#2 Southeastern Louisiana FCS Football 2014 Preview

Southeastern Louisiana Lions

Overall Rank: #2
#1 Southland

Southeastern Louisiana Team Page#2 Southeastern Louisiana FCS Football 2014 PreviewBuy Southeastern Louisiana Football Tickets

Southeastern Louisiana had an extremely memorable 2013 season. After a 1-2 start, the Lions won their last nine regular season games, including a perfect 7-0 mark in Southland play. That included a 41-7 win at McNeese State and a 34-21 victory over Sam Houston. And Southeastern Louisiana would meet SHSU again in the playoffs a few weeks later where they once again beat the Bearkats. However, the Lions season did end in the quarterfinals in a hard fought 20-17 game against New Hampshire. With plenty of talent returning, this team will get another shot at the playoffs in 2014.

2013 Record: 11-3, 7-0
2013 Postseason: FCS Playoffs
Coach: Ron Roberts (16-9 at Southeastern Louisiana, 16-9 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Chet Pobolish
Defensive Coordinator: Karl Scott

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Bryan Bennett, QB, 1,046 yards
Passing: Bryan Bennett, QB, 3,165 yards
Receiving: Jeff Smiley, WR, 744 yards
Tackles: Drew Misita, LB, 78
Sacks: Isiah Corbett, LB, 7.0; Jacob Newman, DL, 7.0
Interceptions: Harlan Miller, DB, 4; Marice Sutton, DB, 4

Other Key Returnees: RB Rasheed Harrell, RB Kody Sutton, WR Isaiah Kepley, TE Jeremy Meyers, OL Joe Graves, DB Tyler Stoddard, LB Justin Church

Key Losses: WR Tony McCrea, WR Xavier Roberson, WR Marquis Fruge’, OL Gasten Gabriel, OL Marshall Paris, LB Cqulin Hubert, DB Theo Alexander, DB Kevin Harmon, LB John Graves, K Seth Sebastian, P Matt McCormick

The offense returns SLC Player of the Year Bryan Bennett and the quarterback is coming off of an absolutely amazing season. He threw for 3,165 yards and 21 touchdowns, while also rushing for 1,046 yards and 16 more scores. Jeff Smiley will be on the receiving end of many of Bennett’s passes. He caught a team high 57 passes for 744 yards and should remain the team’s top pass catcher. There is also a lot of potential with big seniors Isaiah Kepley and Chris Malott. At running back, Rasheed Harrell and Kody Sutton will handle the bulk of the carries. Harrell rushed for 640 yards and eight scores, second on the team in both categories behind Bennett. Sutton is a tough little back who ran for 391 yards and six scores. He is always a good option for picking up those tough yards. And those tough yards will seem a little easier with Jonathan Braddock and Joe Graves anchoring the line.

The Lions defense has not been bad by any means. Even when they give up quite a few yards, they have done a good job stopping the opposition from getting into the end zone. Linebacker Cqulin Hubert will certainly be missed, but Isiah Corbett and Justin Church are back to man the middle of the defense. Corbett is a superb pass rushing linebacker and he totaled 7.0 sacks and 17.5 tackles-for-loss. Church is mostly a pass rushing linebacker as well, totaling 5.0 sacks in 2013. Those two will help a front line that returns just Jacob Newman to a starting role get consistent pressure in the backfield. The secondary will be led by All-Southland cornerback Harlan Miller. Marice Sutton will man the other cornerback spot. Both picked off four passes in 2013. Safety Tyler Stoddard is back too, but the secondary does need to do its part in creating more turnovers. On the year, Southeastern Louisiana forced 23 turnovers, which is not bad, but they could stand to force more if the offense keeps giving the ball away.

The Bottom Line:
The Lions do miss Sam Houston State this year, which is fair enough after they matched up twice last season. However, there are a couple tough non-conference games in weeks two and three against Southern Utah and Tulane. Those will both be big games for the Lions as they attempt to replicate their success from 2013.

Projected Postseason: FCS Playoffs

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 233.6 (15th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 249.6 (29, 4)
Total Offense: 483.3 (10, 2)
Scoring Offense: 38.4 (12, 4)
Rushing Defense: 163.4 (58, 4)
Pass Defense: 222.6 (64, 2)
Total Defense: 386.0 (62, 1)
Scoring Defense: 22.7 (24, 1)
Turnover Margin: -0.10 (65, 6)
Sacks: 2.43 (25, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 0.86 (10, 2)


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