/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.

Aug. 30: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Alma at Baldwin Wallace
Live stats
7:00 PM
Frostburg State at Stevenson
Live stats
7:00 PM
University of New England at Coast Guard
Live stats
7:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Johns Hopkins
7:00 PM
Hamline at Buena Vista
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at McMurry
7:30 PM
Manchester at Trine
7:37 PM
Rowan at Widener
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
8:00 PM
UW-Platteville at East Texas Baptist
Live stats
Aug. 31: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Utica at St. Lawrence
7:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
Live stats
7:00 PM
WPI at Anna Maria
Live stats
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Millikin at Hope
Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
TCNJ at FDU-Florham
7:00 PM
Becker at MIT
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
Live stats
7:00 PM
Dean at Curry
Video Live stats
8:00 PM
St. Olaf at Crown
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
TBA
Brevard at Davidson
TBA
Southern Virginia at Christopher Newport
TBA
Augustana at Coe
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
Live stats
12:00 PM
Morrisville State at Norwich
12:00 PM
Buffalo State at Bridgewater State
Live stats
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
Live stats
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Thomas More at N.C. Wesleyan
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Misericordia
1:00 PM
Husson at Union
Live stats
1:00 PM
Apprentice at Greensboro
1:00 PM
RPI at Allegheny
1:00 PM
Wabash at Hiram
1:00 PM
Cortland at Fitchburg State
Live stats
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Wittenberg
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
Live stats
1:00 PM
Huntingdon at Guilford
Live stats
1:00 PM
Gallaudet at Alvernia
1:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Alfred State
Live stats
1:00 PM
Shenandoah at Methodist
Live stats
1:00 PM
Thiel at Alfred
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Washington and Jefferson at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Hartwick at Wilkes
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live stats
1:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at Carthage
1:00 PM
Grinnell at Lawrence
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
1:30 PM
Wooster at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Albion at Defiance
Live stats
2:00 PM
Wilmington at Earlham
Live stats
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Stevens Point
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
2:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Lake Forest
Live stats
2:00 PM
Ripon at Augsburg
2:00 PM
Aurora at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Nebraska Wesleyan at Concordia-Moorhead
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Martin Luther
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Monmouth at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
Minnesota-Morris at UW-River Falls
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Live stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at St. John's
2:00 PM
UW-Eau Claire at Loras
Audio
2:00 PM
Bethel at Simpson
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Beloit at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Austin
2:10 PM
Trinity Int'l at St. Thomas
3:00 PM
Puget Sound at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Live stats
4:00 PM
La Verne at Whitworth
6:00 PM
Adrian at Ohio Northern
Live stats Audio
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
Live stats
6:00 PM
Capital at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
Live stats
6:00 PM
Benedictine at Franklin
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
Central at Northwestern (Minn.)
6:00 PM
Willamette at Simon Fraser
7:00 PM
Geneva at Marietta
7:00 PM
Rochester at Case Western Reserve
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Hanover at Centre
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Mount Union
Live stats
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Otterbein
7:00 PM
Olivet at Heidelberg
7:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at Dubuque
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rhodes
7:00 PM
Chicago at Washington U.
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
8:00 PM
Lyon at Hendrix
8:00 PM
Greenville at Wartburg
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
8:00 PM
Denison at Southwestern
8:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
10:00 PM
Pacific at Chapman
Live stats
10:00 PM
George Fox at Redlands
10:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Arizona Christian
10:00 PM
Lewis-Clark Valley at Pomona-Pitzer
Dec. 9: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 43, at UW-Oshkosh 40
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, Brockport 0
Box Score Recap Photos
Dec. 15: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 12, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 0
@ Salem, Va.
Video Box Score Recap Photos