FBS Football Independents Preview 2014
By Tyler Smith
FBS Independents Football 2014
#1 Notre Dame
Offense: Everett Golson is back under center after an one year ban. Golson brings a dual-threat QB under center. He will be asked to do more than he had to in 2012. The offensive line needs some work despite returning three starters. The running game is filled with talent and depth. DaVaris Daniels is the top returning receiver from last season. The Fighting Irish will need one of the other wide receivers to step up as the next top WR in receptions is Chris Brown with 15.
Defense: The secondary looks to be in good shape with the addition of Florida transfer Cody Riggs and stud corner KeiVarae Russell. The line could struggle with a couple key pieces gone. Jaylon Smith is a NFL talent, but who plays along side him will be more important.
Special Teams: Kyle Brindza will handle both duties on special teams again.
Overview: This isn't Notre Dame's year. The schedule is tough. Some questions on defense, but they have some nice pieces. The offense will go where Golson can take them.
Overview: One of the most dangerous QB in the nation resides in Provo. Taysom Hill had nearly 3,000 passing yards and averaged over 100 rushing yards a game. The line should come together after an up and down season. Jamaal Williams is back, behind Hill. Williams and Hill form one of the best rushing attacks in the nation. Hill will spread the ball around to several guys at WR with nice depth at the position. The defense has six starters back, but the five they have to replace were impact players. The secondary looks to be great. The defensive line play will tell us how well BYU will be on defense this season.
Overview: Don't be surprised if Navy ends up with ten wins this season. The schedule is fairly easy and the Midshipmen have the offense to put up big numbers. Quarterback Keenan Reynolds put up some big numbers last season with 39 total touchdowns. The triple-option will be very dangerous with a line that returns four starters. The backs in the option bring experience have decent depth at the position. The defense got hit hard by graduation. Chris Johnson will be big at linebacker and will total over 100 tackles this season. The secondary is in good shape with three starters back. The two toughest games are neutral site games vs. Notre Dame and Ohio State.
Overview: Army hasn't beat Navy since 2001. If the Black Knights take down Navy, the season will be a success. Running back the teams best position. Raymond Maples got a fifth year of eligibility after being injured last season. Maples has over 2,400 yards in his career with the Knights. Larry Dixon has been one of the top FB in school history. Xavier Moss is the top WR. Who plays QB is to be determined. A.J. Schurr and Angel Santiago will be in competition for the spot. The defense will be fine in the secondary, but most teams can pound the ball through the Black Knights due to their lack of size upfront.
Independent Offensive Player of the Year
Everett Golson, QB Notre Dame
Independent Defensive Player of the Year
Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
Independent Coach of the Year
Ken Niumatalolo, Navy
Check Out Our Other Conference Predictions