Thursday, November 1, 2007

Game of the Night

Not an LSC game, not even a SW region ballgame, but an interesting game for a couple of reasons. West Texas A&M defeated South Dakota in their season opener, while Northwest Missouri fell to Nebraska-Omaha in their first game. More importantly, both teams are currently ranked in the top 6 of the NW region, UNO at number one (followed by Grand Valley at #2) and USD barely holding on at 6 (with North Dakota on the schedule for next week). The rotating regional matchups has the NW region winner meeting the SW region winner in the national semifinals, so a UNO win gives them a good shot at the #1 seed at the end of the season, while USD cannot afford another

A strong case could be made for South Dakota having the toughest schedule in all of D2 this year. Road trips to #5 WTAM (9-0), IAA (#5 nationally) McNeese St (8-0), #14 Central Washington (7-1), #2 Nebraska-Omaha (8-0), and home games with #25 Winona St (8-1) and #6 North Dakota (7-1). The Coyotes lost all 3 of those tough road games. The Mavs schedule hasn't been a cakewalk either, hosting NW Missouri and playing at North Dakota so far, with a road trip to Central Washington to follow this week's matchup.

Both teams score about 34 points a game, but UNO's defense has allowed just 16 points per game, while USD gives up almost 26. They are #1 and #2 in the NCC in rushing offense, UNO with 288 yds per game, and USD with 271. USD is more prolific through the air with 247 yds per game and 19 TDs, while UNO gets 173 yds per game and only has 9 TDs passing for the season. Rushing defense is good for both teams - USD leads the NCC at 106 yds per game, while UNO is right behind at 113. The Coyotes have given up 13 rushing TDs to only 3 for the Mavs. Pass D has been a loose for both teams - UNO allowing 250 yds per game, while USD gives up 267. Turnovers, as always in big games could be key, and UNO is a plus 9 in turnover margin, while USD is a minus 3. If either team can establish the run, they should have the advantage tonight. Could be a great game.

If you have Dish Network, the game is on channel 152.
If you have DirecTV, the game is on channel 610.
Otherwise, check your local cable provider.

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