NCF Nation: Mario Addison

Top non-AQ players, defense

January, 24, 2011
1/24/11
4:30
PM ET
Earlier today I did a post with the top non-AQ offensive players, according to the final NCAA stats. Now let us take a look at the top NCAA defensive players from the non-AQs.

We start with tackles. Seven of the top 10 leaders in tackles per game came from non-AQ teams:

No. 3 Jamon Hughes, Memphis, 12.25

No. 4 Mario Harvey, Marshall, 11.92

No. 5 Archie Donald, Toledo, 11.23

No. 6 Dwayne Woods Jr., Bowling Green, 11.17

t. No. 7 Bobby Wagner, Utah State, 11.08

t. No. 7 Craig Robertson, North Texas, 11.08

No. 10 Dan Molls, Toledo, 11

Only three of these players return for next season -- Woods, Wagner and Molls. Donald and Molls formed one of the best linebacker duos in the nation if you want to look at their numbers alone. Donald finished with 146 total tackles, while Molls had 143. The only other school with two tacklers in the top 30 was Akron with Brian Wagner (130) and Mike Thomas (113).

Next up: sacks. Five of the top 10 in the NCAA stats are from non-AQ schools.

No. 4 Jonathan Massaquoi, Troy, 13.5 (1.04 pg)

No. 5 Vinny Curry, Marshall, 12 (1.0 pg)

No. 7 Jamari Lattimore, Middle Tennessee, 11.5 (0.88 per game)

No. 8 Mario Addison, Troy, 10.5 (0.88 per game)

No. 9 Chris Carter, Fresno State, 11 (0.88 per game)

Just missing the list is Kent State true freshman Roosevelt Nix, who will most definitely be a player to watch for 2011. Nix had 10 sacks and 20 tackles for loss in his debut season, en route to winning MAC defensive player of the year honors. Troy will lose one member of its sack duo -- Addison just finished his senior season. So did Lattimore and Carter. Massaquoi is an early candidate for Sun Belt defensive player of the year. The honors went to Lattimore this past season.

Finally, we take a look at interceptions. Many non-AQ players made the list here if you want to count total interceptions:

No. 3 Mana Silva, Hawaii, 8 (0.57 pg)

t. No. 5 Dexter McCoil, Tulsa, 6 (0.5 pg)

t. No. 5 Sean Baker, Ball State

t. No. 5 Domonic Cook, Buffalo

t. No. 10 Marco Nelson, Tulsa (.046 pg)

t. No. 13 Evan Harris, Miami (Ohio), (0.43 pg)

t. No. 13 Dayonne Nunley, Miami (0.43 pg)

Everybody on the list but Silva had six interceptions this past season. Impressive to see duos from Tulsa and Miami on the list. Each of those players returns for 2011. There were only three seniors on this list -- Baker, Cook and Silva.

New Orleans Bowl Keys

December, 17, 2010
12/17/10
11:30
AM ET
Here are three keys for Troy and Ohio in the R + L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Saturday night.

Ohio (8-4)

1. Use receiver Terrence McCrae to your advantage. The Bobcats are not what you would call a high-octane offense, but they do have one big advantage with McCrae: his size. At 6-foot-4, he is much bigger than starting Troy cornerbacks Jimmie Anderson (5-foot-9) and KeJuan Phillips (5-9). McCrae has nine touchdown catches this season, and Boo Jackson recently set the career mark for touchdown throws at Ohio.

2. Know where Troy defensive ends Mario Addison and Jonathan Massaquoi are at all times. The duo has combined for 20 sacks this season, second-best in the nation behind Chris Carter and Logan Harrell of Fresno State. Massaquoi was second in the league with his 11 sacks, but led the Sun Belt with 17.5 tackles for loss. Ohio has generally done a good job with line protection this season -- except for the regular-season finale against Kent State. The Golden Flashes had seven sacks.

3. Balance. Troy has had a hard time slowing down the run, and Ohio has been pretty decent behind Vince Davidson. The Bobcats are a very balanced team, and are going to need both Jackson and Davidson to have steady games to give Ohio its first-ever bowl win.

Troy (7-5)

1. Paging Jerrel Jernigan. It is safe to say the Trojans have the best overall player on their sideline in Jernigan, one of the top all-purpose players in the country. He is their top receiver, punt returner, kickoff returner and primary Wildcat option. What makes him so good is his speed and his ability to break tackles. Ohio cannot afford to miss bringing him down.

2. Help Corey Robinson. The redshirt freshman threw for 3,339 yards this season in the spread offense, but has had his share of ups and downs. He had six games this season in which he threw two or more interceptions. That is not going to bode well against Ohio, which is one of the best in the country in interceptions with 17 on the season. DuJuan Harris and the running backs need to establish themselves early.

3. Cut the silly mistakes. Troy leads the nation in penalties per game (8.75) and is second worst in penalty yards per game (76.8). Combine that with a negative turnover ratio, and you have the makings of an undisciplined team. You can bet these two areas have been emphasized leading into the game.

Midseason Report: Troy

October, 12, 2010
10/12/10
6:30
AM ET
Troy Trojans

Record: 3-2 (2-0, Sun Belt)

The Trojans have dominated Sun Belt play in recent years, but going into the season they were not the preseason favorite to win the league. That honor went to Middle Tennessee, mostly because it returned Dwight Dasher at quarterback. That did not sit well with the Trojans, who knew they had to do a little bit of proving on the field. They did that in a big way last week against Middle Tennessee, beating the Blue Raiders 42-13. They are now in command of the Sun Belt race, hoping for their fifth straight championship. The Trojans will be favorites in the rest of their league games, and it would be a major upset if they failed to win another title. What has been most impressive is the way Corey Robinson has stepped in at quarterback, replacing the departed Levi Brown. Troy leads the league in scoring offense, passing offense and total offense. The defense, which lost eight starters, has started to pick up its play as well behind Jonathan Massaquoi and Mario Addison.

Offensive MVP, QB Corey Robinson: Robinson, a redshirt freshman, beat out veteran Jamie Hampton for the starting quarterback job and has delivered in a big way. He leads the league with an average of 300 yards passing a game, and also leads the league in passing efficiency. It doesn’t hurt when you have all-everything man Jerrel Jernigan on your side, either.

Defensive MVP, DE Jonathan Massaquoi: The first-year starter has done an excellent job on the outside, leading the team with 6.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. He also has forced a fumble and recovered two. Massaquoi had his coming out party in a 41-38 loss to Oklahoma State, with eight tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

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