Now that the football season is over, there will be a bunch of posts over time to look back on the season that just occurred. The top priority this time of year is the basketball season, but in between, we do get to look back at football.
First, I want to look at the depth chart for the Humanitarian Bowl game, and use it to get some clues on what things might look like next year. A little preview: this team's graduation losses are almost as serious as last year's.
First, let's take a look at the offense. Obviously, from a superficial level, this is where the losses are most serious. Our two most prominent players, Tyler Sheehan and Freddie Barnes, are both graduating. Beyond that, the left side of the line, our All-MAC TE, and change of pace back Chris Bullock are all leaving.
Looking ahead, obviously, BG has to replace a QB which is always a challenge. It is very difficult to win without strong QB play. Aaron Pankratz got some snaps against Boise, and was highly touted in HS. In addition, Matt Schilz redshirted, and he was at one point a verbal to Kansas State. And, two very strong true freshmen are coming in as well. No matter who gets the job, we haven't seen them under fire in game conditions, and we'll have to keep our fingers crossed that they can manage our offense.
Beyond, as the QB matures, we will also need to wonder who he will throw to. With Barnes and Wright both graduating, the players from the end of the season that are still here are Hutson and Hodges. However, it is important to remember that BG had a ton of injuries at WR, and the four players I typed in were all not on the depth chart at the end of the year, but could contribute next year. (I have Pronty listed with ?? because I have not heard if he will be able to get a medical red shirt.
On the line, there were some injuries during the season, so Blaec Walker actually made some starts and is a little farther down the road. Chip Robinsons has been highly touted for some time (as have a number of our o-lineman) and the team will be relying on them to jump in and contribute.
All in all, the offense is losing a lot of talent, both ball handlers and lineman. The offense is not going to be without ability, but at the same time will have unproven quantities and perhaps a transition period for next year. This will put more pressure on the defense than this year, which we will tackle tomorrow.