TABLE OF CONTENTS
August 11, 2003 | Volume 99, Issue 6
The Longhorns have been fighting among themselves in the off-season—and that may be the key to their success
2002 RECORD11-2 (6-2, T1 in Big 12 South)
WRRoy Williams (Sr.)Has school-record 34-game reception streak
246Yards Roy Williams needs to break Mike Adams's Texas receiving mark (3,032 yards); he's also six shy of Adams's reception record (177).
Mack Brown rearranged his staff to strengthen a running game that averaged a mere 3.4 yards per carry, a 16-year low for the Longhorns. Perfectionist tackles-tight ends coach Mac McWhorter now is...
After a troubling off-season, the Dawgs would be smart to follow the lead of their top defender, David Pollack
2002 RECORD13-1 (7-1, 1st in SEC East)
QBDavid Greene (Jr.)Led SEC in passing efficiency (137.3)
21Wins for coach Mark Richt since he arrived in Athens in 2001, the most by any Bulldogs coach in his first two seasons.
To fill the gaping hole left by the departure of strongside linebacker Boss Bailey to the NFL, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder looked for an athlete who could emulate Bailey's big-play...
For the Hokies, one way to go all the way is to ride a player like speedy DeAngelo Hall, who can go two ways
2002 RECORD10-4 (3-4, T4 in Big East)
RBKevin Jones (Jr.)871 yards and nine TDs as a backup
8Consecutive seasons in which Virginia Tech has had at least one shutout; the Hokies have blanked opponents 16 times in that span.
The Hokies are deftly managing the quarterback battle between junior Bryan Randall and freshman Marcus Vick, defusing media speculation by stressing that Randall will enter the season as the...
The Wildcats are counting on a wiser Ell Roberson to lead them to their first Big 12 title—and maybe more
2002 RECORD11-2 (6-2, 2nd in Big 12 North)
RBDarren Sproles (Jr.)Gained a school-record 1,800 all-purpose yards
194.6Differential between per-game rushing yards gained (264.1) and allowed (69.5) by the Wildcats last season, highest in the nation.
When passing-game coordinator Greg Peterson was rumored to be going to Nebraska, Bill Snyder promoted him to co-offensive coordinator.
Quarterback Philip Rivers has embraced married life, fatherhood and the lead role in his team's title bid
2002 RECORD11-3 (5-3, 4th in ACC)
QBPhilip Rivers (Sr.)Threw for 3,353 yards and 20 TDs
1Rank of tailback T.A. McLendon, in freshman TDs (18) last year; Ohio State's Maurice Clarett was second with 16.
Sometimes the smartest move is standing pat. New offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone's instructions were: Don't change a thing. The Wolfpack led the ACC in scoring (32.9 points per game) and were...
Stocked in the backfield and stacked on defense, the Tigers are primed to climb in the SEC West
2002 RECORD9-4 (5-3, TI in SEC West)
LBKarlos Dansby (Sr.)All-SEC first-teamer had 75 tackles, four sacks
6Straight games in which Carnell Williams rushed for a TD, the first Tiger to do so. The streak ended when he broke his leg on Oct. 19.
Coach Tommy Tuberville's decision to elevate offensive line coach Hugh Nail to offensive coordinator was the right call. An assistant to Tuberville for eight years at Ole Miss and Auburn, Nail...
Though their Heisman winner is gone, the Trojans have plenty of weapons left to make a run at the Pac-10 crown
2002 RECORD11-2 (7-1, T1 in Pac-10)
LBMatt Grootegoed (Jr.)Team-high 81 tackles (16½ for loss)
+34Trojans' turnover differential (71 interceptions and fumble recoveries, 37 turnovers) for the last two years, best in the nation.
To help make up for the loss of fleet-footed receiver Kareem Kelly, who was drafted by the New Orleans Saints, coach Pete Carroll moved speedy 5'10" sophomore corner Justin Wyatt to wideout, one...
After a decade of ACC dominance, it's gut-check time in Tallahassee for the suddenly struggling Seminoles
2002 RECORD9-5 (7-1, 1st in ACC)
QBChris Rix (Jr.)Needs to display maturity and consistency
9Combined losses in 2001 and 2002, highest total in back-to-back seasons in Bobby Bowden's 27 years in Tallahassee.
After a messy year of suspensions and scandals, university president T.K. Wetherell ordered an independent investigation of the athletic department. Leadership and discipline have been Bobby...
Coach Walt Harris's explosive West Coast attack has the resurgent Panthers on the prowl again in the Big East
2002 RECORD9-4 (5-2, 3rd in Big East)
WRLarry Fitzgerald (Soph.)Pitt freshman marks for catches, yards, TDs
72Points scored by Larry Fitzgerald on 12 TDs, making him first true freshman (besides kickers) to lead Pitt since Tony Dorsett in 73.
With linebackers coach David Blackwell off to Clemson and only one experienced player back, the Panthers turned to former Pitt linebacker Curtis Bray to coach the unit. He has already proved...
Behind quarterback John Navarre, Big Blue goes for big air as it looks to reassert itself in the Big Ten
2002 RECORD11-2 (6-2, third in Big Ten)
QBJohn Navarre (Sr.)48 career TDs, tied for second at Michigan
160.1John Navarre's career per-game passing yardage, third highest at Michigan behind Jim Harbaugh (175.8) and Tom Brady (172.6).
Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr rewarded receiver Braylon Edwards for his breakout '02 season (67 catches, 1,035 yards, 10 TDs) by giving him the number 1 jersey formerly worn by All-Americas Anthony...
