At the RB position there is still plenty to work with. Both Pendergrass and Josh Adams are still there, Tommy Bohanon has a ton of strength at FB and there are talented true freshmen waiting in the wings if they end up being needed in a pinch to shed their redshirt. But they will need the offensive line, which struggled at times last season, to step up and play big.
Defensively, there are a lot of pieces--lots of speed and strength, but the size up front is a lot smaller than last season. The youth will be a factor here as we saw last season, but hopefully the big minutes these guys played a year ago will lead to some leaders being found and some big plays. Guys need to take the reigns though, plain and simple, which was something that didn't happen last year. These things have a way of shaking out.
It isn't a question of if the Deacs will be good again; it's a question of when. This season will have its big moments and its headaches, but as long as the team improves overall, the future is bright. The team may win 5 games, but it will be important to take away the positives and the building blocks. It will be exciting to see where these players go from here.