Posts Tagged ‘Portland State Vikings’

TCU 2011 Outlook– Schedule

Posted by    |    June 7th, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Seventh time’s a charm; TCU tours the Mountain West one last time in 2011.

The Frogs open 2011 with a pair of very similar road games.  Both come against familiar foes—Baylor has played TCU three times since 2006, including last year’s “game” in Fort Worth.  Air Force has been a conference opponent for seven years running.  Both opponents feature senior quarterbacks, experienced skill players, and aggressive defenses, and both teams need to recover some dignity after suffering thorough beatdowns in Fort Worth last season.  TCU cannot afford a loss at either opponent if it wishes to play in a meaningful bowl, and needs to settle a lot of first-time starting jitters—without the benefit of a cupcake opponent at home.

The Frogs’ success in Waco and in Colorado Springs, perhaps more than its other opponents in the first half of the season, will hinge on how successfully Casey Pachall can leverage success on the ground into success in the air.  This was the formula by which Andy Dalton led TCU to the fore of the Mountain West, and will be the key to Pachall continuing the Frogs’ dominance in that conference for a final year.  So the question on this first pair of road games is going to be, after the threshold questions of basic competence about which Frogs fans have every reason to be confident, how well will the offensive line keep Baylor’s and Air Force’s pass-rush out of the pocket, and how well will the line blow open holes for TCU’s parade of talented tailbacks? (more…)

Portland State 2011 Outlook

Posted by    |    May 16th, 2011 at 11:07 am

Nigel Burton, the new head coach of the Portland State Vikings last season, installed a balanced attack (with lots of running from the pistol) in the pace of a pass-happy run-n-shoot.  Surprisingly, his inaugural campaign was pretty good on offense.  But terrible on defense.  Cory McCaffrey and Willie Griffin combined for 140 rushing yards per game on average, McCaffrey gaining the lion’s share.  The passing attack was very average, not quite tipping 200 yards per game.  Connor Kavanaugh and Tygue Howland shared quarterback duties, Howland in a sixth year of eligibility.  Burton said a lack of depth, especially on defense, really hurt the team when a rash on injuring struck.  “It was tough in that you would anticipate getting better as the year went on and all of a sudden the depth was being reshuffled,” he said. “The system is what allowed us to be close in a lot of games but those games, however many of them there were, that came down to the wire, we didn’t necessarily have a guy who stepped in the huddle and said throw me the ball or stepped in the huddle and said I hope they run it my way so I can end it,” he said.

Connor Kavanaugh (unless Drew Hubel returns in strength this fall) will lead the Vikings’ balanced offense again in 2011. (more…)