye on…..NAHHHH


lol, said it many times and ill say it again……please rank us low…..like WKU low before the season begins…..I think we play better trying to prove something….

The target is off our back for NOW


WHO'S NEXT!  WERE PREYING ON THE BELT THIS YEAR!
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Re: Blueraiders.com Early Look at 2009 Sunbelt Football

The Raiders have a new coordinator but does he have the athletes to run that style of offense - I'm not convince he does, at least not yet, probably take him a couple of year to get the type of players he needs in there, unless he loads up on JC's and still you take a chance on them & could eventually hurt you APR in the process.

Troy seem to have good luck finding them and he did spend time there, then again Middle is no Troy.

Middle still has a good enough defense to win them games and if their offense can show some improvement from last year, then it should help out their D give them a chance to win a few more games this year.
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Re: Blueraiders.com Early Look at 2009 Sunbelt Football

You have to put this whole thing into perspective though.  I would have to say that almost every fan of their team would see themselves as better than the others.  We talk about running the belt this year, but that is what every other team is talking about as well. 
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Re: Blueraiders.com Early Look at 2009 Sunbelt Football

theblackmaria6 said

You have to put this whole thing into perspective though.  I would have to say that almost every fan of their team would see themselves as better than the others.  We talk about running the belt this year, but that is what every other team is talking about as well.

Yes I don't have a problem with that. If you're going to be doing a preview of the SunBelt at least get the key players on the team right. This isn't 2007 anymore, I like Polo but he's not a key player. In fact I'd put E-Mac in front of him as far a key defensive player

My two favorite teams are FAU, and who ever is beating FIU!
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Re: Blueraiders.com Early Look at 2009 Sunbelt Football

Okay….couple of things…

- You say you have a deep WR corp, but none show up in your top players…

- Speaking of your top players, Jeremy Kellem's play last year was nothing for a corner to write home about. 2 ints, and 0 passes defended…..Suber wasn't much better with 2 ints and 26 tackles, but he did have 4 passes defended.

- You title hopes are better than most with an offensive general that has 3 ints vs 17 completions and 156 yrds?….Whatever you say, hoss…

"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog."
-Dwight D. Eisenhower
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