These players should put up big numbers this fall

Mike Huguenin

Last week, we looked at schools and how often they have reached some offensive statistical plateaus; today we're looking at players who should reach those plateaus this season.

The players are listed alphabetically within those categories by league.

Overview: Coordinator Chad Morris revved up Clemson's offense last season, his first with the Tigers, and it should be more of the same this season; Clemson has All-ACC contenders at quarterback, running back and wide receiver. Virginia Tech is the opposite: Other than QB Logan Thomas, the Hokies have no proven skill-position guys. Florida State was mediocre on offense last season (77th nationally) and could use a healthy season from QB E.J. Manuel; the Seminoles are deep at tailback and wide receiver, so other than Manuel, no FSU skill-position player should put up big numbers. Keep an eye on North Carolina WR Erik Highsmith; if he moves smoothly into the go-to receiver role, UNC should put up big offensive numbers. A darkhorse to lead the league in passing is North Carolina State's Sean Glennon, who tossed 31 TD passes last season, his first as the starter.
Projected 1,000-yard rushers: North Carolina's Gio Bernard, Clemson's Andre Ellington
Projected 3,000-yard passers: Clemson's Tajh Boyd, North Carolina State's Sean Glennon, Florida State's E.J. Manuel, Duke's Sean Renfree, North Carolina's Bryn Renner, Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas
Projected 1,000-yard receivers: Wake Forest's Michael Campanaro, North Carolina's Erik Highsmith, Duke's Conner Vernon, Clemson's Sammy Watkins

Big East
Overview: The only team in the league that was truly proficient offensively last season was West Virginia, and WVU is gone to the Big 12. The Mountaineers have been replaced by Temple, a defense-minded team that runs well but can't throw. It wouldn't be a surprise at all if the league had no 3,000-yard passers and no 1,000-yard receivers. Pitt TB Ray Graham, who ran for 958 yards last season despite missing the final five games, has 1,500-yard potential in new coach Paul Chryst's offense.
Projected 1,000-yard rushers: Temple's Matt Brown, Pitt's Ray Graham, UConn's Lyle McCombs
Projected 3,000-yard passers: None
Projected 1,000-yard receivers: None

Big Ten
Overview: The number of 1,000-yard rushers this fall could be more than the number of 3,000-yard passers and 1,000-yard receivers combined. Iowa's James Vandenberg is the only returning quarterback who threw for more than 2,176 yards last season. Wisconsin's Montee Ball led the league with 1,923 rushing yards last season and should again top at least the 1,500 mark (assuming he is healthy). The race for the No. 2 rusher should be a good one.
Projected 1,000-yard rushers: Wisconsin's Montee Ball, Michigan State's LeVeon Bell, Nebraska's Rex Burkhead, Penn State's Silas Redd, Michigan's Fitzgerald Toussaint
Projected 3,000-yard passers: Iowa's James Vandenberg
Projected 1,000-yard receivers: Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis, Iowa's Keenan Davis

Big 12
Overview: The league lost two solid offensive teams in Missouri and Texas A&M, but they won't be missed because of newcomers West Virginia and TCU. WVU has a chance to lead the league in total offense, thanks to what should be one of the most prolific passing attacks in the nation. There aren't many proven tailbacks in the league this season. Oklahoma State's Joseph Randle is the only returning tailback who rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season. TCU has a strong ground game, but employs a committee approach, making it hard to see any Horned Frog reaching 1,000 yards. Keep an eye on Oklahoma State QB Wes Lunt, who won the job during spring practice. If he plays consistent football, he will reach the 3,000-yard plateau. Another question about Oklahoma State: Who's the go-to receiver?
Projected 1,000-yard rushers: Kansas State QB Collin Klein, Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle
Projected 3,000-yard passers:Texas Tech's Seth Doege, Oklahoma's Landry Jones, Oklahoma State's Wes Lunt, TCU's Casey Pachall, West Virginia's Geno Smith
Projected 1,000-yard receivers: West Virginia's Tavon Austin, West Virginia's Stedman Bailey, TCU's Josh Boyce, Oklahoma's Kenny Stills, Baylor's Terrance Williams

