My rants and insight into Colgate athletics and Patriot League sports

Thursday, September 01, 2005

CCSU Scouting Report

Each week, The 13 Yard Line will try and produce a concise summary of what's on tap on Saturday. This is the first installment.

The Blue Devils of Central Connecticut are coming off of their best season in a long, long time, going 8-2 and grabbing a share of the Northeastern Conference (NEC) title with Monmouth. Second year head coach Tom Masella will not be a stranger when he comes to Colgate this Saturday. Masella's previous position before getting the head job at CCSU was none other that defensive coordinator for UMass. He was in charge when when the Minutemen came to town in 2003. It's a different team, but I'm sure there's no love lost for him and our Raiders. Adding to the off field drama will be the return of former Colgate coach and player Ed Argast. Argast returns to town for the first time on the other sideline in the capacity of offensive coordinator. The former Red Raider left Hamilton to become the head coach at Cansisus, which after three years unfortunately dropped the program. He has since gone on to coach for Wagner and has now found a home with the Blue Devils.

While this is Colgate's first game against an NEC team, CCSU holds a 1-2 versus current Patriot League teams. Of course, some of those match up occured long before the creation of the Patriot League. CCSU split a series with Lafayette back in 1980/81 and lost to Lehigh in 58-10 2001. In more recent seasons, the Blue Devils have played some A-10 schools, losing to URI 39-7 last year and losing to UNH 70-20 and UMass 51-7 in 2003.

The Blue Devils are led on defense by senior Coree Tucker (#6) at linebacker and Devon Douglass (#74), a preseason Mid-Major All-American, at defensive lineman. The entire linebacking crew of this 3-4 defense are seniors, so CCSU will have to look to this group to contain Colgate's rushing attack and offer support when Saraceno drops back to pass.

The offense may be a bit shaky for CCSU in this opening game. First off, they will be breaking in a new sophomore quarterback in Timothy Sheard. Sheard may have himself a cheering section in Andy Kerr as he hails from Corcoran High School in downtown Syracuse. He looks to be a lanky one at 6-1, 160 pounds so he may be more of a threat on the ground than in the air.

The Blue Devils do boast the returning Northeast Conference Offensive Player of the Year in running back Cory Harge (#25). Harge rushed for 1,032 yards in just over six games played and scored 13 touchdowns on the season. Interesting enough though, Harge may be injured or not enrolled this year as he is not listed on the two deep in this week's game notes for CCSU. Wideout Andre Smith (#8) was named NEC Rookie of the Year last year and will be the name to watch when Sheard drops back to pass.

Ryne Nutt (#67) returns on the offensive line the standout amongst a young group. There is only one senior among them and a few freshman are listed as backups. They appear to be of a good size so they may have a shot at opening up a few holes if they can find a tailback to run through them.

While Colgate should definitely not overlook a greatly improved CCSU team, it will take some serious lapses on both offense and defense to allow the Blue Devils to stay in this game. They do play it for a reason though, so look for the Colgate coaching staff to try and establish control on the ground early with maybe a deep test or two to keep CCSU honest and/or to get some breathing room with a few quick scores. In the end it may be closer than Colgate fans like, but I think that by the middle of the third quarter some second teamers will be able to get some reps and the starters will have gotten some game time to prepare for next week's bigger test.

As always, LET'S GO 'GATE!

4 Comments:

  • THanks so much Colgate13 for all the work you put in bringing us closer to Colgate football. I believe that your prognostications are right on target.

    My only concern with Colgate this year is the quarterback position. If, as you have said, Saraceno was picked as a co-captain because of his abilities, then my concern is ill founded. My bet is, however, that a freshman will be the QB by the Fordham game.

    By Anonymous Lennie, at 3:11 PM  

  • Great job 13. You've made the game much more interesting with the background information you provided. You are making by blood stir. I look forward to reading your scouting reports for the rest of the year. Gate Raider

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:02 AM  

  • I'm sure all eyes will be on Saraceno at QB. We may not have an answer this game, but I think we'll know how good his arm is and if he's got the touch. I think he will get the nod and lead us throughout... but we'll see!

    By Blogger colgate13, at 9:17 PM  

  • Great prediction!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:52 PM  

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