#43 William & Mary FCS Football 2012 Preview

George Hammond

William & Mary Tribe

2012 Overall Rank: #43
#7 Colonial
William & Mary FCS College Football 2012 Team Preview
William & Mary Team Page


Suffice it to say, 2011 didn’t go exactly as planned for the Tribe. Picked by the Colonial Athletic Association coaches to win the league, William & Mary never found itself and missed the playoffs for the first time in three years. A sputtering offense had much to do with the disappointment. W & M averaged just 168.5 yards passing (ninth in the CAA) and was 10th in scoring. Veteran coach Jimmye Laycock stressed fundamentals this spring but made no secret that improving the passing game needed to be a priority.

2011 Record: (5-6, 3-5)
2011 Postseason: None
Coach: Jimmye Laycock (213-151-2)
Offensive Coordinator: Zbig Kepa
Defensive Coordinator: Scott Boone

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Keith McBride, RB, 281 yards
Passing: Brent Caprio, QB, 795 yards
Receiving: Ryan Moody, WR, 174 yards
Tackles: Jabrel Mines, LB, 109 tackles
Sacks: Jabrel Mines, LB, 4.5
Interceptions: Jabrel Mines, LB, 2; B.W. Webb, CB, 2; Ivan Tagoe, DB, 2

Other Key Returnees: LB Dante Cook, S Jerome Couplin II, DT George Beerhalter, PK Drake Kuhn, QB Michael Graham, WR Tre McBride, OT Mike Salazar, C Matt Crisafi, OG Trevor Springman, S Brian Thompson

Key Losses: RB Jonathan Grimes, LB Jake Trantin, TE Alex Gottlieb, DE Marcus Hyde, OL James Pagliaro, CB Terrell Wells

The offensive line will return four of five starters - the trio of Mike Salazar, Matt Crisafi and Trevor Springman started all 11 games in 2011. And there’s plenty of experience in the secondary too, with Jerome Couplin II, B.W. Webb, Brian Thompson and Ivan Tagoe. The Tribe ranked third in the CAA last year in scoring defense, and with those veterans in the secondary and Jabrel Mines anchoring the linebacking corps, the defense should be pretty good. Kicker/punter Drake Kuhn returns and adds stability to the kicking game. He made 10-of-14 field goals in 2011, but he could face a challenge from sophomore John Carpenter, who booted a 53-yarder in the spring game. Coach Jimmye Laycock also hopes the return of former defensive coordinator Tom Clark (previously at Liberty University) to the staff will be a plus, too.

The Tribe must get used to life without All-American running back Jonathan Grimes, who rushed for a school record of 4,541 yards during his career. Redshirt sophomore Keith McBride, who was Grimes’ primary backup last year, will try to fill the big shoes. But with the focus on trying to resurrect the inconsistent passing attack, the running game might be pushed to the side. William & Mary averaged just 18 points a game last year (106th in the nation). All eyes will be on quarterbacks Brent Caprio or Michael Graham to improve that production. Injuries hurt the passing attack last year, particularly the deep game when all-conference receiver Ryan Moody went down. Defensively, the Tribe must replace end Marcus Hyde, who had 6.5 sacks last year. But there are definitely more concerns on the offensive side.

The Bottom Line:
It’s difficult to imagine a second-straight losing season for the Tribe because there are pockets of strength. However, there are plenty of minefields in the CAA too. Plus, W & M opens on the road at Maryland, which will be fired up to make amends for last year’s 2-10 season in Randy Edsall’s first year. Tough road games await at Towson, James Madison, New Hampshire and ODU. It likely will come down to quarterback play (doesn’t it always?). If Caprio or Graham can step up and play consistently, the Tribe can be in the hunt for a possible playoff berth, but when you compare W & M to other conference foes, there seem to be more questions in Williamsburg, Va.

Projected Postseason: None

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 166.27 (45th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 168.55 (93, 8)
Total Offense: 334.82 (78, 7)
Scoring Offense: 18.36 (106, 10)
Rushing Defense: 146.91 (49, 6)
Pass Defense: 204.00 (55, 4)
Total Defense: 350.91 (41, 4)
Scoring Defense: 22.18 (31, 3)
Turnover Margin: -.36 (79, 8T)
Sacks: 1.73 (82, 7T)
Sacks Allowed: 1.73 (44, 6T)

Madness 2012 FCS Football Recruit Rankings:
#44 Tyler Claytor
#177 Kevin Jennings