No question that stat has to improve in 2008 (can't get much worse, right?). Here are five reasons we believe it will.
1. A giant step up the learning curve with Jimbo's offense. This translates into, among other things, fewer missed assignments. Last year you could almost guarantee one or more players would be out of position -- or just clueless -- on practically every play.
2. More playmakers. Opponents will have more than Preston Parker to worry about this year. Guys like Bert Reed, Tavares Pressley, Brandon Paul, Corey Surrency, Taiwan Easterling, and Jarmon Fortson should keep defensive coordinators working late into the night.
3. Stronger discipline. It's clear coaches won't tolerate unprepared players. Knowing the playbook and your assignments will be as important as talent. Don't expect to see a QB calling plays that the other ten guys in the huddle don't recognize, as happened in last years Wake game.
4. Better conditioning. Todd Stroud has had more than a year to mold a stronger, faster team with greater endurance.
5. "The offensive line is better than I thought it would be." That sounds pretty scary when spoken by most OL coaches. From Rick Trickett, it's reason to feel (guardedly) optimistic about '08 and even better for beyond.