/seasons/2011/contrib/20110825jvmz3d

Defense Looks for Stability in 2011

More news about: Mississippi College

CLINTON, MS - In the coming weeks, we will take a chance to preview each position on the field for the Choctaws as we head toward the season opening "Backyard Brawl" on September 3rd against Millsaps.  We invite MC fans to take a look and get more acclimated with the 2011 group of Choctaws.

The schedule will be as follows:

Quarterbacks – August 15th
Running Backs – August 16th
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends – August 17th
Offensive Line – August 18th
Defensive Line – August 19th
Linebackers – August 20th
Secondary – August 22nd
Special Teams – August 23rd
Offense – August 24th
Defense – TODAY
Overall – TOMORROW

As the 2011 season opens, the Choctaws welcome their third defensive coordinator in three years as Chad Walker steps into the position.  The New Orleans native brings a wealth of experience from the NFL with the Miami Dolphins and working with high-profile college coaches in Dom Capers, Will Muschamp, Kirby Smart and Bo Pelini.  The Choctaws finished middle of the pack in the ASC last season in most defensive categories, but they bring back seven defensive starters.  With the experience coming back to go along with a strong recruiting class, MC has a chance to be one of the top defenses in the league.

It all starts up front for the Choctaws as they have a lot of competition for the starting spots with the departure of Nolan Willisson and Jarryn Bingham and Sam Maze making the move to linebacker.  Senior Jeremy Horton will lead the line from the tackle position as he will be charged with holding up the defensive line and allowing the linebackers to make plays.  Freshman John Bertucci will add depth in the middle as his work ethic will give the Choctaws two options at the position.

On the outside, the Choctaws have a big position battle as five players have pushed for the two spots.  Seniors Dekores Branch and Justin McClinton have been impressive in preseason camp and could join Horton to form one of the more experienced lines in the conference.

Junior Paul Turner has come on strong in the preseason, as well.  His work ethic and non-stop motor make it difficult for the coaching staff to keep him out of lineup.  Two freshmen have stepped in and pushed for immediate playing time in Josh Williams and Mike Mitchell.  Both rookies have outstanding athletic ability and will keep the upperclassmen working to hold on to their position.

At linebacker, the Choctaws bring back a lot of experience with six players returning that have starting experience at MC.  Senior Jeremy Bertrand leads the group from the middle after pacing the team with 71 tackles, including 37 solo stops.  The Abbeville, LA native also pulled down three interceptions, while recording double-digits in tackles twice.

Senior Sam Maze made the transition from the defensive line to the linebacker position and will join Bertrand in the middle .  Maze made 19 tackles in 2010 and will team with Bertrand to make the calls for the defense.

On the outside, senior Jarryn Bingham joins Maze as a defensive lineman turned linebacker.  Bingham led the Choctaws with 9.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in 2010.  The Ridgeland native will have a chance to make plays from his position while continuing to put pressure on the quarterback.

Sophomores Baylor BlanchardLanden Moore, and Dallas Bogle also return to the position after seeing starts during the 2010 season.  Each presents a bright future for the Choctaws over the next three years.  Junior transfer Doc Ward also steps in and will give the Choctaws another dynamic option.

The Choctaws also brought in some promising freshman in the 2011 class with the addition of Dillon Causey and Melvin Dunn.  Both are players that could make an immediate and long-term impact on the MC program.

The defensive backfield also brings back a load of experience as seniors Luke Petitto and Dustin Retherford return for a final season.  Petitto was a Second Team All-South Region selection after leading the Choctaws with five interceptions and finishing second on the team with 64 tackles and 9.0 tackles for loss.  Retherford is the only returning All-ASC player for the Choctaws after finishing third on the team with 48 tackles, while picking off three passes in a win over Howard Payne.

Junior Horace Allen and sophomore Dylan Klibert give the Choctaws viable options in the secondary.  Allen started seven games last season and finished fourth on the team with 39 tackles.  Klibert saw a significant increase in his playing time as the season progressed in 2010 and will provide toughness.  The Choctaws will also use freshman Garrett Horst who provides MC with some size.