Conference USA
Overview: A league that has been known for prolific offenses of late has some questions. C-USA had five passers who threw for at least 3,000 yards last season, but all five are gone. In addition, four of the top five receivers were seniors, too. David Piland has the unenviable task of replacing Case Keenum at Houston. Piland was pressed into duty as a true freshman in 2010 because of injuries and threw for 2,641 yards in eight games, so he certainly looks to have what it takes to throw for 3,000. One issue with Houston is inexperienced receivers, but a lot is expected of true freshman WR Deontay Greenwood, a four-star prospect who should start from Day One. East Carolina and SMU are going to throw the heck out of the ball, but neither will decide on a starter until fall drills, making it tough to project a 3,000-yard passer for either one.
Projected 1,000-yard rushers: Tulane RB Orleans Darkwa, SMU RB Zach Line, Houston's Charles Sims
Projected 3,000-yard passers: Houston's David Piland
Projected 1,000-yard receivers: Houston's Deontay Greenberry, SMU's Darius Johnson

Overview: Army and Navy didn't even throw for 2,000 yards between them last season; can they combine to reach that mark this season? Notre Dame has a quarterback controversy and lacks an established go-to receiver, which likely will hamper its offense, at least early in the season.
Projected 1,000-yard rushers: Army's Raymond Maples, Notre Dame's Cierre Wood
Projected 3,000-yard passers: None
Projected 1,000-yard receivers: BYU's Cody Hoffman

Overview: The league had six 3,000-yard passers last season, and five return. Western Michigan's Alex Carder plays in a pass-happy offense, but his numbers could suffer a bit because of a lack of proven wide receivers. Bowling Green's Matt Schilz is an even worse boat: The Falcons have just one wide receiver who has caught a college pass. Three of the four 1,000-yard rushers from last season are gone; one of those was Northern Illinois QB Chandler Harnish, who was the only player in the nation last season to rush for 1,000 yards and also throw for 3,000. This season, Ohio's Tyler Tettleton should put up big numbers; he is one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks nationally. And look for Bobcats RB Ryan Boykin to be a big help to Tettleton on the ground. Toledo will miss WR Eric Page, who turned pro a year early but wasn't drafted. Page was a lock to become the NCAA's leading career receiver this season. He left with 306 receptions; the record is 349, set by Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles last season, when he was a senior.
Projected 1,000-yard rushers: Ohio's Ryan Boykin, Toledo's David Fluellen, Buffalo's Branden Oliver, Bowling Green's Anthon Samuel
Projected 3,000-yard passers: Western Michigan's Alex Carder, Miami's Zac Dysert, Central Michigan's Ryan Radcliff, Bowling Green's Matt Schilz, Ohio's Tyler Tettleton
Projected 1,000-yard receivers: Central Michigan's Titus Davis, Miami's Nick Harwell, Toledo's Bernard Reedy

Mountain West
Overview: The Mountain West lost TCU to the Big 12, but welcomes in Fresno State, Hawaii and Nevada from the WAC. Each is a solid offensive club. Indeed, Fresno QB Derek Carr and TB Robbie Rouse could lead the league in passing and rushing, respectively. Keep an eye on Nevada QB Cody Fajardo, who was the WAC's freshman of the year last season. The Wolf Pack has been one of the nation's best rushing teams the past few seasons. This season, Nevada has a new coordinator in Nick Rolovich, who had been the coordinator at pass-happy Hawaii. Look for more passes from Nevada this season, and that should be fine with Fajardo, a good runner who has surprisingly good passing skills. Boise State lost QB Kellen Moore and 1,000-yard rusher Doug Martin. Sixth-year senior D.J. Harper should pick up the slack at tailback, but the quarterback job won't be decided until fall drills.
Projected 1,000-yard rushers: Boise State's D.J. Harper, Colorado State's Chris Nwoke, Fresno State's Robbie Rouse
Projected 3,000-yard passers: Fresno State's Derek Carr, Nevada's Cody Fajardo, Wyoming's Brett Smith
Projected 1,000-yard receivers: Boise State's Matt Miller, Nevada's Brandon Wimberly

