#30 Bethune-Cookman FCS Football 2014 Preview

Bethune-Cookman Wildcats

Overall Rank: #30

Bethune-Cookman Team Page#30 Bethune-Cookman FCS Football 2014 PreviewBuy Bethune-Cookman Football Tickets

Along with South Carolina State, Bethune-Cookman dominated the MEAC. The conference also sent two teams to the playoffs, although neither was able to win a game. The Wildcats faced Coastal Carolina and their usually stout defense was no match for the potent offense of the Chanticleers. Coach Brian Jenkins and company should get another shot at the playoffs this time around.

2013 Record: 10-3, 7-1
2013 Postseason: FCS Playoffs
Coach: Brian Jenkins (37-11 at Bethune-Cookman, 37-11 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Jim Pry
Defensive Coordinator: Charles Jones

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Cary White, RB, 485 yards
Passing: Quintin Williams, QB, 1,270 yards
Receiving: Jontavious Carter, WR, 310 yards
Tackles: LeBrandon Richardson, DE, 64
Sacks: LeBrandon Richardson, DE, 4.5
Interceptions: Marquis Drayton, DB, 2

Other Key Returnees: RB Anthony Jordan, RB Dre’Sean Nelson, WR Jhomo Gordon, OL Andrew Edouard, LB Tavarus Dantzler, DL Rony Barrow, K Jonathan Cagle

Key Losses: RB Isidore Jackson, WR Eddie Poole, OL Alex Monroe, OL Rashard Brown, LB Jarkevis Fields, DB Nick Addison, DB Tim Burke, DL Tevin Toney, DL Dyron Dye

Bethune-Cookman allowed just 255.5 yards per game, which was good enough for second in the nation. Some big names are gone from the defense, most notably Nick Addison and Tim Burke from the secondary, Tevin Toney and Dyron Dye from the defensive line and linebacker Jarkevis Fields, but this will still be one of the best defenses in the FCS. LeBrandon Richardson is one of the most productive linemen in the nation. Last year he tallied 64 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles-for-loss. Rony Barrow is ready to step up and replace some of the production lost with Toney and Dye. Tavarus Dantzler is a big, tough linebacker who should be one of the top tacklers for BCU in 2014. Ole Miss transfer Ralph Williams had a decent debut campaign for the Wildcats and is one of the candidates to pick up a big chunk of Fields’ production. The secondary will be led by Marquis Drayton, but he will need some help from relatively inexperienced players. Coordinator Charles Jones does have options though and he will have this unit playing good football in a hurry.

Bethune-Cookman did have the best scoring offense in the MEAC, but much of that was due to running back Isidore Jackson. He is gone now and Cary White and Anthony Jordan will be asked to carry the ground game. White rushed for 485 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior, while Jordan added 410 yards and five scores. Neither is as explosive as Jackson, but they are strong runners who can pick up the tough yards. Quarterback Quentin Williams will add quite a few yards to the ground game as well. He rushed for 424 yards and nine touchdowns. But when it comes to passing the ball, Williams has work to do. He threw just five touchdown passes in 2013, with seven interceptions. Turnovers are absolutely huge for a team like Bethune-Cookman who prefers to grind out wins with their defense. One poorly timed turnover can completely change a low scoring contest.

The Bottom Line:
Another thing that could prevent this team from returning to the playoffs is the schedule. South Carolina State will once again be their main competition and this year the Wildcats have to travel to Orangeburg. SCSU will be looking for revenge after their 14-3 loss in Daytona Beach. That game is in a stretch of five of six games away from home to end the season. This is a team that has played well on the road in MEAC play recently, but eventually it may catch up with Bethune-Cookman.

Projected Postseason: FCS Playoffs

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 243.0 (10th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 152.8 (109, 8)
Total Offense: 395.8 (52, 2)
Scoring Offense: 29.6 (41, 1)
Rushing Defense: 106.3 (8, 3)
Pass Defense: 149.2 (4, 3)
Total Defense: 255.5 (2, 2)
Scoring Defense: 17.8 (6, 3)
Turnover Margin: 0.2 (46, 3)
Sacks: 2.23 (48, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 2.85 (98, 7)


See All College Sports Madness Top 44 FCS Football Previews