#31 William & Mary FCS Football 2013 Preview

William & Mary Tribe

Overall Rank: #31
#7 CAA

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Even though 2012 was a rebuilding year for William & Mary, a 2-9 finish with one conference win is not where this team expects to be. They will not be there for long. There may not be drastic improvement for the Tribe, especially if they cannot stay healthy, but there will be enough for Coach Jimmye Laycock to remain competitive. This was a team that lost at Maryland by just one point last season. They lost four other games by a field goal or less. It would not take much to turn this into a winning season.

2012 Record: 2-9, 1-7
2012 Postseason: None
Coach: Jimmye Laycock (215-160-2 at William & Mary, 215-160-2 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Kevin Rogers
Defensive Coordinator: Scott Boone

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Keith McBride, RB, 689 yards
Passing: Raphael Ortiz, QB, 942 yards
Receiving: Tre McBride, WR, 897 yards
Tackles: Jerome Couplin, S, 91
Sacks: Mike Reilly, DE, 4.5
Interceptions: Jerome Couplin, S, 3

Other Key Returnees: WR Sean Ballard, DT George Beerhalter, OL Matt Crisafi, LB Airek Green, CB DeAndre Houston-Carson, RB Darnell Laws, LB Luke Rhodes, LB Quincey September

Key Losses: LB Dante Cook, LB Jabrel Mines, OL Mike Salazar, S Brian Thompson, CB B.W. Webb, DT Nick Zaremba

The Tribe defense was not very consistent a year ago, yet there is hope for dramatic improvement. The front four has a healthy George Beerhalter back to clog the middle. Jasper Coleman showed promise as an underclassman and should be ready to step into a starting role for the departed Nick Zaremba. End Mike Reilly had a team high 4.5 sacks, but he will need some help from Bryan Stinnie and Stephen Sinnott. Even with the loss of linebackers Dante Cook and Jabrel Mines, William & Mary has plenty of talent in the middle of the defense. Airek Green is a steady junior, but keep an eye out for sophomore Luke Rhodes and senior Quincey September. Rhodes had a superb freshman campaign, tallying 72 tackles. He is only going to get better and with even a little improvement he could be a first-team All-CAA caliber player. September has plenty of experience. He spent a majority of the 2012 campaign giving the starters a break, but now the tough 6-3, 225 pound senior is ready to step into a full-time starting role. The secondary will build around big hitting safety Jerome Couplin. He led the Tribe in tackles and interceptions and will again be the main playmaker in the secondary. Corner DeAndre Houston-Carson started all 11 games as a freshman and will be the top corner on the team. Senior Ryan Smith will likely start opposite of Houston-Carson, although redshirt freshmen Trey Reed and Cameron Ramirez will push for serious playing time.

Inconsistency at quarterback has hindered the offense for a couple years now. The good news is Brent Caprio and Michael Graham are both experienced seniors. The bad news is they have spent the last two seasons fighting over the starting job with neither able to take over. The battle continues. Caprio is more of a game manager, while Graham has a better arm. Both have thrown too many interceptions during their time in Williamsburg, Virginia and that needs to change if this offense is going to get off of the ground. Despite the quarterback problems, Tre McBride had an amazing sophomore season, catching 55 passes for 897 yards and ten touchdowns. Sean Ballard is another big play receiver who was the secondary target beside McBride in 2012. Both could be in for big seasons if a quarterback can get them the ball more consistently. The Tribe does return a trio of decent running backs, although the unit ranked seventh in the CAA. Keith McBride is a well-balanced back who took a majority of the carries during his sophomore season. Darnell Laws will specialize in short yardage situations. The wildcard will be sophomore Mikal Abdul-Saboor. The former quarterback has a nice balance of size and speed and rushed for 242 yards on 69 carries in 2012. He will need to hit the hole harder and get up field, but the potential is there for a breakout year.

The Bottom Line:
The Tribe should see drastic improvement from their disappointing 2012 campaign, but there is a very, very long way to go to get to the playoffs. The CAA slate is never easy and the conference is loaded from top to bottom. There will not be any easy games and that will knock William & Mary out of the playoff picture sooner or later. However, even a seventh place finish in the CAA and 4-4 record in conference play is a step in the right direction.

Projected Postseason: None

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 153.45 (56th in nation, 7th in conference)
Passing Offense: 188.73 (77, 7)
Total Offense: 342.18 (83, 8)
Scoring Offense: 21.18 (89, 9)
Rushing Defense: 159.82 (57, 6)
Pass Defense: 193.45 (36, 4)
Total Defense: 353.27 (45, 5)
Scoring Defense: 24.27 (50, 5)
Turnover Margin: 0.09 (54, 6)
Sacks: 1.27 (101, 9)
Sacks Allowed: 2.55 (85, 9)


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