Tag Archives: 2012

Ninja Sports Pac-12 Football Preview

Big 12 Preview
Big East Preview
ACC Preview
Big 10 Preview

Star Lotulelei will terrorize Pac-12 offensive lines this season

With the way things are shaping up, it looks a lot like 2005 in Troy as the Trojans are atop the AP Poll to start the season.  Much like the ’05 squad, the team is loaded with talent from the top of the roster to the bottom.  Resembling the players of the ’05 team are QB Matt Barkley (Matt Leinart), RBs Curtis McNeal and Penn State transfer Silas Redd (Reggie Bush and LenDale White), and WRs Robert Woods and Marqis Lee (Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett).  As you see, the possibilities for this USC team are endless.  The defense took a tough blow losing defensive end Devon Kennard to a torn pectoral muscle so look for T.J. McDonald and Hayes Pullard to step up big.

Chip Kelly’s high octane spread offense in Eugene continues to receive praise as they have averaged over 520 yards a game for the past two seasons.  Redshirt Freshman QB Marcus Mariota has received the nod to start week one for the Ducks after an intense seven month battle with sophomore Bryan Bennett.  Though Mariota is young, look for him to step in right away and make an impact taking over for Darron Thomas.  While Thomas had LaMichael James to help him lead the offense, Mariota will have Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas to share the load.  If the defense can hold strong for the whole season, USC better not blink because this team of olympic sprinters will blow by them if the Trojans aren’t at the top of their game.

The big question surrounding Stanford: Can they survive without Luck?  Coach David Shaw wasn’t very enthusiastic about naming Josh Nunes the starting quarterback earlier this week.  The offense that once relied on Andrew Luck seems to be focusing towards a run heavy style placing much of the load on running backs Stepfan Taylor and Anthony Wilkerson.  Stanford’s strength is definitely on the defensive side of the ball led by linebackers Chase Thomas and Shayne Skov.

Washington has great potential this season with an offense run by dual-threat QB Keith Price.  In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, Price is the QB who went toe-to-toe with RG3 in the Alamo Bowl last season where the two offenses combined for 123 points.  Though RG3 came out victorious, it was Price that played the better game completing 23 of 27 passes for 438 yards and four touchdowns.  Not only did Price throw four touchdowns but he ran for three more, accounting for seven total.  Expect to see “Teeth” (as his teammates call him for his award-winning smile in interviews) in New York within the next two years as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.  The Huskies may not win the conference this season, but they will be highly competitive and could play the spoiler roll for the Pac 12.

The main question posed by The Ninja:  Will this conference play any defense?  Last year’s numbers were quite ugly as half of the Pac 12 ranked 82nd or lower in total defense.

North South
Oregon 8-1 Southern Cal 8-1
Washington 7-2 Arizona State 5-4
Stanford 5-4 Utah 5-4
California 4-5 UCLA 4-5
Oregon State 2-7 Colorado 3-6
Washington State 1-8 Arizona 2-7

Keith Price will lead the Huskies into Oregon on 10/6

Games to Watch:

Sept. 15:  USC @ Stanford

Sept. 27:  Stanford @ Washington

Oct. 6:  Washington @ Oregon

Oct. 13:  USC @ Washington

Nov. 3:  Oregon @ USC

Nov. 17:  USC @ UCLA

Nov. 17:  Stanford @ Oregon

Nov. 24:  Oregon @ Oregon State

Championship:  Oregon vs. Southern Cal

Ninja Sports Preseason All-Pac-12 Team 2012

Offense Defense Special Teams
WR Robert Woods, USC DE Dion Jordan, ORE K Andre Heidari, USC
WR Marquess Wilson, WSU DE Wes Horton, USC P Jackson Rice ORE
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, WASH DT Star Lotulelei, UTAH KR De’Anthony Thomas, ORE
T Matt Summers-Gavin, CAL DT Justin Washington, ARIZ
T David Bakhtiari. CU LB Chase Thomas, STAN
G Carson York, ORE LB Patrick Larimore, ARIZ
G Sam Brenner, UTAH LB Shayne Skov, STAN
C Khaled Homes, USC CB Aaron Hester, UCLA
QB Matt Barkley, USC CB Nickell Robey, USC
RB Stepfan Taylor, STAN S T.J. McDonald, USC
RB Kenjon Barner, ORE S Marquis Flowers, ARIZ

Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year: Robert Woods, WR USC

Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year: Star Lotulelei, DT UTAH

2012-13 Pac 12 Football Preview

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2012-13 Big 12 Football Preview

Big East Preview
ACC Preview
Big 10 Preview

Last year the Oklahoma Sooners would have been 11-0 going into the Oklahoma State game if their defense would have been able to stop Texas Tech and Baylor in the fourth quarter. With Landry Jones turning down millions to come back and be a National Champion, expect the offense to be high powered as usual. The offensive line is anchored by Gabe Ikard and Ben Habern and promises to be a good one. Though the WR corps is thin and young, they have great potential. The Ninja’s only concern is whether Jones can stay patient with the youngn’s; if so, Oklahoma should handle the Big 12.

Looking to spoil Oklahoma’s title dreams is conference newcomer West Virginia. All the key parts to last year’s school-record setting offense return including the outstanding QB Geno Smith, WRs Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, and RB Dustin Garrison. The concern for the Mountaineers comes on defense where they are making a switch to a Base 3-4 with numerous freshmen in the mix for playing time.

Texas comes in following a disappointing season but Mack Brown is determined to get back on track. The speedy RB Malcolm Brown will carry much of the load and has that game-changing ability that he can flip on seemingly at any time. The defense is held down up front by two of the best defensive ends in the country; Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat. Their non-conference schedule isn’t too challenging as they play Wyoming and New Mexico.

The Heisman hopeful Collin Klein showed last season he was one of the best playmakers in the country. The o-line is in need of too much help for them to win the conference. Expect Klein to be running for his life. If the terrorizing linebacker Arthur Brown can lead a tough and disciplined K-State defense, expect them to spoil somebody’s title chances, and maybe even make a run of their own if Klein can put the offense on his back.

Oklahoma 8-1
West Virginia 8-1
Texas 7-2
Kansas State 6-3
Oklahoma State 4-5
Texas Christian 4-5
Baylor 3-6
Iowa State 2-7
Texas Tech 2-7
Kansas 1-8

Can Collin Klein and K-Sate upset Oklahoma early (9/24) or Texas late (12/1)?

Games to Watch:

Sept. 22: Kansas State @ Oklahoma

Oct. 6: West Virginia @ Texas

Oct. 13: Oklahoma @ Texas

Oct. 20: Kansas State @ West Virginia

Nov. 3: TCU @ West Virginia

Nov. 17: Oklahoma @ West Virginia

Nov. 24: Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma

Dec. 1: Texas @ Kansas State

Champion:

Oklahoma

Ninja Sports Preseason All-Big 12 Team 2012

Offense Defense Special Teams
WR Kenny Stills, OKLA DE Jackson Jeffcoat, TEX K Quinn Sharp, OK ST
WR Tavon Austin, WVU DE Alex Okafor, TEX P Quinn Sharp, OK ST
TE Jordan Najvar, BAY DT Jamarkus McFarland, OKLA KR Tyler Lockett, KAN ST
T LaAdrian Waddle, TT DT Nigel Nicholas, OKLA ST
T Blaize Foltz, TCU LB Arthur Brown, KAN ST
G Cyril Richardson, BAY LB Jake Knott, ISU
G Ben Habern, OKLA LB AJ Klein, ISU
C Gabe Ikard, OKLA CB Brodrick Brown, OK ST
QB Geno Smith, WVU CB Carrington Byndom, TEX
RB Malcolm Brown, TEX S Tony Jefferson, OKLA
RB Joseph Randle, OK ST S Kenny Vaccaro, TEX

Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year: Geno Smith, QB WVU

Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE TEX

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2012-13 Big Ten Football Preview

Big East Preview
ACC Preview

Expectations are high in Ann Arbor as Denard Robinson returns with his number one target WR Roy Roundtree and a high powered offense ready to take over the B1G Ten. The dual-threat QB, who claims he could take Usain Bolt in a 40 yard dash, looks to put together a Heisman campaign much like former Nebraska QB Eric Crouch did in 2001 consisting of an irregularly high rushing numbers for a quarterback. Roundtree, who is coming off what some may say was a down year, returns for his Senior season and has changed his number to 21 in honor of Michigan legend Desmond Howard in hopes of having a dominant year. Look for Michigan to have a couple close conference games, but that isn’t going to stop them from making a title run.

The Urban Liar, excuse me, Meyer, era has begun in Colombus and it has Buckeye fans buzzing across the country. Meyer looks to bring his daunting speed-based offense to the B1G Ten which has traditionally hosted offenses with a smashmouth, run between the tackles approach. The jury is still out on Sophomore QB Braxton Miller as he didn’t impress to the likes of the Ninja last year, throwing for less than 2,000 yards (96.6ypg). In Miller’s defense, he did show an impressive ability to run the ball but even those numbers would need to improve for him to be the fit for Meyer’s offense. Also look for a big year out of TE Jake Stoneburner who has already had an impressive career but fits the same style of play that Aaron Hernandez did under Meyer at Florida.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers and Coach Bo Pelini look to finally win a conference title. Pelini has gotten them to the dance but that’s not good enough as the Husker nation isn’t one to tolerate mediocrity. All-American RB Rex Burkhead will carry much of the offensive load unless Taylor Martinez has corrected his horrific throwing style. NU’s defense has a few holes to fill, but don’t think that will keep them from disrupting the B1G Ten and making a push to win the conference.

Danny O’Brien, a Maryland transfer, takes over for the departed Russell Wilson. Accompanying O’Brien is stud WR Jared Abbrederis who many may remember more for his return ability in the kicking game. The offense will be anchored by All-American Center Travis Frederick who will help open some serious running lanes for record setting tail back Montee Ball. Reports out of Wisconsin claim O’Brien is picking up the offense no problem, and may replace Wilson just fine.

Legends Leaders
Michigan 8-0 Wisconsin 6-2
Nebraska 6-2 Ohio State 6-2
Michigan State 5-3 Penn State 5-3
Northwestern 3-5 Purdue 4-4
Iowa 2-6 Illinois 2-6
Minnesota 1-7 Indiana 0-8

Jake Stoneburner will look to have a big day for Ohio State against rival Michigan at The Horseshoe on Nov. 24th

Games to Watch:


Sept. 29:
Ohio State @ Michigan State

Sept. 29: Wisconsin @ Nebraska

Oct. 6: Nebraska @ Ohio State

Oct. 20: Michigan State @ Michigan

Oct. 27: Michigan @ Nebraska

Oct. 27: Michigan State @ Wisconsin

Oct. 27:
Ohio State @ Penn State

Nov. 10:
Penn State @ Nebraska

Nov. 24:
Wisonsin @ Penn State

Nov. 24:
Michigan @ Ohio State

Championship:

