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Goodwell, Okla.—Student athletes and coaches from all ten NCAA Division II sports at Panhandle State gathered Wednesday evening, in the Oscar Williams Field House, for a meeting called by University President Dr. Tim Faltyn, Athletic Director and Head Coaches.
The purpose of the meeting was to inform the athletes upcoming changes within the OPSU athletic department and to inform the student-athletes, first and foremost, about the process and reasons behind the proposed changes. Since taking over as the president on June 1 Dr. Faltyn has made the future of Aggie Athletics one of his top priorities, meeting with the head coaches and administration no less than a dozen times in the first couple of months. "Our focus has been the best way to create a culture of consistent growth and success among all of Panhandle's athletic programs" Faltyn said.
After months of discussion and thorough research of other institutions, a unanimous decision was made to shift all current NCAA DII programs into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Three main factors were considered as driving forces in reaching this conclusion: student experience, economics and competitiveness. Faltyn shared each of these with the student athletes during his address and stressed that his main goal, as well as that of the coaches, was to put Panhandle State athletics in a position where each sport is able to compete at a championship level and achieve post-season status.
Rams third-stringer Cook likely to start at QB - Charles Bryce, San Angelo Standard Times
Jones looks to future after milestone TD catch - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
Vaughn helping pave the way to big yards at WT - Coy Slavik, Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Whittens Todd, Tate team up at Tarleton - Rebecca Hernandez, The Flash Today
WT's DuPree juggles many responsibilities - Kale Steed, Amarillo Globe News
Three keys for Tarleton against UTPB - Brad Keith, The Flash Today
Mustangs challenge Midwestern State - C. P. Thompson, Silver City Sun-News
Carrigan names Coots starting QB - Joshua Perry, Odessa American
Frustration tempers excitement for TAMK football team - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Throw out the records when WT, ENMU square off - Kale Steed, Amarillo Globe News
Game Day Media
#6 Texas A&M-Commerce at Oklahoma Panhandle State - 1:00
TAMC Game Notes OPSU Game Notes
Richard Cooper picked the perfect time to have his breakout game for this season. The senior rushed for 224 yards and 2 TDs on 19 carries and was the only consistent offensive weapon for TAMC as they held on for a 38-36 win over long-time rival Texas A&M Kingsville. He is now #5 on the Lions all-time rushing list, an with a strong finish could find himself in third place. And did the Aggies raise some eyebrows when they took a 24-21 over Midwestern State last Sunday? They must have caught the Mustang's attention, as MSU outscored OPSU 21-0 the rest of the way. Shane Truelove threw for 282 yards and 2 TDs, but also had 3 picks.
#10 Midwestern State at Western New Mexico - 1:30
MSU Game Notes WNMU Game Notes
Without looking, name the leading receiver in the LSC. Xavier Ayers? That's right, Xavier Ayers. The senior is coming on strong and has 22 catches for 391 yards and 5 TDs. Getting the ball to him is UTEP transfer Javia Hall, who has 8 TD passes the past two weeks and 10 for the season. The duo led WNMU to the "LSC Newcomer" title with wins over OPSU and a 67-18 demolishing of UTPB. They come back to reality against nationally ranked MSU Midwestern State has overcome second half deficits in both of their LSC wins. Last week's was a bit puzzling, at home against an OPSU team still trying to find its way in the LSC. But they woke up in time, rallying to score the final 21 points and put the Aggies away 42-24. Despite not exploding in any one game this year, MSU is scoring 35 points per game and is second at 450 yards.
Angelo State at Texas A&M-Kingsville - 7:00
ASU Game Notes TAMK Game Notes
The Rams and Javelinas have played some great games in their history, some when both were at the top of the LSC, or more recently with one team up and the other struggling. That appears to be the case again this year, with the Javelinas on the rise, and the Rams rebuilding. A year after leading the LSC with 42.5 points and 560 yards offensively, ASU sits last with 21.3 pts and 319 yards. Carsen Cook is rumored to get the start this week, and while his numbers are not impressive, he has had some success in moving the team downfield. The Javelinas come into the game on a two-game skid, dropping games to nationally ranked Midwestern State and Texas A&M-Commerce, each by two points, with the outcomes undecided until the clock read 0:00. They are outscoring opponents 41-25 and lead the LSC in yards by the offense (460) and defense (289).
