Conference USA 2019 Pre-Spring Rankings, Depth Chart Projections, Biggest Issues

Conference USA 2019 Pre-Spring Rankings, Depth Chart Projections, Biggest Issues

Conference USA

Conference USA 2019 Pre-Spring Rankings, Depth Chart Projections, Biggest Issues

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Conference USA West Early Rankings

The 2019 early rankings, depth chart lookaheads, and projections for the Conference USA.


7. UTEP Miners

The Miners have to find some offensive pop. It would’ve been nice if Kansas State transfer QB Alex Delton had stuck with his earlier commitment to UTEP before going to TCU. There are options, but Kai Locksley has to get healthy after hurting his ankle. There’s experience at running back and four starters are back on the line, but the receiving corps got gutted. The fop four tacklers are gone off the D, and the corner situation is a bit lacking.

Final 2018 Record: 1-11 (1-7)
2018 C-USA West Finish: T6
2018 Prespring C-USA Conference Ranking: 14
Biggest Issue To Fix: Scoring Offense
Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Offensive Line
Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Cornerback

6. UTSA Roadrunners

The Roadrunners need offense. Any offense. They need a quarterback to rise up this spring, and the main options are back. It’s a young receiving corps, but top target Greg Campbell is done. Any running game will be better this season – four starters are back up front along with most of the rushing options. Three of the top four tacklers are gone, but the defensive front will be a plus and the corner situation is strong.

Final 2018 Record: 3-9 (2-6)
2018 C-USA West Finish: 5
2018 Prespring C-USA Conference Ranking: 9
Biggest Issue To Fix: Offense, Offense, Offense
Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Cornerback
Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Safety

5. Rice Owls

The program is still evolving in Year Two under Mike Bloomgren, losing a slew of parts but also developing the youth. Wiley Green will get the first look at quarterback, but the Owls need more options. Leading rusher Austin Walter is gone, and Emmanuel Esukpa is transferring, but all of the receivers are back and four starters return on the line.

The D has to replace the two top D linemen – Zach Abercrumbia and Roe Wilkins – after they transferred out. However, eight of the top 11 tacklers last season were underclassmen.

Final 2018 Record: 2-11 (1-7)
2018 C-USA West Finish: T6
2018 Prespring C-USA Conference Ranking: 12
Biggest Issue To Fix: Third Down Conversions
Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Linebacker
Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Defensive End

4. UAB Blazers

Yeah, yeah, yeah … this is way underestimating Bill Clark and this program, but here’s where the rebuilding really begins. Spencer Brown is a terrific running back, but four starters are gone off the line, all of the top pass catchers are done, and QB AJ Erdely is done. The D line has to replace just about everyone, three of the four linebackers are done, and several key defensive backs are gone. Ten of the top 14 tacklers have to be replaced.

Final 2018 Record: 11-3 (7-1)
2018 C-USA West Finish: 1
2018 Prespring C-USA Conference Ranking: 10
Biggest Issue To Fix: Penalties
Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Running Back
Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Wide Receiver

3. North Texas Mean Green

The offense should keep on rolling with QB Mason Fine returning for seems like his 13th year at the helm, and even though Jalen Guyton left early for the NFL, the receiving corps is loaded. The O line is great in the interior, but the tackle situation needs work. Almost all the running backs return.

The D needs a whole lot of reinforcements on the line, and the linebacking corps is an issue with EJ Elijya and Brandon Garner done. Five of the top eight tacklers are gone, both starting corners have to be replaced including Nate Brooks.

Final 2018 Record: 9-4 (5-3)
2018 C-USA West Finish: T2
2018 Prespring C-USA Conference Ranking: 2
Biggest Issue To Fix: Pass Defense
Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Running Back
Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Offensive Tackle

2. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

The passing game should be even better with almost all of the top receivers returning for J’Mar Smith to throw to. Jaqwis Dancy and the top backs return along with the offensive interior, but the tackles have to be replaced. The defensive line takes a big, big hit not having Jaylon Ferguson around anymore on one side, and with Immanuel Turner done on the other. The secondary should be the early defensive positive with four of the five starters back, and leading tackler LB Collins Scott returns.

Final 2018 Record: 8-5 (5-3)
2018 C-USA West Finish: T2
2018 Prespring C-USA Conference Ranking: 7
Biggest Issue To Fix: Rushing Offense
Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Wide Receiver
Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Offensive Tackle

1. Southern Miss Golden Eagles

This is the year the program’s been building towards, starting with the return of ten offensive starters. QB Jack Abraham had a good first year, the top five wide receivers are back, the freshmen running backs of last season know what they’re doing, and all five starters return up front. If that wasn’t enough, the defensive front should be fine with a few replacements, and the cornerback situation is strong. There’s work to do at safety, and reliable PK Parker Shaunfield is done, but the 2019 Golden Eagles are loaded.

Final 2018 Record: 6-5 (5-3)
2018 C-USA West Finish: T2
2018 Prespring C-USA Conference Ranking: 5
Biggest Issue To Fix: Rushing Offense
Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Receiver
Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Safety

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