The Neuheisel fiasco overshadows an offensive juggernaut led by receiver Reggie Williams and passer Cody Pickett
2002 RECORD7-6 (4-4, T4 in Pac-10)
QBCody Pickett (Sr.)Threw for 516 more yards than Carson Palmer
968Team rushing yards last season, the first time Washington failed to reach 1,000 since 1939, when the Huskies had 906 in nine games.
Confident that senior Greg Carothers has the quickness and strength to rush the passer as well as the speed and instincts to drop into pass coverage, the Huskies shifted him from starting strong...
A young team with experience counts on senior passer Matt Schaub to lead it to the ACC championship
2002 RECORD9-5 (6-2, T2 in ACC)
QBMatt Schaub (Sr.)147.5 passer rating ranked sixth in the nation
357.1Yards per game of total offense generated by the Cavaliers last season, the lowest average in the ACC and 80th in the nation.
Shifting sophomore QB Marques Hagans to WR solves two problems: It gives the Cavaliers an added replacement for the graduated Billy McMullen and gets Hagans, a superior athlete, off the bench....
The Volunteers are ready for a return to basics thanks to a tough off-season regimen that was anything but voluntary
2002 RECORD8-5 (5-3, 3rd in SEC East)
QBCasey Clausen (Sr.)Perfect 9-0 as starter in enemy stadiums
.778Winning percentage (49-14) from 1998 to 2002 for the Vols, best of any SEC school over that span. Florida is second at .746 (47-16).
Though Tennessee is known as Wide Receiver U, big aerial plays were sorely lacking last fall. In response, the Vols moved 5'9", 185-pound senior Mark Jones, who was recruited as a receiver but had...
The task of living up to last season's promise will be made easier by the Irish's stingy, ball-hawking defense
QBCarlyle Holiday (Jr.)Completed only 50.2% of his pass attempts
7Players with 1,000-yard rushing seasons in Notre Dame history, including Ryan Grant, who had 1,085 as a sophomore in '02.
To fortify the depth chart and add variety on defense, Irish coaches will use some starters as backups at other positions. This spring outside linebacker Derek Curry learned to man the middle, and...
A healthy running back and a seasoned quarterback make the Terrapins' offense formidable again
2002 RECORD11-3 (6-2, T2 in ACC)
QBScott McBrien (Sr.)12th in the nation in passing efficiency
4Punt returns for TDs by Steve Suter last season, breaking the Terps' career record of three set by Bob Smith (1972 through '74).
Coach Ralph Friedgen didn't lack for volunteers to fill the shoes of departed All-America linebacker E.J. Henderson, but sophomore D'Qwell Jackson quickly proved he was the best fit. Though he's...
The traditionally ground-bound Badgers are ready to add some pizzazz by airing the ball out on offense
2002 RECORD8-6 (2-6, T8 in Big Ten)
RBAnthony Davis (Jr.)Had nation's best 3,021 rushing yards in '01-02
10Years in a row that Badgers have had 1,000-yard rusher, two short of NCAA record set by North Carolina from 1973 to '84.
After Lee Evans tore his ACL in 2002's Red and White game, coach Barry Alvarez took no chances this year. Evans was held out of the April game, and the rest of the first-string skill guys played...
With former minor leaguer Matt Mauck back and throwing strikes, the Tigers will contend in the SEC West
2002 RECORD8-5 (5-3, T1 in SEC West)
WRMichael Clayton (Jr.)First Tiger with 700 rec. yards in first two years
7-2LSU's record in the nine games in which quarterback Matt Mauck has appeared; last year the Tigers lost just once when he played.
LSU's gleaming new $12 million Academic Center for Student-Athletes helped reel in a consensus top-three class last February. "If a guy who's an average student sees he's going to get the best...
Program-builder Dennis Franchione has plenty of tools on hand—beginning with an explosive sophomore QB
2002 RECORD6-6 (3-5, 5th in Big 12 South)
QBReggie McNeal (Soph.)Should be ready after June hernia surgery
268.0Aggies' passing yards per game in '02, breaking the school mark of 244.6 set in '86; total passing yards (3,216) was also a school record.
New coach Dennis Franchione has installed the A-back position (a running back-receiver hybrid) that he used effectively in the Alabama offense—last year A-back Shaud Williams accounted for 921...
A playmaking defender who's part corner and part linebacker has the Sun Devils stalking the Pac-10
2002 RECORD8-6 (5-3, T3 in Pac-10)
QBAndrew Walter (Jr.)First 3,000-yard passer in Sun Devils history
4Games last year in which Andrew Walter threw for more than 400 yards, most ever in a single season by a Pac-10 quarterback.
To bolster a thin tackle corps, Regis Crawford played left tackle last year. But for his senior season the 6'3", 304-pound Crawford has been shifted back to right guard, his natural spot. That...
Two years removed from a Pac-10 championship, the Ducks look to plug the holes that sank the D last season
2002 RECORD7-6 (3-5, 8th in Pac-10)
FSKeith Lewis (Sr.)Thorpe candidate has eight career INTs
28-1Record in coach Mike Bellotti's eight-year tenure in games in which the Ducks held opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing.
Oregon's new uniforms include an optional cooling vest that players can wear under their jerseys. The high-tech product, new to the market, is filled with air from a compressor on the sideline....
The Nittany Lions will be scrambling to fill the gap in the attack left by 2,000-yard running back Larry Johnson