Overview: Look west for powerful offenses. The Pac-12 will have a ton of good offensive players this fall; it certainly doesn't hurt in that regard when Rich Rodriguez and Mike Leach are hired as coaches. RichRod generally has big-time rushing attacks, and with Arizona returning all five starting linemen, there should be some holes for Ka'Deem Carey to run through. Oregon's Kenjon Barner should go from valuable reserve to a guy who flirts with the 1,400-yard mark. With Stanford breaking in a new quarterback, RB Stepfan Taylor becomes an even more important part of the Cardinal offense. USC QB Matt Barkley has the best receiving duo in the nation in Marqise Lee and Robert Woods.
Projected 1,000-yard rushers: Oregon's Kenjon Barner, Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey, UCLA's Johnathan Franklin, Arizona State's Cameron Marshall, California's Isi Sofele, Stanford's Stepfan Taylor, Utah's John White
Projected 3,000-yard passers: USC's Matt Barkley, Oregon State's Sean Mannion, California's Zach Maynard, Washington's Keith Price, Washington State's Jeff Tuel
Projected 1,000-yard receivers: California's Keenan Allen, USC's Marqise Lee, Oregon State's Markus Wheaton, Washington's Kasen Williams, Washington State's Marquess Williams, USC's Robert Woods

Overview: The two best running backs in the league are coming off major injuries in Arkansas' Knile Davis and South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore. Alabama's Eddie Lacy is going from key reserve to key starter. If Texas A&M's Christine Michael can remain healthy, he could lead the league in rushing. Look for a big season from Tennessee QB Tyler Bray, if he remains healthy. He has the best receiving duo in the league with which to work in Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers (assuming Rogers stays out of the doghouse). Arkansas' Cobi Hamilton had 34 catches last season; watch for him to double that total this fall.
Projected 1,000-yard rushers: Arkansas' Knile Davis, Alabama's Eddie Lacy, South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore, Texas A&M's Christine Michael, Vanderbilt's Zac Stacy
Projected 3,000-yard passers: Tennessee's Tyler Bray, Missouri's James Franklin, Georgia's Aaron Murray, Arkansas' Tyler Wilson
Projected 1,000-yard receivers: Arkansas' Cobi Hamilton, Tennessee's Justin Hunter, Tennessee's Da'Rick Rogers, Texas A&M's Ryan Swope

Sun Belt
Overview: Two of the most prolific runners in league are gone in Western Kentucky's Bobby Rainey and North Texas' Lance Dunbar. Conversely, prolific Troy QB Corey Robinson (7,137 passing yards in two seasons) returns for his third season as the starter. Arkansas State's Ryan Aplin threw for 3,588 yards last season; how will he fare with new coach Gus Malzahn?
Projected 1,000-yard rushers: FIU's Kedric Rhodes
Projected 3,000-yard passers:Arkansas State's Ryan Aplin, Troy's Corey Robinson
Projected 1,000-yard receivers: Louisiana-Lafayette's Javone Lawson, Arkansas State's Taylor Stockemer, Troy's Eric Thomas

Western Athletic
Overview: The WAC lost Fresno State, Hawaii and Nevada; each has a prolific offense. The league had three 1,000-yard rushers last season; all are gone. The league had two 3,000-yard passers; both are gone. The league had five 1,000-yard receivers; four are gone.
Projected 1,000-yard rushers: Louisiana Tech's Hunter Lee, Utah State's Kerwynn Williams
Projected 3,000-yard passers: None
Projected 1,000-yard receivers: San Jose State's Noel Grigsby, Louisiana Tech's Quinton Patton

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