Independent Football Team Preview 2013
#1 Notre Dame
Offense: Where does the offense go without Everett Golson under center? Tommy Rees seems to be the likely starter. Keep an eye on freshman quarterback Malik Zaire in camp. The running back position lost two great backs in Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood. Freshman Greg Bryant could be the long term solution in South Bend, but George Atkinson will get the first shot. The passing game will also take a hit with tight end, Tyler Eifert gone to the NFL.
Defense: The defense will have to replace Te'o, but other then that the defense will be great. The line is just as strong as it was last year. Nix and Tuitt combined for 18.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. Te'o may be gone, but linebackers Dan Fox and Danny Spond return. The secondary will be just as good as last season with nearly everyone returning. Last season the Irish gave up under 200 passing yards a game.
Special Teams: Kicker and punter will finalized in the spring.
Final Thoughts: The offense has too many big names to replace on offense. The offense wasn't explosive last season and things will head south unless someone emerges similar to Golson's play last season. Another tough schedule is in store for the Irish with games at Michigan and Stanford.
Final Thoughts: The Cougars have talent all over the team. The offense should be even better this season. The defense was one of the best on the West Coast. The schedule isn't set up for a 10 win season.
Final Thoughts: Army the defense doesn't have a starter over 260 pounds. The offense is based around its running attack that ranked number one. Ryamond Maples is a special player for the Black Knights.
Final Thoughts: Kennan Reynolds should take a step forward in year two under center. Similar problems on defense with the overall size of the players. Another winning season is in the wings.
Final Thoughts: The Vandals may be favorites in two to three games this seasons. They only won one game last year. They will look to build on this season before the move to the Sun Belt.
#6 New Mexico State
Final Thoughts: New Mexico State is left without a conference. The schedule isn't too favoring. Too many problems on offense and defense for them to make a big improvement.