The cornerback position is one that brings back a proven player in senior Jarrad Craine.  The Brandon native finished sixth on the team with 37 tackles and hauled in one interception while most teams were forced to throw in the other direction because of his cover skills.

Sophomore Darren Watts is the favorite to man the other cornerback position with his athleticism.  Watts was  safety last season, but has the cover skills to play on the outside.  Freshman Raeon Jones has stepped in and picked up the defense quickly.  The rookie has a chance to push Craine and Watts for playing time.

Tomorrow we will preview the Choctaw schedule.

Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Stevenson 33, Wilkes 21
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
at RPI 31, Hobart 24
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at MIT 13, Coast Guard 0
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Final
Norwich 15, at Maine Maritime 7
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Final
at Moravian 31, Juniata 14
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Dean 53, Gallaudet 21
Box Score
Final
Endicott 45, at Becker 13
Video Video Box Score
Final
Frostburg State 24, at Montclair State 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
SUNY-Maritime 68, at Castleton 41
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Final
at Trinity (Texas) 28, Sewanee 14
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Final
Johns Hopkins 51, at Gettysburg 14
Video Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
N.C. Wesleyan 29, at Brevard 21
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Final
at Misericordia 37, FDU-Florham 33
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Final
Union 29, at St. Lawrence 7
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Final
at Ithaca 28, Rochester 3
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Final
at Colby 23, Hamilton 21
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Final
at Middlebury 35, Bates 34
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Final
Trinity (Conn.) 48, at Bowdoin 6
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Final
Springfield 23, at Catholic 11
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Final
Amherst 33, at Wesleyan 3
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Final
at Plymouth State 17, Massachusetts Maritime 14
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Final
at Husson 54, Anna Maria 14
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Final
TCNJ 13, at Kean 8
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Final
Carnegie Mellon 41, at Thiel 7
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Final
Salve Regina 30, at Curry 21
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Final
King's 37, at Albright 26
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Final
Trine 31, at Finlandia 0
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Final - OT
Susquehanna 41, at Ursinus 35
Video Video Box Score
Final
Delaware Valley 52, at Lebanon Valley 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Western New England 70, University of New England 13
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Final
Franklin and Marshall 35, at Dickinson 14
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Final
at Wittenberg 38, DePauw 23
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Final
at Emory and Henry 52, Shenandoah 50
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Final
at Wabash 32, Oberlin 7
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Final
at Westminster (Pa.) 27, Washington and Jefferson 20
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Final
at Hampden-Sydney 38, Guilford 35
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Randolph-Macon 44, Bridgewater 41
Video Box Score Recap Audio Audio
Final
Cortland 56, at Hartwick 3
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Final
at Denison 27, Ohio Wesleyan 10
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Final
Waynesburg 12, at St. Vincent 10
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Final
Salisbury 33, at Southern Virginia 0
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Final
at Methodist 42, Greensboro 6
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Final
Christopher Newport 39, at William Paterson 10
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Final
Albion 49, at Adrian 42
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Final
Thomas More 35, at St. Scholastica 0
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Final
at Westminster (Mo.) 25, Minnesota-Morris 7
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Final
Lake Forest 24, at Grinnell 0
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Greenville 41, Crown 14
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Final
at Merchant Marine 25, WPI 24
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Final
at John Carroll 27, Marietta 24
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Final
at Tufts 28, Williams 21
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Final
Ohio Northern 49, at Capital 46
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Final
Baldwin Wallace 35, at Wilmington 33
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Final
at Mount Union 54, Heidelberg 0
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Final
at Lycoming 52, Alvernia 0
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Final
at Rose-Hulman 44, Anderson 6
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Final
at Franklin 64, Earlham 20
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Final
Hanover 48, at Manchester 14
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Final
Mount St. Joseph 20, at Defiance 0
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Final
at Utica 30, Alfred 22
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Final
Maryville (Tenn.) 37, at LaGrange 17
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Final
Framingham State 27, at Westfield State 2
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Final
Morrisville State 35, at St. John Fisher 7
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Final
at Muskingum 21, Otterbein 14
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Final - OT
at Berry 28, Millsaps 21
Video Box Score Recap Live stats Audio
Final
at Muhlenberg 42, McDaniel 18