UT Permian Basin at Tarleton State - 7:00
UTPB Game Notes TSU Game Notes
Reality has set in, and the two non D2 season opening wins are but a distant memory. The Falcons closed out a four game homestand, getting blown out by Western New Mexico 68-17. Brandon Infiesto remains one of the bright spots, averaging 86 yards per game and 5.4 per carry. They will make their first road trip to Stephenville, where Tarleton State is still trying to find out just how much improved they are compared to last year. After falling behind early by a couple of touchdowns, the Texans battle WT to a standstill and were within one score with 5 minutes to play. The defense has improved drastically, allowing just 26.5 points per game despite giving up 455 yards. Zed Woerner is having a good year at QB, (8-1 TD-Int ratio) as is WR Bubba Tandy 21-381 5 Tds.
West Texas A&M at Eastern New Mexico - 8:00
WTAM Game Notes ENMU Game Notes
The Buffs are making believers of us, winning three straight after dropping their season opener in a lackluster effort at Azusa Pacific. They boast the top scoring defense in the LSC and second best in yards allowed. The offense finds itself in the middle of the pack, 5th in scoring and 6th in yardage. However, Ethan Brinkley leads the LSC with 285 yards passing yards per game. They Greyhounds continue to do what everyone expected them to do - run, run, run the ball and run it well, averaging almost 350 yards on the ground, and more than 150 yards ahead of MSU. The passing game has been even more limited than expected, just 77 yards per game. Aaron Johnson has caught almost 2/3 of the completed passes. Seems simple enough, stop the run game and cover Johnson and you shut down ENMU. Easier said than done. Easier said than done.
LSC Scoop Expert Panel Pickems
J. Scott Russell
Journalist with the Times Record News
LSC columnist for D2football.com
Charles BryceJournalist for the San Angelo Standard-Times
KAUZ Sports Director
TAMUC at OPSU: Aggies hung tough against MSU, and Commerce is coming off a tough game with Kingsville, but I think the Lions bounce back and get the win, probably by a few scores. MSU at WNMU: Can I predict the Mustangs win? No? Well then, MSU will fall behind at some point in the second half (it's the law, I think), then come back to win by about 15-20. Angelo St. at TAMUK: Kingsville has played MSU and Commerce extremely tough the past 2 weeks. They'll get rewarded this week with a win over suddenly-struggling ASU. UTPB at Tarleton: UTPB is coming off a couple blowout losses. I think Tarleton gets the offense going again and wins relatively easily at home. WTAMU at ENMU: A wild WT win last year snapped ENMU's 2-year Wagon Wheel win streak. I think WT makes it 2 in a row this time, but won't be surprised if it's another close game. Mesa at CSUP: Pueblo whipped Mesa last year, but both teams look a lot different this year. I'll take the Mavs to stay unbeaten. SW Baptist vs McKendree: Baptist already has wins over ENMU and Tarleton, who are both proving to be better than Angelo, who McKendree beat. I guess that's enough for me to take the Bearcats, close. Indy vs Truman: Truman hung with MSU and is unbeaten since then. I'll take the Bulldogs to keep rolling. Wayne St. vs Hillsdale: Wayne St's point differential (+71 vs Hillsdale's +28) definitely jumps out, but against the only common opponent, Tiffin, the scores were fairly similar. But Wayne St. has the best win, by 11 at Ashland, and they're at home so I guess I'll take the Warriors. Bonus (fewest yards allowed): Angelo has been struggling mightily on offense, and Kingsville's defense has been good, shutting down MSU for 3 quarters, so I'll take the Hoggies' defense.
The Lions will put last weeks stuggle behind them and take care of the Aggies. TAMC 42-14
Since Adam stole my line, I'll say that the Mustangs lose. Javia Hall won't have the same success that he has the last two weeks, and MSU won't wait until the second half to kick it into gear. Hard to believe WNMU picked this for homecoming. MSU 38-21
Rams and Javelinas at a crossroads. Javelinas will try to get the bad taste of the last two weeks our of their mouth. TAMK 38-14
This might have been an interesting game last year. Tarleton is better than last year, though. Texans 35-21
Wagon Wheel games have made prognosticators look silly in years past, but I'm going to go ahead and give it a shot. WT 28-24
The RMAC is looking wild and wooly right now and looking at their scoreboard on game day can make you do a double take. I'll take CSUP in an upset.
I'll take the Bearcats. But which Bearcats? SBU is having their best season in a long time, while McKendree was in a similar position last year. I'll take SBU with their big play QB SBU 35-31
Truman State is 3-1, while Indy is just 1-3. The Greyhounds have played a tougher schedule and have been the GLVC leader in recent years. UIndy 35-28
The loser of this game will have two losses and pretty much be out of playoff contention (both still have Ferris State and Grand Valley later in the season). Hillsdale lost to Tiffin a couple of weeks ago, and Wayne State beat them the following week. That's about all I have to go on, so Wayne State 28-21
Bonus question - unless Kyle Washington suits up for the Rams, the Javelinas should be able to keep the ASU offense contained