Offense: No one in their right mind believes that the Bengals are going to come to
Behind the quarterbacks ISU has a stable of eight running backs but very little experience. Clint Knickrehm led the team in rushing last season with 456 yards and while he’s a big/bruising back with deceptive speed he’d better stay healthy because there are no other running backs on the roster that’ve carried the ball in a game. Transfers Jordan Scott and Stew Tracy have a lot expected of them and have the speed and shiftiness to be a nice complement to Knickrehm.
So who is going to be catching the ball? That’s a great question! Jaron Taylor led the team in touchdown receptions last year with 6 and racked up 735 yards on 55 receptions. He returns to the team, after having his `08 season cut short due to injury, as a senior looking to once again be an impact player. Behind him Isaiah Burel placed second on the team with 56 receptions and was third on the team with 607 receiving yards.
Defense: In 2008
Trying to change the identity of the team defense will be a cast of new characters motivated by the leadership of some strong veterans. Along the defensive line Sean Rutten is looking to secure a starting spot after finishing second among the defensive linemen with 34 tackles despite not starting a single game in `08. Linebacker Phillip Arias placed second on the team in total tackles last year as a sophomore with 64. He looks to be the leader of the defense in `09 and will not doubt anchor the linebackers. In the secondary its senior corner Michael Wright who will be pushing the
Outlook: There are so many questions yet to be answered with this team but it appears that there is enough young talent there to compliment the veteran leadership that improvement is eminent. While there is little to no chance of them winning the Big Sky Conference, the door is open for them to place in the top four. However, the defense is going to have to shore up quickly for there to be any chance of that.