Thursday, October 2, 2008

Game Notes and Picks 10-4

ECU over NSU 55-49 in OT (our prediction ECU 17-14) - big deal we missed the points by just a little, at least we got the outcome right
UCO over TAMC 21-13 (28-17 TAMC) - starting to see improvements in Bronchos
NW (LA) over SOSU 63-12 (35-14) - Demons scored passing, rushing, on defense and two different ways on special teams
TSU over SWO 24-21 (35-14) - Soooooo close to the biggest upset of the year
ACU over ENMU 56-11 (45-10) - followed the script
MSU over ASU 17-3 (17-14) - we didn't think there would be an offensive explosion
WTAM over TAMK 55-35 (35-28) - Javs had no answer for Null/Martin

For the week 6-1, for the year 34-4


#8 Central Oklahoma (1-4) at Southwest Baptist (3-2)
The Bronchos got their first win last week, upsetting LSC North preseason favorite Texas A&M-Commerce 21-13. The 21 points was a season high, and the 13 points allowed was a season low, while the 172 yds allowed were more than 200 fewer than their next best game. Ryan Gallimore had 3 catches for 94 yds and a TD to spark the offense. But the defense was the story - picking off three passes, returning one for a TD, sacking Trent Miller three times and amassing 16 tackles for losses.

SBU Game Notes
Southwest Baptist comes into the game with a 3-2 record, defeating NAIA Bethany, D2 Harding, and D2 Kentucky Wesleyan, while losing to FCS Southeast Missouri and D2 Northwest Missouri (63-28). The Bearcats average 43 pts and 513 yds in offense, 203 rushing and 310 passing. Jeff Finnell is the leading rusher with 423 yds (85 per game) and 6 tds, while freshman Deandre Brown (Cedar Hill, TX) and Soph QB Steven Gachette also average over 50 yds per game. Gachette has also thrown for 1,463 yds with 13 TDs and only 6 Ints, completing over 62% of his passes. Johnnie King is the leading receiver with 42 catches for 524 yds and 3 TDs. Defensively, the Bearcats have allowed 422 yds per game - 132 yds rushing and 290 passing.

The Bronchos get a bit of a break from their tough opening schedule, but with the Bearcats offense putting up big numbers, it is far from an easy game. UCO's offense still has not gotten into gear, but has benefitted at times from defense that has forced turnovers. With the confidence gained from their first win, look for the offense to set season highs in yards and points as the Bronchos make it two in a row. 28-24 UCO

#9 Texas A&M Commerce (2-3) at #13 Northeastern Oklahoma (0-5)
What a letdown for the Lions. A week after a solid win over Eastern New Mexico in which the Lions offense set season highs in points and yards, the wheels came off. Trent Miller, subbing for an ill Terry Mayo, completed only 19 of 41 passes for just 108 yds, with 1 TD and 3 Ints, one of which was returned for a TD. The running game was stymied as well, limited to just 64 yds. The defense turned in a solid perfomance, holding UCO to 231 yds, forcing a fumble and 3 Ints, one of which was returned for a TD (the other TAMC TD came after another Int).

The Riverhawks were involved in a very different kind of game last weekend, losing to East Central 55-49 in overtime. The two teams combined for 1,076 yds, with Northeastern State easily surpassing their previous season bests. Kaelin Woods threw for 425 yds and 5 TDs, while 3 WR's had over 100 yds receiving. Not to be outdone, Prince McKinney rushed for 114 yds and 2 TDs. The Riverhawks tied the game as the regulation horn sounded on a 9 yard pass to Jarrett Byers. The game ended in an appropriate manner (relative to the game) as ECU's Charlie Burks blocked John Horner's FG attempt, and ECU returned it for the game winning TD.

Things should return to normal, or at least something closer to normal, this weekend. NSU's offense will struggle and TAMC's will sputter a bit as well. But the Lions will hit for some big plays and get back on track for the LSC North title. 27-17 TAMC

#12 East Central (1-4) at #1 Abilene Christian (4-0)
East Central has been able to move the ball pretty well most of the season. They have had trouble putting it into the end zone, however. Last week no problems anywhere when the Tigers had the ball - season high in yards, and they almost equaled their point production from the first four weeks combined. The bad news? The ECU defense allowed a season high 537 yards to NSU. NSU? To be fair, the defense did come up with a couple of big plays, and did stop NSU in OT, setting up their special teams unit for the blocked FG that was returned for the game winning TD.

