The Roundtable continues on as we enter into summer. Last week, we asked about position groups that foster excitement heading into the 2023 season. This week, we discuss the opposite question: what is the position group for your team you’re worried about this season?
Mike: Looking at Wyoming, and the answer is always clear. Quarterback should always be the biggest worry as it is the position that holds the rest of the Cowboys back from being among the conference’s elite. 10 touchdowns, 1500 passing yards and a 52% completion rate isn’t going to cut it. Until this is resolved, quarterback should be the position of concern in Laramie.
Dom: Nevada is going to need a lot of help going into 2023, and I am still not convinced the wide receiver position is fixed. Dalevon Campbell will most likely be leading the wide receiver core, but he only produced 459 receiving yards with one touchdown in 2022. I like the potential Jamaal Bell has going into his senior year, but besides him, there just is not much excitement in this receiving core. It is even more worrying when you see how little the Nevada offense went downfield (5.6 yards per pass attempt and 185.6 passing yards per game) in 2022. Until this wide receiver core can extend plays and accumulate more yardage, we will see Nevada heavily rely on the run game in 2023.
Matt: Fresno St looks to be really thin at the wide receiver position going in 2023. Coming off a fantastic 2022 campaign with Zane Pope, Jalen Moreno-Cropper, Nikko Remigio, and Josh Kelly pre-injury, all of those receivers are now gone. Erik Brooks is back after pulling in 391yds and 3TDs last season, alongside Mac Dalena and Emoryie Edwards. Boston College transfer Jaelen Gill looks to slot into the starting lineup quickly, with Jalen Moss and Josiah Freeman waiting their turn in the rotation. Tight ends like Tre Watson and Kamron Beachem might see some more usage this year as well as Mikey Keene gets into a rhythm with the receivers. This is an unproven group, but we’ve seen young receivers do well in Fresno before.
NittanyFalcon: Air Force needs to settle on a new QB1 following the departure of one of the most successful quarterbacks in Falcon history, Haaziq Daniels. They do have a few guys that have been around the program for quite a while, so knowledge of the offense should be fine. Current number 1, senior Jensen Jones, has the tools to be a dangerous weapon in the run game, but questions remain about how dangerous he can be when the Falcons want to air it out. Senior Ben Brittain has already shown a strong arm and some mobility in the run game, but his status as #2 QB suggests Coach Calhoun may not have as much trust in him to execute the entire offense at a high level.
In any case, there will be growing pains reminiscent of Daniel’s first few starts. Fortunately, the rest of the squad has plenty of experience to lean on.
Jack: Colorado State should be one of the better offenses in the conference, but the RB room is a big question mark. Anthony Morrow rushed for 866 yards last year, but he has been removed from football activities since an assault charge in January. Kobe Johnson, transfer from North Dakota State, will likely get the bulk of the carries. JUCO transfer KJ Edwards will also contribute. I’m high on both of them, but it’s a lot to demand of guys who have only been on campus for a few months. True freshmen Damian Henderson II and Justin Marshall should also rotate in, and if one of them breaks out, it would be huge for the group overall. Though the stress on this group is limited with the Air Raid system in place, you have to be able to run the ball efficiently in this conference to win games. We’ll have to wait and see if the group can be relied on.