Know thy Enemy: McNeese State

Posted: August 26, 2013 in Football

Game week is officially here folks, the beginning to the 2013 season is upon us.  The first opponent on the list for comes out of the FCS level of college football with McNeese State University. 

McNeese State, members of the Southland Conference in the FCS, are coming off of a 7-4 season in 2012 where they beat FBS member Middle Tennessee State to start their season last year.  Their campus is located in Lake Charles, Louisiana and their colors are gold and blue.

USF last played against McNeese State back in 2006.  The Bulls only led 14 to 10 heading into the 4th half of that game before  the Bulls exploded for 27 points in the 4th pulled away to win 41 to 10.  If you recall, it was Matt Grothe that led the charge late in the game to help the Bulls win comfortably.  McNeese State has proven they are capable of beating teams at the FBS level and USF has to be aware of this.

On offense last season, McNeese State averaged 32.2 points per game. They averaged 204 yards a game rushing the ball and 208 yards through the air, showcasing their balanced offense that is one of the most prolific in the FCS level (412 yards total average).  They averaged 31:49 in time of possession last year, taking over the clock and wearing opponents down.  They also did most of their scoring in the second quarter, outscoring opponents 108 to 51.

On defense, the Cowboys held their opponents to 23.3 points per game (allowed 24 points to MTSU).  They allowed only 112 yards on the ground, but did allow 254 yards a game through the air, showing their secondary can be taken advantage of.  They run a 5 defensive back look, relying on an extra safety in most of their base sets to come into the box for run support or covering over the middle and directing traffic in the passing game. 

The Bulls won their season opener last season against Chattanooga but it was a comfortable win like many were expecting (not a blow out).  In the first game of the season, I wouldn’t expect the Bulls to run all over the field, at least not to start the game.  I think the game will be fairly close to start, could even be tied at the half.  However late in the game, the depth, talent, and skill set of the USF roster will grind down the Cowboys and the Bulls should be able to extend the lead and win the game comfortably.  Football is back folks, it is finally back

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