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It's a new day at UCA

Remember me?

Posted: August 29, 2014 - 11:20pm  |  Updated: August 30, 2014 - 12:11am
Central Arkansas' Jonathan Woodard is one of the top defensive ends in the FCS ranks. (AP Photo)  Rogelio Solis
Rogelio Solis
Central Arkansas' Jonathan Woodard is one of the top defensive ends in the FCS ranks. (AP Photo)
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The Steve Campbell era starts Saturday at Central Arkansas, and the Bears can only hope their new coach fares as well in his new gig as he did at his old one.

Campbell’s coming off 10 seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, during which time he won 126 games and the NJCAA championship in 2007.

Campbell got used to working with future major-college and NFL players during his decade at Mississippi Gulf Coast.

He walks into a reasonably promising situation at Central Arkansas, inheriting a team that went 7-5 last season, despite suffering some major injuries to key personnel.

The Bears return two quarterbacks — Arkansas transfer Taylor Reed and Ryan Howard — who took over after all-Southland Conference QB Wynrick Smothers suffered a season-ending injury in week six. Howard and Reed threw for 2,300-plus yards and 23 touchdowns and have back six receivers who caught at least 35 passes.

The Bears have some tradition as the winningest team in Arkansas (102-51) since 2001.

Like Texas Tech, Central Arkansas went out with a bang in 2013, blasting No. 9 Sam Houston State 49-31 in its finale.

Remember me?

Tower of power

Slippery characters

Not pushovers

Central Arkansas fullback-tight end Joe Carmical started his career at Texas Tech as a 2010 signee with Tommy Tuberville. Now a senior, Carmical’s been a jack of all trades for the Bears, playing offense and defense.

Central Arkansas DE Jonathan Woodard is an FCS preseason all-American and one of 20 on the watch list for the Buck Buchanan Award that goes to the nation’s top FCS defensive player. He looks the part at 6-foot-6 and 271 pounds.

The Bears’ Jatavious Wilson and Dillion Winfrey averaged 30.6 and 32.1 yards per kickoff return last season. Wilson returned two for touchdowns, and Winfrey had an 88-yard runback.

Central Arkansas stayed within 38-24 against Colorado last year and lost its 2012 opener 49-27 against Ole Miss.

— Compiled by Don Williams

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