#39 Southeastern Louisiana FCS Football 2013 Preview

Southeastern Louisiana Lions

Overall Rank: #39
#4 Southland

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The Lions didn’t have an overly impressive year in 2012, just on paper; but compared to the direction the program was headed, the five wins was a welcomed change in coach Ron Roberts’ first year. Southeastern’s 5-2 mark in conference play was the best since the program joined the conference in 2005. The Lions have to do the obvious in shaping up the offense and strengthening the defense to take the team to the next level. It won’t be easy as 2013 brings a highly competitive schedule with a non-conference start and a grueling run though the conference’s best in November.

2012 record: (5-6, 5-2)
2012 postseason: None
Coach: Ron Roberts (5-6 at Southeastern Louisiana, 52-22 Overall)  
Offensive Coordinator: Greg Stevens
Defensive Coordinator: Pete Golding

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Xavier Robertson, RB, 488 yards
Passing: Jordan Barnett, QB, 45 yards
Receiving: Tony McCrea, WR, 401 yards
Tackles: Kaleb Muse, LB, 80
Sacks: Drew Misita, LB, 2.0
Interceptions: Tyler Stoddard, CB, 2

Other Key Returnees: WR Chris Malott, WR Marquis Fruge’, RB Rasheed Harrell, TE Taylor Jenkins, TE Jeremy Meyers, OL Corey Booth, OL Gasten Gabriel, OL Marshall Paris, OL Geremy Wilson, DB Josh Dakin, DB Theo Alexander, LB Cqulin Hubert, DB John Graves, DB marice Sutton, DE Greg Triay, DB Todd Washington

Key Losses: QB Nathan Stanley, CB Robert Alford, LB Devan Walker, DL Tramine Lucas, P Beau Mothe

Coach Ron Roberts may be the best strength for the team as his leadership has changed the atmosphere around the Lions program, making many believe they can win, and win big. SLU returns a pretty solid defense but that defense must improve upon their stats from a year ago to even have as successful of a season in 2013. The offense loses a few players, including starting quarterback Nathan Stanley, but may be saved with the transfer of former Oregon QB Bryan Bennett who took part in 18 games for the Ducks as a backup in Chip Kelly’s system. Bennett fills a big hole left by Stanley and back-up Brian Young.

The weaknesses of the Lions are many at the start of 2013. For a team trying to turn the corner aiming for a winning season and possibly a shot at the playoffs, the offense has to replace the leader with a new quarterback while the defense has to cut down on the points allowed. In 2012 SLU allowed an average of 35 points a game while only putting up 19 a game. The success or failure may depend on how quickly Bennett can adjust to the SLU system and perform, and if the defense can contain opposing offenses a little better early on.

The Bottom Line:
Coach Roberts has the Lions heading in the right direction, but likely will be behind the eight ball early in 2013 with a tough start to the schedule with three of the first four games on the road versus TCU, South Dakota State and Samford. Combined with the home game against Southeast Missouri State, the Lions will be fortunate to escape September with a 2-2 record. Southeastern then needs a strong run through October because November brings three of the best teams in the Southland including McNeese State, Central Arkansas and two-time FCS runner-up Sam Houston State. It won’t be easy but Coach Roberts has the Lions believing and that sometimes can cause a few upsets.

Projected Postseason: None

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 103.27 (106th in nation, 8th in conference)
Passing Offense: 196.82 (71, 5)
Total Offense: 300.09 (104, 6)
Scoring Offense: 18.82 (99, 7)
Rushing Defense: 182.18 (82, 6)
Pass Defense: 205.36 (45, 2)
Total Defense: 387.55 (75, 6)
Scoring Defense: 34.73 (104, 7)
Turnover Margin: -0.27 (77, 5)
Sacks: 2.27 (36, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 1.64 (37, 3)


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