Pac-12 Preview
posted Aug 26 2015, 12:19PM
story by George Kenny
posted in NCAAF, Analysis

The ending wasn't what the Ducks wanted especially with Marcus Mariota leaving for the NFL. Can the Pac-12 get a team back?

<span style="\\\\&quot;font-family:" georgia,="" \\\\'times="" new="" roman\\\\',="" \\\\'bitstream="" charter\\\\',="" times,="" serif;="" font-size:="" 16px;="" line-height:="" 24px;\\\\"="">A lot of people have U$C competing for a playoff spot so let's see what we have.

The North remembers a down year for Stanford and a great year for Mariota and the Ducks. A 8-5 year for Stanford under David Shaw is a down year after getting to 11 wins three years in a row. Oregon will be looking to get back to the playoffs but they have one glaring question, who replaces Mariota?

Jeff Lockie and 5th year transfer Vernon Adams Jr. have been competing so far in summer ball. Lockie has the upper hand in knowing the system and being familiar with the team. On the other hand, Vernon Adams Jr is a bigger playmaker. At Eastern Washington he threw for 55 TDs in 2013 and 35 TDs in 2014. He can be a perfect mix for this high-speed offense the Ducks have. Running back Royce Freeman is back to take another step closer to being the next great Oregon running back. The difference between Freeman and the others is Royce has some good size to him. The 230 pound sophomore can run through you as well as run past you if he has to. The Ducks are also loaded at the receiving position with Byron Marshall, Dwayne Stanford, and Bralon Addison.

The defense is young in the secondary but also kind of experienced. Their biggest weapon and explosive defensive player is back in DeForest Buckner. If Adams can just get the ball to his playermakers then this offense should fire at all cylinders. It won't be as well as the Mariota machine, but it should get the job done to win the North.

The South has a lot more teams that can compete for this title. Of course the favorite is U$C, and then you have UCLA, Arizona State and Arizona. All those teams can easily win this South title and play Oregon for the Pac-12 title. It burns me to say this but USC should win the South. Cody Kessler is a very under the radar QB, which seems like an oxymoron in being a USC QB. He had a great year completing 69.7% of his passes. He threw for 39 TDs and only 5 interceptions. The one thing though is he seemed to get a lot of those TDs through bad defenses. He struggled a bit with the better teams so he will have to step it up a bit this year. His step up shouldn't be that tough with weapons like Juju Smith (Freshman All-American) and 2-way player Adoree Jackson replacing Nelson Agholor.

The Trojans will also have to replace Buck Allen with a few backs including Jason Davis and Tre Mason. The one consistent thing besides Kessler is the o-line. This o-line is loaded with guys that all can play at the next level. Max Tuerk leads the way at center, the guards are Viane Talamaivao and Damien Mama, with Toa Lobendahn and Zachary Banner at the tackle spots. Viane and Toa were Freshman All-Americans last year as well. The defense loses their leaders in Leonard Williams and Hayes Pullard, which will hurt. Safety/linebacker/animal in Su'a Cravens looks to step up in that leadership role. He led the Trojans in picks (3) and tackles for loss (17). He also will have Adorre Jackson at the corner spot who also was a Freshman All-American. Jackson is very quickly becoming a top man-to-man corner in the whole country. Also make sure to watch for true freshman Iman Marshall to be a big impact in that secondary. They were 9-4 last year but that won't do this year with playoffs hopes on the line.

Pac-12 Title Game: Oregon once again reigns the Pac-12 world. 

Offensive POY: Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon-

The 5-11 230 pound Duck will need a big year if the Gon wants to get back to the playoffs. New QB play will mean the Ducks should rely on Royce a lot this season. Freeman ran for 1365 yards and scored 18 TDs last year. Those numbers should all go up this year and Royce Freeman should be a force this year.

Defensive POY: Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona-

The guy's name is Scooby and he is coming off a 14 sack season last year so yea he should win this. Come on now he is a beast off the edge and just makes plays! Also his name is Scooby did I mention that!

Breakout POY: Vernon Adams Jr., QB, Oregon-

I'm putting a lot of my Pac-12 eggs into Oregon but can you blame me? If Oregon has another Oregon year they will need great QB play, which this guy can deliver. He has weapons all around him and any quick pass can turn into a long TD play. Adams Jr. is about to have a lot of fun in this offense.

Freshman of the Year: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA-

He is a big brass QB that better win the job. He has a lot of confidence in his game and arm which is what you want out of your QB. Rosen was the #1 rated QB in last year's class and the 12th national. The true freshman is 6-4, 210 and looks the part already. He also will have a great running game with leading rusher Perkins back which will help. Don't mess around Mora play the damn kid!

Coach of the Year: David Shaw, Stanford-

Stanford gets back to double-digit wins behind a power running game with Christian McCaffery. The trees were 8-5 last year but also lost 3 games by only 3 points, and with a revamped power game they can get back those 3 losses.

 

Hope you enjoyed the Pac-12 Preview. Make sure to check out all our previews so far this year, we have one more in the ACC next week.

George Kenny
My name is George Kenny and I graduated from St. John's University with a Sports Management major and a Business minor. I started my own sports blog c...





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