Published: August 28, 2008 2008 NCAA Football Preview
State colleges capsules
BETHUNE-COOKMANCoach: Alvin Wyatt (77-44 at Bethune-Cookman).
2007 record: 5-6 (3-6 MEAC).
Players to watch: DE Dexter Jackson; OL Reubin Mordecai, DB Antwane Cox, RB Corey Council, QB McKinson Souverain.
Overview: Like its rival at Florida A&M, Bethune-Cookman is going into a rebuilding season. The Wildcats were picked to finish seventh in the MEAC.
Key games: Sept. 13 at South Carolina State; Oct. 11 vs. Delaware State; Nov. 22 at FAMU.
CENTRAL FLORIDACoach: George O'Leary (22-28 at UCF).
2007 record: 10-4 (7-1 Conference USA).
Players to watch: QB Mike Greco, WR Rocky Ross, WR A.J. Guyton, DB Joe Burnett, DB Darin Baldwin.
Overview: The Conference USA champions will try to repeat, but a new quarterback will have to lead them. Former Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons QB Greco is expected to start for the Knights.
Key games: Sept. 6 vs. USF; Oct. 11 at Miami; Oct. 26 at Tulsa.
FLORIDA A&MCoach: Joe Taylor (first season).
2007 record: 3-8 (2-7 MEAC).
Players to watch: LB Vernon Wilder, TE Taj Jenkines, RB Philip Sylvester, OL Anthony Collins, DB Curtis Holcomb.
Overview: Not much is expected from the Rattlers after they were picked to finish sixth in the MEAC. New coach Joe Taylor led Hampton to three MEAC titles in a row (2004-06).
Key games: Sept. 4 at Delaware State; Oct. 4 vs. South Carolina State; Nov. 22 vs. Bethune-Cookman.
FLORIDA ATLANTICCoach: Howard Schnellenberger (41-42 at FAU).
2007 record: 8-5 (6-1 Sun Belt).
Players to watch: QB Rusty Smith, RB Charles Pierre, WR Cortez Gent, LB Frantz Joseph, DB Corey Small.
Overview: The defending Sun Belt champs are heavy favorites to repeat and go back to the New Orleans Bowl. Smith and Joseph are preseason Sun Belt Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively.
Key games: Aug. 30 at Texas; Oct. 7 vs. Troy; Nov. 29 vs. FIU.
JACKSONVILLECoach: Kerwin Bell (3-8 at Jacksonville).
2007 record: 3-8 (2-5 Pioneer Football League).
Players to watch: WR Geavon Tribble, OL Chris Tessitore, OL Michael Aguilar, RB Rudell Small, DB Robson Noel, LB Allen Fennell.
Overview: Coach Bell's second season could be as tough as his inaugural one was. The Dolphins lost their all-time passing leader in Chris Horton (4,868 yards) after graduation.
Key games: Sept. 6 at Appalachian State; Oct. 25 vs. San Diego; Nov. 22 vs. Dayton.
SOUTH FLORIDACoach: Jim Leavitt (79-47 at USF).
2007 record: 9-4 (4-3 Big East).
Players to watch: QB Matt Grothe, RB Mike Ford, WR Carlton Mitchell, WR Jessie Hester, DL George Selvie.
Overview: After peaking at No. 2 last season, the Bulls look to continue that momentum this season. USF will be tested early with a Sept. 13 home game against Orange Bowl champion Kansas.
Key games: Sept. 5 at Central Florida; Sept. 13 vs. Kansas; Dec. 6 at West Virginia.
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