#20 William & Mary FCS Football 2014 Preview

William & Mary Tribe

Overall Rank: #20
#5 CAA

William & Mary Team Page#20 William & Mary FCS Football 2014 PreviewBuy William & Mary Football Tickets

William & Mary had a nice turnaround in 2013, going 7-5 overall and 4-4 in the tough CAA. The Tribe were sitting at 7-3 and had a shot at making the playoffs, but lost their last two contests to Towson and Richmond. Coach Jimmye Laycock has a few holes to fill, but his defense should again be one of the best in the country and that is enough to get the Tribe back to the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

2013 Record: 7-5, 4-4
2013 Postseason: None
Coach: Jimmye Laycock (222-165 at William & Mary, 222-165 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Kevin Rogers
Defensive Coordinator: Trevor Andrews

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Mikal Abdul-Saboor, RB, 824 yards
Passing: Steve Cluley, QB, 33 yards
Receiving: Tre McBride, WR, 801 yards
Tackles: Luke Rhodes, LB, 98
Sacks: Mike Reilly, DE, 11.5
Interceptions: Airek Green, LB, 3

Other Key Returnees: RB Jarrell Cooper, WR Sean Ballard, WR Christian Reeves, S Ivan Tagoe, CB DeAndre Houston-Carson, S Jared Velasquez, DE Stephen Sinnott, DT Jasper Coleman, K/P John Carpenter

Key Losses: QB Brent Caprio, QB Michael Graham, OL Matt Crisafi, S Jerome Couplin, LB Quincey September, CB Ryan Smith

William & Mary ranked eighth in the nation in total defense and second in scoring defense. They allowed just 14.0 points per game and shut down some potent offenses. The defensive line is led by Mike Reilly who tallied 11.5 sacks. Stephen Sinnott and Jasper Coleman can get into the backfield too, but Reilly is poised for a huge season and will be the leader of a great defense. Linebacker Luke Rhodes is the team’s top returning tackler with 98 and he will once again have Airek Green by his side. Green recorded 82 tackles, 4.0 sacks and a team high three interceptions. Losing Jerome Couplin is big, but there is still talent in the secondary. Safeties Ivan Tagoe and Jared Velasquez will be able to cover for the loss of Couplin and DeAndre Houston-Carson is one of the best corners in the conference.

The offense has weapons, most notably wide receiver Tre McBride who caught 63 passes for 801 yards and five scores a year ago, and running back Mikal Abdul-Saboor, who rushed for 824 yards and six scores. However, the Tribe needs to find a new quarterback to replace Michael Graham and Brent Caprio. So far finding a new signal caller has not gone well. Raphael Ortiz was the most experienced option, but injuries appear to have ended his season. That leaves Steve Cluley, Christian Brumbaugh, Frank Brown and Jhalil Mosley. Cluley, a sophomore, saw a little bit of action in 2013 as the third string quarterback and is the likely candidate to emerge as the team’s starter for week one. It is not like the Tribe to finish towards the bottom of the conference in every major offensive category, so a big turnaround is very possible if the quarterback situation can be settled.

The Bottom Line:
Last year William & Mary was just a few plays away from making the playoffs. The schedule is daunting, but this group has the experience to make sure some of those plays go their way in 2014. Trips to New Hampshire and Towson will be tough, but by October when the tougher conference games happen, Coach Laycock will have his quarterback and a defense that will make big plays.

Projected Postseason: FCS Playoffs

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 148.9 (77th in nation, 8th in conference)
Passing Offense: 170.0 (96, 10)
Total Offense: 318.9 (101, 10)
Scoring Offense: 21.0 (95, 9)
Rushing Defense: 118.1 (13, 2)
Pass Defense: 187.4 (21, 2)
Total Defense: 305.5 (8, 1)
Scoring Defense: 14.0 (2, 1)
Turnover Margin: 0.30 (33, 1)
Sacks: 2.58 (19, 3)
Sacks Allowed: 2.00 (62, 5)

Madness 2014 FCS Football Recruit Rankings:
#18 Spencer Kleinrichert


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