#20 Bethune-Cookman FCS Football 2013 Preview

Bethune-Cookman Wildcats

Overall Rank: #20

Bethune-Cookman Team Page#20 Bethune-Cookman FCS Football 2013 PreviewBuy Bethune-Cookman Football Tickets

After losing at home to Tennessee State, Bethune-Cookman reeled off seven straight wins against MEAC competition. Most were in dominating fashion as just one of those games was decided by less than a dozen points. The result of the MEAC title was a playoff game in Daytona Beach, Florida. Once again the Wildcats fell at home, this time to end their season against Coastal Carolina.

2012 Record: 9-3, 8-0
2012 Postseason: FCS Playoffs
Coach: Brian Jenkins (27-8 at Bethune-Cookman, 27-8 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Jim Pry
Defensive Coordinator: Charles Jones

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Isidore Jackson, RB, 1,069 yards
Passing: Quentin Williams, QB, 1,173 yards
Receiving: Eddie Poole, WR, 439 yards
Tackles: Jarkevis Fields, LB, 103
Sacks: LeBrandon Richardson, DE, 8.5
Interceptions: Nick Addison, DB, 4

Other Key Returnees: OL Rashard Brown, DB Tim Burke, WR Preston Cleckley, OL Terrance Hackney, DB Dion Hanks, LB Nesly Marcellon, OL Alex Monroe, DT Tevin Toney, QB Brodrick Waters

Key Losses: LB Tavarus Dantzler, DB D.J. Howard, LB Dawud Lane, DT Harold Love, RB Rodney Scott, OL Eugene Solomon, WR K.J. Stroud

Coach Brian Jenkins returns experience and talent all over the field. It starts with Isidore Jackson. The running back rushed for over 1,000 yards and reached the end zone a dozen total times. The shifty back is a threat to break a big play every time he touches the ball and the Wildcats will make sure he touches the ball as often as possible. Behind a great offensive line, led by tackles Terrance Hackney and Alex Monroe, Jackson will have another great season. The passing offense will not be as effective, but they are good enough. Quentin Williams is the team’s best passer, throwing for 1,173 yards and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore. Brodrick Waters will be around again too. He threw for 315 yards and added 574 more on the ground. Coach Jenkins has the luxury of rotating those two depending on the situation. With 6-4 receiver Eddie Poole out wide, the passing game will be better in 2013. The defense cannot get much better. Bethune-Cookman ranked tenth in all of the FCS in total defense and scoring defense. Linebacker Jarkevis Fields is an absolute tackling machine and LeBrandon Richardson is one of the best defensive ends at this level of football. Fields will get plenty of help from tackle Tevin Toney and linebacker Nesly Marcellon is a very versatile linebacker. In the secondary Nick Addison, Tim Burke and Dion Hanks will keep the Wildcats among the best in the conference in pass defense.

What this team did so well last year was create turnovers. The team ranked third in the country with a 1.50 turnover margin. The pressure by Richardson and fellow blitzers led to 20 interceptions. Richardson and company also forced plenty of fumbles, 16 of which were recovered by the Wildcats. That is 36 turnovers in 12 games. Meanwhile, the offense was taking care of the ball. Williams threw just two interceptions in his 142 pass attempts. The rest of the team added a mere four more. But turnovers can be tricky. Any team with a 1.50 turnover margin is going to win a lot of games, but it is tough to keep it up from year to year. Williams is a still a smart passer and Richardson will still force errant throws, yet it remains to be seen if this group can dominate as much as they did in 2012.

The Bottom Line:
The question is not whether this team can win the MEAC. They should have little trouble with that barring a complete collapse. The question is whether or not they are ready to win a game or two in the playoffs. Trips to FBS members Florida International and Florida State may not be the best indicators, but Bethune-Cookman should be able to stick around for a while even against the Seminoles. If they do and can avoid injuries throughout the rest of the season, Bethune-Cookman should be on track to win a playoff game.

Projected Postseason: FCS Playoffs

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 244.42 (10th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 144.75 (109, 9)
Total Offense: 389.17 (49, 1)
Scoring Offense: 29.42 (36, 1)
Rushing Defense: 135.58 (37, 3)
Pass Defense: 165.83 (11, 3)
Total Defense: 301.42 (10, 2)
Scoring Defense: 18.25 (10, 2)
Turnover Margin: 1.50 (3, 1)
Sacks: 1.75 (77, 8)
Sacks Allowed: 2.00 (54, 6)

Madness 2013 FCS Football Recruit Rankings:
#17 Anthony Green


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