2009 Louisiana Monroe Warhawks Football Preview
2008 Record: (4-8, 3-4)
2008 Bowl: none
Coach: Charlie Weatherbie (25-45 at Louisiana Monroe, 70-109 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Vance Vice and Jonas Weatherbie
Defensive Coordinator: Troy Reffett
Other Key Returnees: CB Nate Brown, OT Ryan Dercher, WR Anthony McCall, WR J.J. McCoy, G Justin Roberts, LB Theo Smith, CB Otis Stamps, G Doug Stroud, LB Josh Thomas, C Brett Thompson, S Josh Thompson, DT Aaron Williams
Key Losses: DT DeMarcus Carmouche, QB Kinsmon Lancaster, S Chance Payne, OT Larry Shappley, TE Zeek Zacharie
Louisiana Monroe did not do anything particularly well last season, but it was a relatively young group of players who should only get better with time. Coach Charlie Weatherbie certainly knows what it takes to win games in the Sun Belt Conference and his goal will be to win at least six games and become bowl eligible in 2009.
Louisiana Monroe's Strengths:
The one thing the Warhawks did better than anything else was run the ball. That was in part due to quarterback Kinsmon Lancaster. On top of rushing for 614 yards during his senior campaign, Lancaster threw for over 2,000 yards and connected on 18 touchdown passes. Trey Revell will not scramble as effectively as Lancaster, but he is a capable passer who should take the team out of last place in passing offense in the conference. Yet, the ground game will still thrive under running back Frank Goodin. Goodin has been the starting running back since his freshman campaign and he should be in for a great junior season…especially since the offensive line returns four starters. Those linemen will also give Revell time to find his receivers. Tight end Zeek Zacharie is gone, but there are some quality receivers on the team led by Darrell McNeal.
Louisiana Monroe's Weaknesses:
The defense returns nine starters, but they ranked second to last in the conference in rush and pass defense. The biggest problem was the lack of a pass rush. End Aaron Morgan and linebacker Cardia Jackson accounted for ten of the team’s 13 sacks on the season. Those two are back, but the pressure needs to come from more than just Morgan and Jackson. Jameson Jordan or Troy Evans have to get some pressure from the other end of the line or the opposition can double Morgan and keep an eye on Jackson blitzing from the linebacker spot. Jackson is more than just a pass rusher however and he tallied an impressive 127 tackles last year and is the unquestioned leader of the defense. The secondary returns everybody, but they allowed the opposition to throw for 232 yards per game in 2008. If the front three cannot get pressure on the quarterback, the secondary will once again have some major problems.
The Bottom Line for the Warhawks:
The big question is how much better will the defense get with their year of experience? Jackson is a great player and most of the starting lineup will consist of seniors, but this is practically the same group that gave up over 31 points per game last season. The offense may have to rely on Goodin a little more than they did in 2008, but that is not a bad thing at all. Goodin is a difference maker who can dominate, but it will be important for the passing game to improve under their new signal caller.
By Joel Welser
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