Head coach Bob Toledo is spending yet another off-season trying to rebuild the Green Wave’s ever struggling defense. To help assist him in his effort, Toledo hired the defensive minded Steve Stanard as defensive coordinator. The hiring of Stanard marks the Green Wave’s third defensive coordinator in three seasons. Stanard has 14 years of experience as a d-coordinator, which includes stints at Colorado State, New Mexico State, South Dakota and Nebraska Wesleyan.
Stanard will take-over a defense that ranked 119th just a season ago, 113th against the run and 106th in scoring. However, many believe that the team has many more problems than just the defense. After all, football is a team game and one-side of the team cannot be the sole reason behind a 2-10 record. Toledo intends on using 2009 to disprove all his critics and show that the Green Wave can be a competitive team.
The defense will return six starters from 2008 along with 21 letter winners that give the team a lot of depth and experience. The most notable of all those returning, is red shirt senior Corey Sonnier, who led the Green Wave defense with 86 tackles during 2008. Sonnier is expected to step into the leadership role and will be an essential component of Stanard’s defensive scheme.
The Green Wave looks quite impressive on the offensive side of the field. Kevin Moore was very remarkable in the quarterback role last season and hopes to continue to turn heads in 2009. Moore completed 56% of his passes and logged 2,194 yards in the air and 8 touchdowns. He will lose his go-to receiver, Brian King, but it looks as if Jeremy Williams should be able to smoothly takeover King’s role. Last year Williams brought down five TD passes.
Toldeo has all the pieces necessary to put together a successful team in the 2009 season. The most important thing the Green Wave must focus on doing is improving their 1-7 conference record from last year. Other than their conference play, they must put up a good showing against the LSU Tigers in order to have any consideration for a bowl game invitation.Prediction: 4-8