Michigan vs. Wisconsin

Ninja Sports Preseason All-B1G Ten Team 2012

Offense Defense Special Teams
WR Roy Roundtree, MICH DE William Gholston, MSU K Brett Maher, NEB
WR Kenny Bell, NEB DE John Simon, OSU P Brett Maher, NEB
TE Jake Stoneburner, OSU DT Jordan Hill, PSU KR Ameer Abdullah, NEB
T Ricky Wagner, WIS DT Kawann Short, PUR
T Taylor Lewan, MICH LB Mike Taylor, WIS
G Spencer Long, NEB LB Gerald Hodges, PSU
G Chris McDonald, MSU LB James Morris, IOWA
C Travis Frederick, WIS CB JT Floyd, MICH
QB Denard Robinson, MICH CB Micah Hyde, IOWA
RB Montee Ball, WIS S CJ Barnett, OSU
RB Rex Burkhead, NEB S Isaiah Lewis, MSU

B1G TEN Offensive Player of the Year: Denard Robinson, QB MICH

B1G TEN Defensive Player of the Year: William Gholston, DE MSU

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2012-13 Big East Football Preview

ACC Preview

West Virginia has departed and the other Big East teams couldn’t be happier. The Mountaineers would have been the clear favorite to take the conference had they remained.

Louisville returns 2011 Freshman All-American QB Teddy Bridgewater as well as Sophomore WR’s DeVante Parker and Eli Rogers who both showed tremendous ability last season; Parker with his size (6’3 205) and Rogers with his blazing speed. Taking some pressure off of the passing game will be Junior RB Dominique Brown, who Coach Charlie Strong claims is one of the “best in the country” when it comes down to falling forward and gaining positive yards. Look for Louisville (the lone Big East team in the AP Top 25) to take care of business, not only this year, but for a few more to come as Coach Strong continues to recruit extremely well and fill UL’s roster with talent from all over the country.

South Florida returns Senior QB B.J. Daniels who has had quite a hard time staying healthy during his career in Tampa. Accompanying Daniels is TE Evan Landi, who has WR athleticism and could be utilized much like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez for the New England Patriots. With an above average defense lead by Redshirt Junior LB Devekeyan “DeDe” Lattimore, look for Coach Holtz’s Bulls to make the run at the Big East title if they can beat Louisville, or get some help from other Big East schools to potentially knock Louisville out of the hunt.

The loss of Zach Collaros in Cincinnati puts a question mark at the QB position. The Bearcats will turn to an unproven Junior in Munchie Legaux (6’5 205), who along with RB George Winn look to play spoiler to many Big East foes. With the slip up of Louisville or South Florida, the Cats have an outside chance at the Big East title.

Pittsburgh and stud RB Ray Graham look to continue the high powered rushing attack they displayed most of last season until Graham was injured. Before the injury, Graham averaged an impressive 119.8 yards per game at 5.8 yards per carry, and was among the top five RBs statistics wise. Like Daniels’ situation, if Graham stays healthy, Pitt’s offense could be in for a big year on the ground. Senior QB Tino Sunseri looks to rebound after a 10 TD-11 INT year, and who better to have returning than his favorite target WR Devin Street. The first two games will be a rough start for the Panthers as they open up September 1st versus Youngstown State, then play again five days later in Cincinnati for an early Big East match up.

Louisville 6-1
South Florida 6-1
Cincinnati 5-2
Pittsburgh 4-3
Connecticut 3-4
Temple 3-4
Syracuse 1-6
Rutgers 0-7

Ray Graham leads Pitt down to Florida to face USF on December 1st

Games to Watch:

Sept. 6: Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati

Oct. 13: Louisville @ Pittsburgh

Oct. 26: Cincinnati @ Louisville

Nov. 3: Connecticut @ USF

Nov. 9: Pittsburgh @ Connecticut

Nov. 23: USF @ Cincinnati

Dec. 1: Pittsburgh @ USF

Dec. 1: Cincinnati @ Connecticut

Champion:

