33rd year (213-151-2, all at W&M)
Not much that hasn't already been said or written about Laycock. He's as much a part of
Sr. | 5-11 | 180 | CB
A two-time first-team All-CAA cornerback, the Warwick High grad is one of the best in FCS at his position. Eight interceptions as a redshirt freshman in 2009, but only three the past two seasons as opponents often threw elsewhere.
Sr. | 5-11 | 222 | LB
Injuries last season limited his effectiveness, but possesses speed, smarts, toughness. Second-team All-CAA in 2010 when he was healthy and fourth in the league in tackles (111). He moves back to middle linebacker from the outside, where he played last season. He played the middle in 2010.
Sr. | 5-11 | 175 | WR
One of CAA's best playmakers at the position when healthy. Excellent hands, body control, nose for the ball. Sneaky speed. Injuries hindered what could have been a record-book career. Appeared in only six games last season. Second-team all-conference in 2010, when he played all 12 games.
Last season was the Tribe's most frustrating performance in recent memory — next-to-last in scoring (18.4 ppg) in the CAA and third from the bottom in total offense (334.8 ypg). W&M found some footing in its final four games behind Graham and Caprio, but most often was done in by untimely turnovers and the inability to convert plays. The offense was unable to carry a defense that was nicked up and worn down by the end of the season. Four starters return on the offensive line, led by C Matt Crisafi and LT Mike Salazar. There's no replacing All-American Jon Grimes at tailback, but the Tribe feels pretty good about the running back combination of Keith McBride, Meltoya Jones (Tabb) and Darnell Laws. The pressure is on the quarterbacks and receivers to exhibit some consistency and balance, so that defenses cannot simply overload the box. Graham had moments in the middle of the season, in relief of ineffective Mike Paulus, before he was shelved. Caprio completed 63 percent of his passes, but had more picks than TDs, and the Tribe had nothing approaching a consistent downfield threat. If that happens again, expect the defense to wear down again.
The Tribe's back seven on defense figures to be good to exceptional, with ability and depth. The front four, however, has questions. Junior George Beerhalter is one of the CAA's underrated tackles, having played since he was a true freshman and starting all 11 games last season, with 35 tackles and eight TFL. Ends Bryan Stinnie and Stephen Sinnott must be productive, every-down players. Sinnott started eight games last season. Stinnie missed the last seven games of 2011 and spring practice with an injury, but is expected to be full strength. Converted linebacker Quincy September is undersized (225 pounds), but compensates with speed and quickness, and figures into the d-end rotation. Senior Nick Zaremba is projected to start alongside Beerhalter. He was a reserve last season. Sophomore Jasper Coleman (6-4, 285) will play and could challenge for a starting position at tackle. The Tribe was solid statistically on defense last season — third in scoring (22.2 ppg), fourth in rushing (146.9 ypg), third in total defense (350.9 ypg). However, it managed only 15 takeaways and 19 sacks. Those are functions of the entire defense, but it must start up front, so as not to put undue stress on the linebackers and secondary to generate pressure.
The Tribe upperclassmen got a taste of the penthouse and postseason as youngsters, when W&M went to the FCS semifinals in 2009 and won a share of the CAA title and advanced to the postseason in 2010. Last year's team, however, didn't come close. Yes, there were quarterback and receiver issues that hampered the offense, particularly early in the season. But the defense wasn't as effective or productive as its talent level indicated. At times, there was an apprehensive vibe around the team. "We kind of got used to winning and I think we expected it was just going to continue," linebacker Jabrel Mines said at CAA preseason media day. "You can't expect it. You have to put in the work." Can the Tribe return to the conference's upper echelon? Is there enough talent, and more important, will and desire to get there? The conference is a stone beast. Certainly, William and Mary didn't slide as far as
Sept. 1 | at
We have a hunch who former Terps' coach
Sept. 8 | Lafayette | 7 p.m.
First meeting between the teams is the Leopards' season opener. They went 4-7 and finished fifth in the Patriot League last season. QB Andrew Shoop threw for 2,400 yards and 15 TDs a year ago, and the Leopards return only four starters on defense.
Sept. 15 | at
The Tribe's CAA opener against the surprise defending champs. W&M's first loss to the Tigers last year (38-27) was due to a defense that rarely came close to slowing down Towson. The Tigers return outstanding RB Terrance West and a solid core on both sides of the ball.
Sept. 22 |
One of the league's fiercest rivalries. Delaware (7-4) missed the playoffs for the third time in the past four years following inexplicable losses to UMass and Rhode Island. As usual, the Blue Hens have a wealth of talent, highlighted by all-conference RB Andrew Pierce.
Sept. 29 |
The first meeting between the schools is also part of the Panthers' one and only FCS season, as they transition to FBS and the
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The Tribe ventures to 117-year-old Franklin Field and faces a Penn team that returns 17 starters from a 5-5 squad that tied for second in the
Oct. 13 | at
W&M's first visit to JMU's snazzy, expanded playpen won't make it any easier for a Tribe team that's lost nine of the last 11 in the series. The Dukes always defend (LB Stephon Robertson) and always run the ball (Dae'Quan Scott). They'll be in the playoff hunt again.
Oct. 27 | Maine | 3:30 p.m.
The Black Bears return 15 starters from a team that finished 9-4, tied for second in the CAA and advanced to the FCS final eight. Longtime coach Jack Cosgrove deserves a wheelbarrow filled with krugerrands for annually fielding quality teams at the football outpost of Orono, Maine.
Nov. 3 | at New Hampshire | noon
The Wildcats have the nation's longest current FCS playoff streak — eight consecutive appearances. But UNH coach Sean McDonnell has never beaten the Tribe in nine tries. Weird. The Wildcats feature Buchanan Award winner Matt Evans at LB and a cast of productive offensive players.
Nov. 10 | at
The Tribe is 1-1 against the start-up 'Narchs. W&M fell last year 35-31 in a frustrating affair in which it logged 500 yards and had a 13-minute edge in time of possession. But the Tribe yakked up interceptions on its final two possessions and couldn't get a defensive stop when it needed one.
Nov. 17 | Richmond | 1:30 p.m.
W&M scored the winning touchdown with two seconds remaining to win a competitive, if uneven, season finale 25-23. The Tribe finished with a measure of respect, while the Spiders concluded with eight consecutive losses, prompting them to bring in Danny Rocco as head coach.