#30 Southeast Missouri State FCS Football Preview

Southeast Missouri State Redhawks

Overall Rank: #30
#3 Ohio Valley
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Southeast Missouri State Team Page

2010 Record: (9-3, 7-1)
2010 Postseason: FCS Playoffs
Coach: Tony Samuel (22-35 at Southeast Missouri State, 56-92 overall)

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Matt Scheible, QB, 887 yards
Passing: Matt Scheible, QB, 1,246 yards
Receiving: Chantae Ahamefule, WR, 357 yards
Tackles: Blake Peiffer, LB, 59
Sacks: Darrick Borum, LB, 4.0
Interceptions: Tylor Brock, S, 6

Southeast Missouri State had one of the greatest turnarounds in recent FCS history, going from a team that won just two games in 2009, to a squad that won nine games, a share of the Ohio Valley title and made a trip to the playoffs. The good times may not last too long as this group has a ton of rebuilding to do, but there are some quality players left to build around, most notably quarterback Matt Scheible. The 6-1 senior earned first-team All-OVC last season and should be in for another big year. He is a true dual threat quarterback who threw for 1,246 yards and eight touchdowns and ran for 887 yards with seven more trips to the end zone. In a dozen games the elusive Scheible was sacked just six times. He will keep every play alive and make things happen.

However, the offense has a ton of rebuilding to do around Scheible and the defense will have to step up and carry this team if they have any hope of returning to the playoffs. The unit allowed the fewest points per game in the conference and has enough fresh faces to replace the talent lost. The front four will look a little different with former end Steve Hendry moving to the interior. That will leave Justin Love as the most experienced defensive end and the likely candidate to cause havoc in the opposing backfield. The linebacker corps will miss Joshua Jackson, but junior Blake Peiffer is ready to take over the middle linebacker spot and lead this team in tackles. Philip Klaproth has some experience and started a few games last year and is expected to step up his game, but finding another linebacker may be a problem. Sophomore Wisler Ymonice is a promising young talent who could be a major contributor. The secondary will be very strong as long as Tylor Brock is on the field. The safety picked off six passes last season. He will be joined by another experienced safety in Bryan Blanfort, who missed all of last season with an injury. The cornerbacks are inexperienced, but there are experienced seniors like Cory Holmes and Kweku Arkorful and talented youngsters like Bradley Montgomery and Reggie Jennings who are capable of filling the void.

Henry Harris took home just about every award possible during his senior season. The running back also set single season school records with 114 points scored, 305 rushing attempts, 1,735 rushing yards, 19 total touchdowns and 2,609 all-purpose yards. That is a lot of yards. The two players at the top of the depth chart are Renard Celestin and Lennies McFerren. Celestin rushed for 15 yards on four carries last season and McFerren redshirted. That does not bode well for the ground game that averaged over 265 yards per game last season, ranking third in the FCS. Levi Terrell and Lewis Washington will look for carries as well, but no matter who gets carries, they will not be Harris. How effective Scheible can be if the ground game does not develop remains to be seen. The good news is Chantae Ahamefule is back after leading the team with 26 receptions for 357 yards. Tight end Art Mueller should see an increase in catches this year with the departure of some of the other receivers. However, this is not a passing team and Scheible is not a passing quarterback.

The Bottom Line:
The defense put up such great numbers because the Redhawks ran the ball, killed the clock and kept the defense off of the field. The defense is talented, but they will be tested a lot more if Southeast Missouri State cannot find a running back or two who can be effective. Otherwise it is all up to Scheible and he can only do so much, especially with an offensive line that has some rebuilding to do. Left tackle Evan Conrad is one of the best in the conference, if not the best, but the rest of the line, like most of the offense, has some issues that need to be answered.

Projected Postseason: none

2010 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 265.08 (3rd in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 103.83 (114, 9)
Total Offense: 368.92 (45, 4)
Scoring Offense: 26.92 (43, 4)
Rushing Defense: 152.33 (63, 4)
Pass Defense: 164.75 (16, 2)
Total Defense: 317.08 (25, 2)
Scoring Defense: 21.50 (36, 1)
Turnover Margin: 1.08 (5, 1)
Sacks: 1.17 (103, 6)
Sacks Allowed: .50 (1, 1)

Madness 2011 FCS Football Recruit Rankings:
#13 Lewis Washington