Yes, I know college football just ended less than a week ago. But I’m already going through withdrawals symptoms. So let’s take an extra early look at our projections for the 2018 Missouri Valley Football Conference Season.
Note: I know each team’s roster is far from finalized. The 2nd Signing Day hasn’t even occurred yet. Spring Ball is a month or 2 away. However, no one can accurately predict the impact of an incoming freshman so that isn’t going to change my projection. Keep an eye out for transfers, however, throughout the spring semester. These guys, AKA Chris Streveler (ugh, dreamy), can completely change the outlook for a team.
#10: Indiana State
2017 Record: 0-11 (0-8).
Against USD: 56-6 Loss
Both left team – QB’s Cade Sparks and Isaac Harker: Only 2 Quarterbacks that Played Last Year
Graduated – RB LeMonte Booker (Honorable Mention All-MVFC): 945 Rushing Yards, 149 Receiving Yards, 6 TDs.
Graduated – WR Bob Pugh: 722 Receiving Yards, 3 TDs.
Graduated – TE Jacquet McClendon (2nd Team All-MVFC): 595 Receiving Yards, 5 TDs.
Graduated – P Thomas Bouldin (Honorable Mention All-MVFC): 42.4 Average, 23 Inside the 20, 16 50+ Punts
MASSIVE SIDE NOTE: Yes, I know I had a punter as a Key Loss for this team. But this guy punted 72!!! times last year in 11 games. That is insane. When this guy punted against USD, he turned into the fucking Hulk and averaged 48.9 yards per punt. Those are insane numbers. Did he have a lot of practice punting this year? Of course. But damn those numbers are impressive. Also, Bouldin launched a 90!!!!!!! yard punt this year! 90. Fucking. Yards. Kids, don’t ever let anyone tell you being a punter isn’t cool. If you can launch a football 90 yards off your foot, you definitely will be able to enjoy your experience as a college football player. Let’s enjoy this fucking A-Bomb off the leg of Bomber-Man Bouldin one last time #ForTheBrand
Notice how there is no sound in the broadcast. If there’s a video production anywhere in the state of Indiana, you can guarantee they will somehow fuck it up.
Jr. LB Jonas Griffith (2nd Team All-MVFC): 107 Tackles, 11 TFLs, 5.5 Sacks
Sr. Katrell Moss (Honorable Mention All-MVFC): 101 Tackles, 9 TFLs, 2.5 Sacks
Players to Watch For:
Sr. RB Jaquan Keys: In order for the Sycamores to have any sort of success next year, Keys NEEDS to be a major contributor. If the Sycamores can’t run the ball, I’m not sure they will win many games
So. WR Rontrez Morgan: Showed flashes of potential during his true freshman year. With so many losses at key offensive skill positions, Morgan has a chance to make his mark on this team.
Jr. DL Inoke Moala: With a better defense around him, I think Moala should be an All-Conference Defensive Lineman next year. He has dominating potential.
So. CB Mekhi Ware: Had 2 INTs last year as a true freshman. Good sized player that runs well. The Sycamore defense puts their CBs in 1 on 1 situations a lot. If Ware continues to develop, expect their defense to take a big jump next year.
Let’s shoot it straight here. Indiana State was not a good football team last year. 14.4 Points per Game. 44.9 Points Allowed per Game. 288.1 Yards per Game. 483.6 Yards Allowed per Game. Yuck. Those numbers were the worst in the league. By a lot. I hate to be the pessimist, but next year doesn’t look much better for the Sycamores. LB Jonas Griffith is the only returning all-conference player for the Sycamores (not counting honorable mentions). He is a player they can build their defense around. However, that is about it. They still don’t know who their quarterback is because the two that played last year aren’t on the team. Their offensive line is one of the worst in the league. They have to replace one of the top running backs and wide receivers in the conference. Their linebackers besides Griffith were dinged up all year and struggle with the athleticism of the MVFC. And let’s not get started on the secondary that was basically Swiss cheese last year. If this team is going to be successful, they are going to need to win games with their defense. Nevertheless, I think their level of play is a year or two away. With a non-conference schedule of Quincy, @Louisville, and @Eastern Illinois, the Sycamores should beat Quincy…should. Depending on how much they have improved, they might be able to snag one against Eastern Illinois. Besides that, things aren’t looking real sunny in Terre Haute, Indiana. Missouri State at home is probably their only chance for our conference win or else they may be looking at 2 consecutive winless seasons in the Missouri Valley.
Side Note: Indiana State does lose North Dakota State on their schedule for the next 2 years. But honestly, the Bison are probably more upset about this because they lose a bye week during conference play.