#34 North Carolina Central FCS Football 2013 Preview

North Carolina Central Eagles

Overall Rank: #34
#34 North Carolina Central FCS Football 2013 Preview
North Carolina Central Team Page


In his first season at North Carolina Central, Coach Henry Frazier’s team went 2-9. Last year they boosted that mark to 6-5. This year will be even better. In 2012 the Eagles faltered down the stretch, losing three of their last four games. Part of that was due to an overall lack of depth. With each new recruiting class, Coach Frazier is bringing in more players that fit his system and eventually that will get NCCU back towards the top of the conference standings.

2012 Record: 6-5, 5-3
2012 Postseason: None
Coach: Henry Frazier III (8-14 at North Carolina Central, 77-69 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Michael Bryant
Defensive Coordinator: John Morgan Jr.

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Andre Clarke, RB, 349 yards
Passing: Jordan Reid, QB, 1,594 yards
Receiving: Marvin Poole, WR, 352 yards
Tackles: Tazmon Foster, LB, 80
Sacks: Ty Brown, LB, 3.0
Interceptions: Ryan Smith, S, 3

Other Key Returnees: FB Gabe Smith, WR Lamar Scruggs, OL Charles Goodwin, OL Michael Wells, OL Zachary Giles, Clevonne Davis, LB Matt Willson, LB Tyriqe Williams, LB Allonte Tuppins, DL Aaron Wallace, DB C.J. Moore

Key Losses: RB Arther Goforth, WR Geovonie Irvine, WR Decona Roberts, DB Malik Cromartie, DB Rickie Hubbard, DL Xavier Proctor, DL Stephen Young

The Eagles offense was rather stagnant during much of last season, but despite ranking tenth in the conference in total offense, the team did find a way to score. They averaged 28 points per game, ranking second in the MEAC. The defense was pretty much the opposite. They had the fifth best total defense in the league and the seventh best scoring defense. The defense has some serious reloading to do, especially on the line. However, there is no reason North Carolina Central should allow as many points as they did a year ago. Linebacker Tazmon Foster only played in eight games, yet still led the Eagles in tackles. Ty Brown and Matt Willison are back to start as well. With depth from Tyrique Williams, Tiron Guion and Allonte Tuppins, who can help the rebuilt line get into the backfield, the depth at linebacker is impressive. The lone returnee in the secondary is safety Ryan Smith. After a superb freshman campaign, he is ready to lead the unit.

The shaky offense could be vastly improved thanks to the return of four offensive linemen. Left tackle Charles Goodwin made the successful move to the offensive side of the ball last season and will be even better this time around. If sophomore guards Zachary Giles and Clevonne Davis can keep improving, the line and the offense have hope. Quarterback Jordan Reid had an up and down junior season, throwing for 1,594 yards, 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Those turnovers were the reason why the defense allowed so many points. There is only so much they can do when Reid throws a pick in the Eagles half of the field. Without receivers Geovonie Irvine and Decona Roberts, Reid may struggle again. Marvin Poole caught 29 passes for 352 yards and Lamar Scruggs added 16 receptions for 136 yards, but that is about it as far as experienced receivers on this team. As painful as the passing game was to watch at times, the running game was even worse. Arthur Goforth is gone after leading the team with 575 rushing yards on 146 carries. He was also a quality receiving threat out of the backfield. The good news is that short yardage specialist Andre Clarke is back after rushing for 349 yards and nine touchdowns. He is not a breakaway threat though and North Carolina Central will need to find another back who can get outside.

The Bottom Line:
The Eagles last two losses of 2012 could have gone their way. This was a team that was very, very close to being 8-3. If they can start winning the turnover battle, they will win more games and be towards the top of the conference standings. The now experienced offensive line should help, but it will be up to Reid to make better decisions. The defense will also need to find a new playmaker or two to join Smith as an interception threat in the secondary.

Projected Postseason: None

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 95.09 (112th in nation, 10th in conference)
Passing Offense: 173.82 (87, 7)
Total Offense: 268.91 (116, 10)
Scoring Offense: 28.00 (48, 2)
Rushing Defense: 124.73 (22, 2)
Pass Defense: 214.55 (62, 10)
Total Defense: 339.27 (32, 5)
Scoring Defense: 28.00 (65, 7)
Turnover Margin: -0.18 (70, 7)
Sacks: 1.91 (63, 5)
Sacks Allowed: 3.27 (112, 10)


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