Louisville

Ninja Sports Preseason All-Big East Team 2012

Offense Defense Special Teams
WR Alec Lemon, SYR DE Trevardo Williams, UCONN K Ross Krautman, SYR
WR Devin Street, PITT DE Ryne Giddins, USF P Pat O’Donnell, CIN
TE Ryan Griffin, UCONN DT Aaron Donald, PITT KR Matt Brown, TEM
T Justin Pugh, SYR DT Jesse Joseph, UCONN
T Mark Popek, USF LB DeDe Lattimore, USF
G Jake Smith, UL LB Khaseem Greene, RU
G Chris Jacobson, PITT LB Preston Brown, UL
C Mario Benavides, UL CB Kayvon Webster, USF
QB Teddy Bridgewater, UL CB Logan Ryan, RU
RB Ray Graham, PITT S Drew Frey, CIN
RB Matt Brown, TEM S Jarred Holley, PITT

Big East Offensive Player of the Year: Ray Graham, RB PITT

Big East Defensive Player of the Year: Logan Ryan, CB RU

Be sure to check out our other conference previews

ACC Preview

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2012-13 ACC Football Preview

acc football preview 2012 2013 florida state miami clemson virginia tech virginia north carolina

Clemson looks to repeat as ACC champions with the return of Tajh Boyd and the deadly Sammy Watkins. Though Watkins is suspended the first two games, neither of them are ACC games. Upon his return look for him to strive for a career day versus Florida State. He will be hungry to become even better than he was last season, and what a better team to do it against than FSU, who many see as the ACC favorite.

Keep an eye on Al Golden in his second year with the Miami (FL) Hurricanes as there has been a resurgence in the atmosphere down in Coral Gables. Though NCAA sanctions are looming over the Canes, it hasn’t stopped Golden from getting quality recruits, who along with the talented veterans, continue to impress the likes of the Ninja as well as analysts and coaches across the country.

Logan Thomas returns to lead the Hokies offense after an impressive 2011 season. The loss of two record setting wide outs (Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale) looks to be crucial but if Thomas can get just a little bit of help from promising senior receiver Marcus Davis the Hokies will once again take the Coastal side handily.

This is a big year for Jimbo Fischer and Florida State as it is the “do or die” season for Jimbo’s first recruiting class. With such a talented roster across the board, look for a National Championship run, but it is likely their title hopes will diminish with Clemson dominating the Atlantic side of the conference.

Atlantic Coastal
Clemson 7-1 Virginia Tech 7-1
Florida State 5-3 Virginia 6-2
NC State 3-5 Miami (FL) 6-2
Boston College 2-6 Georgia Tech 5-3
Wake Forest 2-6 North Carolina 4-4
Maryland 1-7 Duke 0-8

Games to Watch:

Sept. 3: Georgia Tech @ Virginia Tech

Sept. 22: Clemson @ Florida State

Sept. 22: Miami @ Georgia Tech

Oct. 20: Florida State @ Miami

Oct. 20: Virginia Tech @ Clemson

Nov. 8: Florida State @ Virginia Tech

Nov. 24: Virginia Tech @ Virginia

Championship:

Clemson vs. Virginia Tech

Ninja Sports Preseason All-ACC Team 2012

Offense Defense Special Teams
WR Sammy Watkins, CLEM DE Brandon Jenkins, FSU K Dustin Hopkins, FSU
WR Allen Hurns, MIA DE Malliciah Goodman, CLEM P Dalton Botts, MIA
TE Matt Furstenburg, MD DT Joe Vellano, MD KR Sammy Watkins, CLEM
T Morgan Moses, VA DT Nikita Whitlock, WF
T James Hurst, UNC LB Bruce Taylor, VT
G RJ Mattes, NCST LB Steve Greer, VA
G Brad Linder, MIA LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, BC
C Dalton Freeman, CLEM CB David Amerson, NCST
QB Logan Thomas, VT CB Kyle Fuller, VT
RB Giovanni Bernard, UNC S Vaughn Telemaque, MIA
RB Orwin Smith, GT S Lamarcus Joyner, FSU

ACC Offensive Player of the Year: Logan Thomas, QB VT

ACC Defensive Player of the Year: David Amerson, CB NCST

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