Nothwestern St. At a GlanceHome | Natchitoches, LA (Southland Conference)
2011 Record | 5-6 (3-4)
Offensive Starters Returning | 9
Defensive Starters Returning | 7
2012 Offensive MVP | QB Brad Henderson
2012 Defensive MVP | LB Derek Rose
Newcomer to Watch | ???
This is my yearly attempt to educate myself on the teams on the Texas Tech schedule. I am not an expert about any of these teams, but rather I have spent a few hours studying the team and it is more likely than not that I have something wrong. Please correct me in the comments.
The Coach | Back in December of 2008, Bradley Dale Peveto took the job at Northwestern St. and as of right now, he's 10-23 in his career with the Demons. I should mention that Peveto's first team at Northwestern went 0-11 in his first year so they were laughably bad, and in his second and third years, he won 5 games and lost 6 each year. That's an improvement. Before taking the job at Northwestern St., Peveto was the co-defensive coordinator for LSU for one year before heading to Natchitoches, which is the name of a town that I cannot spell and had to copy and paste both times it appears in this post.
What We Do Know | From looking at the quick facts sheet, Northwestern St. is a multiple offense and a defense that runs a 4-3. There is no doubt that Peveto made this team better after his first year. Pretty impressive to go undefeated to winning 5 games as it is tough to turn around a program, although you could also say that NWS went 7-5 the year before Peveto was hired. NWS's best player is QB Brad Henderson, who not only led the team in passing with 1,865 yards, 12 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, but he also led NWS with 112 rushing attempts, but gained only 204 yards. In Peveto's first year, 2009, his team went 0-11 and had the 110th ranked total defense. Peveto improved the defense slightly in 2010, going to 101st and as you'll note above, were 83rd in total defense last year. Baby steps.
These are highlights from their game with Texas St., which Northwestern won, but you wouldn't know it from looking at these highlights. It's really the only highlight video that I could find from 2011 from NWS:
You can find 2nd half highlights here.
More after the jump including a poll for you to vote your fear level of Northwestern St.
What We Do Not Know | I'd guess that with Peveto at the helm, NWS fans would be expecting another improvement defensively, although an incremental improvement. Offensively, I would guess that maybe the thought is that the team will be better. Henderson was starting in his first year after arriving as a JUCO and I've mentioned below the two young running backs from last year that will be juniors and possible break through candidates. Add to this the idea that NWS thinks that two of their offensive linemen, Larry Calcote and Blayne Cole, are all conference candidates.
Best Player | Most likely the best player is on defense and is either LB Derek Rose or S Jamal White. I went to high school with a Derek Rose, but I doubt that this is the same person. This Derek Rose had 61 tackles including 9 TFL last year. That's pretty good. White had 49 tackles and 4 interceptions last year. That's pretty good as well. Offensively, give me Henderson. With a year under his belt, he'll post better numbers and it will be incredibly interesting to see how Texas Tech handles a mobile quarterback like Henderson
Break Through Player Candidate | I can honestly say that I do not keep up with Northwestern St. football to really even make a guess as to who the newcomer or break through candidate is for this team. I'd be lying if I told you that I had this sort of insight. What I will offer is that RB's D.J. Palmer and Rumeall Morris were both sophomores last year and combined they both had 169 attempts, 703 yards and 5 touchdowns. I'd bet that one of them will be better next year.
Overall Fear Level With 1 Being Not Afraid At All and 5 Being So Scared Baby | Statistically, Northwestern St. is an okay football team in the FCS division in the sense that they are winning games so it would make sense that NWS would not be a very good opponent for Texas Tech. I'm stepping out on a limb and going with a 1. Shocking I know, but get used to it in the non-conference part of the schedule. It wouldn't surprise me if NWS is better than last year's version, but last year lost to SMU by 33 and LSU by 46.