Briefs: Mesa State pregame Aug. 29, 2009

Central Washington University has been one of the top offensive teams in NCAA Division II football the past few seasons.

The Wildcats, like Mesa State have several new faces on offense and both teams have a veteran group back on defense.

Central Washington, ranked No. 14 in the American Football Coaches Association and the preseason polls, plays Mesa State at 7 tonight at Stocker Stadium.

Both teams are starting a redshirt freshman at quarterback, Robert Felberg for Mesa State and Ryan Robertson for Central Washington. Robertson is backed up by senior transfer Cole Morgan.

Here are five things to watch for in tonight’s game:

1) Pressure: Expect both teams to blitz, pressuring the young quarterbacks to make throws before they are ready.

2) Veteran receivers: The young QB’s will look to an experienced group of receivers, including Central Washington’s All-American Johnny Spevak.

3) Running game: The Mavs can make the QBs first college game a little smoother if they can run the ball effectively, but Central Washington’s run defense is tough with two Division I transfer linebackers.

4) Protection: Mesa’s young offensive line will need to keep its redshirt freshman quarterback standing up.

5) Turnovers: The Mavericks turned the ball over early in the teams’ first meeting last year, causing them to fall behind in the Wildcats’ 48-14 victory in Ellensburg, Wash.


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