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College Football Preview: 5 Others to Consider

26. Northwestern Wildcats
Offense: The Wildcats have the talent on their roster to have a very explosive offense. Senior quarterback Kain Colter returns to give Northwestern a dual threat that can make plays. Colter is dangerous as a scrambler but coach Pat Fitzgerald uses junior Trevor Siemian when he wants a more consistent passer. Speedy senior Venric Mark returns at running back after a strong junior season. Mark proved to be a big-play threat whenever he touched the ball and was
Kain Colter
extremely durable throughout 2012, staying healthy even with 226 carries. The Wildcats have some real talent at receiver with the return of junior Christian Jones and Rashad Lawrence.
Defense: Northwestern returns one of the Big Ten's best pass rushers in junior end Tyler Scott who had 9 sacks last year. Senior Will Hampton and junior Sean McEvilly are productive tackles who can contribute in many ways. The linebacker corps keep on improving with the returns of sophomore Chi Chi Ariguzo, who had 10.5 tackles for loss in 2012 and senior Damien Proby. With sophomore Nick VanHoose back at cornerback and Ibraheim Campbell back at safety the pass defense should be solid.
27. Northern Illinois Huskies
Offense: Jordan Lynch was extremely impressive as a junior last year and was a huge reason why the Huskies sneaked into the Orange Bowl. Lynch had 4,956 total yards of offense and could be even better this year. He is an accurate quarterback who has a huge arm, that can make plays with his legs. Senior back Akeem Daniels also returns to give Northern Illinois a dangerous 1-2 punch in the ground game. Gone are receivers Martel Moore and Perez Ashford but junior Tommylee Lewis gives Lynch a weapon in the passing game.
Defense: Up front, the Huskies return the MAC's best defensive line. Senior Ken Bishop is a disruptive force who is a force as pass rusher or run stopper. Another senior, Joe Windsor, also brings experience and pass rushing ability. The rest of this defense is solid and experienced. Junior outside linebacker Michael Santacaterina has the potential to make loads of plays. The secondary must replace two starters but senior safety Jimmie Ward gives NIU an experienced big-play talent.

28. Miami Hurricanes
Offense: The 'Canes have loads of talent on the offensive end with a ton of playmakers. Senior quarterback Stephen Morris returns along with sophomore Duke Johnson. Morris is a dual threat who has taken big steps the past couple of years. A former, high-profile recruit, Duke Johnson didn't disappoint his freshman year. The shifty back had 10 touchdowns last season and can make plays in many different ways. Junior receiver Phillip Dorsett and tight end Clive Watford give Morris options in the passing game and senior tackle Seantrel Henderson is a talent at the right tackle spot.
Defense:  With Morris, Johnson and Dorsett the Hurricanes should put up a lot of points but winning the ACC Coastal depends on how well the defense performs. Talented junior end Anthony Chickillo had 6.5 sacks in 2012 and returns as an impact player. The other end spot is manned by senior Shayon Green who had 67 tackles and can be a force in opponents' backfields. The secondary is led by sophomore Tracy Howard who has the potential to make plays. Miami must replace linebacker Eddie Johnson who had 59 tackles in 10 games last year but was suspended indefinitely.

29. TCU Horned Frogs
Offense: The return of Casey Pachall, who left the team in the middle of the season in 2012 is huge for the Horned Frogs. Before Pachall left, TCU was 4-0 and ranked 15th. Pachall is an accurate QB who can extend plays with his legs. The backfield remains relatively intact with the return of senior Waymon James and Trevone Boykin, who started at quarterback after Pachall left and is an experienced backup.
Defense: It isn't any surprise that Gary Patterson has one of the conference's best pass rushers. TCU has had a long line of talented pass rushers and that shouldn't change with the return of sophomore end Devonte Fields who had 10 sacks in 2012. The other impact players in this 4-2-5 defense include senior cornerback Jason Verrett who had six interceptions (tied for the league lead) and junior linebacker Marcus Mallet.

30. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Offense: If the Scarlet Knights have any chance at beating Louisville for the American Athletic crown, junior quarterback Gary Nova must take big steps. In his first season as starter, Nova had 2,695 passing yards and 22 touchdowns. Though at times he struggled to move the ball down the field and made some poor decisions. Junior Savon Huggins returns at running back and has the speed and agility to make opponents miss. The most important returner on this offense will be junior Brandon Coleman. Coleman is a huge, imposing target who uses his 6-6 frame to make big plays.
Defense: Rutgers might have had their best defense ever last year but now must replace linebacker Khaseem Greene and more. Senior end Jamil Merrell had 5.5 sacks in 2012 and finds ways to sneak into backfields. Defensive tackle Darius Hamilton was the gem of last season's recruiting class and has the potential to have a big sophomore year after seeing little time a year ago. The secondary looks a lot different from 2012 after Rutgers allowed 214.5 yards per game through the air. Junior Lorenzo Waters can make plays, but the rest of this unit is unproven and inexperienced.

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