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Rowan 28, Wesley 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Wooster 28, Hiram 21
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Final
Allegheny 54, at Kenyon 10
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Final
at Nebraska Wesleyan 23, Luther 15
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Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 20, at Augustana 3
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Final
at Eureka 50, Benedictine 20
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Final
Mary Hardin-Baylor 49, at Belhaven 0
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Final
at Hardin-Simmons 58, Texas Lutheran 14
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Final
Chicago 63, at Beloit 0
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Final
at Concordia (Wis.) 45, Concordia-Chicago 34
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Final
Aurora 25, at Rockford 7
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Final
at Bethel 41, Concordia-Moorhead 13
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Final
Lakeland 38, at Wisconsin Lutheran 12
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Final
at St. John's 57, St. Olaf 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Gustavus Adolphus 42, Augsburg 0
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Final
Dubuque 38, at Buena Vista 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
North Central (Ill.) 26, at Carthage 14
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Final
at Ripon 58, Macalester 34
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Final
at Monmouth 51, Cornell 0
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Final
at Simpson 38, Loras 33
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Final
at Knox 20, Illinois College 6
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Final
UW-Stout 31, at UW-Stevens Point 27
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Final
Millikin 14, at Elmhurst 13
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at MacMurray 20, Iowa Wesleyan 13
Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Eau Claire 40, at UW-Platteville 16
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Final
at St. Thomas 68, Carleton 0
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Final
at Mass-Dartmouth 41, Worcester State 27
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Final
at Wartburg 47, Central 20
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Final
at UW-Oshkosh 24, UW-La Crosse 13
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Final
at UW-Whitewater 44, UW-River Falls 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Birmingham-Southern 47, Austin 35
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Final
Centre 41, at Rhodes 14
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Final
at Carroll 23, North Park 0
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Final
at Kalamazoo 17, Alma 10
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Final
at Pacific Lutheran 33, Willamette 20
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Final
at Brockport 65, Buffalo State 7
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Final
at Averett 45, Huntingdon 17
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Final
Washington and Lee 38, at Ferrum 35
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Final
at Pacific 54, Lewis and Clark 22
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
Redlands 35, at La Verne 17
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Final
Whitworth 47, at Puget Sound 13
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Final
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 27, at Occidental 7
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Final
Linfield 14, at George Fox 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Hope 35, Olivet 30
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final - 4OT
at Western Connecticut 50, Bridgewater State 48
Video Box Score Live stats
Final
Case Western Reserve 27, at Geneva 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Sul Ross State 28, Howard Payne 27
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Final
East Texas Baptist 48, at Louisiana College 27
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Final
Illinois Wesleyan 27, at Washington U. 21
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Final
St. Norbert 46, at Lawrence 0
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Final
at Pomona-Pitzer 42, Whittier 17
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Final
Chapman 33, at Cal Lutheran 29
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
Frostburg State 24, at Montclair State 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at RPI 31, Hobart 24
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Trine 31, at Finlandia 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Wittenberg 38, DePauw 23
Box Score
Final
at Westminster (Pa.) 27, Washington and Jefferson 20
Video Box Score
Final
Delaware Valley 52, at Lebanon Valley 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 51, at Gettysburg 14
Video Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Mount Union 54, Heidelberg 0
Video Box Score Photos Photos
Final
at John Carroll 27, Marietta 24
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final - OT
at Berry 28, Millsaps 21
Video Box Score Recap Live stats Audio
Final
at Rowan 28, Wesley 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Muhlenberg 42, McDaniel 18
Video Video Box Score
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 20, at Augustana 3
Video
Final
Mary Hardin-Baylor 49, at Belhaven 0
Video Box Score
Final
at St. John's 57, St. Olaf 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 58, Texas Lutheran 14
Box Score
Final
North Central (Ill.) 26, at Carthage 14
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 68, Carleton 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 24, UW-La Crosse 13
Video Box Score
Final
at UW-Whitewater 44, UW-River Falls 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Brockport 65, Buffalo State 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Whitworth 47, at Puget Sound 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Linfield 14, at George Fox 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 27, at Geneva 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Illinois Wesleyan 27, at Washington U. 21
Video Box Score Photos