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Monday, March 1, 2010
Five non-AQs begin spring practices this week

By Graham Watson

It’s March (I can’t believe it’s already March) and that means spring football is going to start across the non-AQ conferences. Air Force, Army and San Diego State are already in full swing, but five other teams will begin their spring practices this week.

Here’s a look at the teams and their biggest issue:

Florida International, March 3

Biggest issue: The Golden Panthers are looking for a starting quarterback after Paul McCall's graduation. Mississippi State transfer Wesley Carroll will be the top candidate.

Louisiana-Lafayette, March 3

Biggest issue: The Ragin’ Cajuns had one of the top running games in the nation in 2008, but slipped to 71st in 2009. Sophomore Yobes Walker will need to prove he is the guy to pull the running game out of its funk.

Southern Miss, March 3

Biggest issue: The Golden Eagles missed six extra points last year, including one against East Carolina that cost them a trip to the Conference USA title game. Consistency in the kicking game will be a top priority.

Nevada, March 5

Biggest issue: Defense has been an Achilles’ heel for the Wolf Pack, but new defensive coordinator Andy Buh will work yp change that this spring.

Wyoming, March 6

Biggest issue: As funny as it sounds, the Cowboys will have to battle complacency after going to a bowl game in coach Dave Christensen’s first season. Quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels will have a couple of new playmakers and the defense will move from a 3-4 to a 4-3.