For ACU, it was once again same song, slightly different verse. Eastern New Mexico was the victim this time, 56-11. The stars on offense again put up really good numbers and then get to rest. The defense scores again - this time Aston Whiteside and Casey Carr each returned fumbles for short TDs. The Wildcat defense also had 16 tackles for losses and 5 sacks and 4 turnovers forced.

The script for this game is written and goes something like this - ACU scores early and often, ECU moves the ball okay, but makes a few mistakes to kill drives. The ACU defense scores a TD, and Scott and Malone get to relax for at least the last 15 minutes, probably more. 63-17 ACU

#11 Eastern New Mexico (1-4) at #6 Angelo State (2-3)
The transition continues...True freshman JJ Harp threw for 199 yards on 36-61 passing, while fellow freshman Darian Dale was on the receiving end of 7 passes for 72 yards. Still not much of a running game, but a little better as Joseph Banyard did gain 55 yds on 10 carries, his second straight 50 yd game. The defense did have a rough day (who doesn't against ACU?) allowing 450 yds on just 53 plays (8.5 per play). For the season, the Greyhounds find themselves near the bottom of the LSC in yardage and points for both offense and defense.

ASU Game Notes
The Rams saw a great defensive effort go to waste, as the offense was unable to do much against the Midwestern State defense. The Rams D did not allow a drive longer than 39 yards on the night, and the three MSU scores were resulted because of turnovers (FG three plays after a fumble, a fumble return for TD) and special teams (TD pass on play after 65 yd punt return). Daniel Thomas had a pretty good game rushing, and Will Metzger was 11-16 passing, but they combined for three fumbles. For the season, the defense is third in both scoring and yards allowed, but the offense is ninth in scoring and eighth in yards gained.

The Rams like to run the ball, averaging almost 37 rushing attempts per game. ENMU's run defense has been okay, giving up 120 yds per game, but only 3 yds per attempt. Their pass defense is last in the LSC, giving up whopping 304 yards per game, so maybe ASU will open it up a bit. The Rams defense should be well equipped to handle the Greyhound offense, but will be on the field for more plays than they might be used to. 24-14 ASU

#7 Southwestern Oklahoma (1-4) at #10 Southeastern Oklahoma (1-4)
What a difference one play can make. Instead of upsetting #19 and undefeated Tarleton State (and holding them to 279 yds of offense), the Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker 24-21 as Scott Grantham and Eric Foreman connected on a 64 miracle pass play with 13 seconds remaining on the clock. Steve Day connected on 27 of 45 passes for 229 yds and 3 TDs, but did have 2 Ints, the second of which led to a Tarleton FG. Luke Lundy and Ovie Esalomi combined for 116 yards rushing, while Joe Sawyer and Johnathan Haggerty teamed up for 12 catches totalling 153 yds and each with a TD. Fred Leak led the defense with 13 tackles.

The Savage Storm stepped up a class against Northwestern State (LA) and were outclassed as the Demons outscored them 63-12. The Demons scored just about every way possible - 5 rushing TDs, a passing TD, a kickoff return, a blocked punt and an interception return. SOSU was not able to generate much offense (221 yds) but two big Jerome Hewitt kickoff returns (65 and 76 yds) set up short scoring drives, with Daniel Nichols catching both TD passes.

In the preseason, this looked like a very important matchup of teams picked for the second and third slots in the LSC North. That is still within reach, but with twin 1-4 records, the luster has been dulled a bit. That doesn't mean that it can't be an entertaining game (look at the ECU-NSU scorefest). Both teams have played tough schedules, but SWO, though more erratic, played WT and Tarleton pretty tough. 24-21 SWO

Game of the Week - Honorable Mention
#5 Texas A&M-Kingsville (3-2) at #3 Tarleton State (5-0)
TAMK Game Notes
The Javelinas faced their first big LSC test last weekend, and showed that they are improved, but still have a ways to go before they can reclaim their former status. Things started out well enough, with TAMK taking a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter. The next 20 and a half minutes were a Buffalo blitz, as TAMK was outscored 38-0, and outgained 364 to 21. The Javelinas did not give up, capitalizing on several big kick returns and had a chance to pull within six, as they had the ball on the WT 28 yard line with just over 3 minutes left in the game, but an Int returned for a TD sealed the game for WT.

Meanwhile, Tarleton narrowly escaped a major upset in Weatherford. It took two long TDs to avoid catastrophe - the first a 54 yd TD run by Roderick Smith, and the second a 64 yd TD pass from Grantham to Foreman with under 25 seconds to play. The Texans had to overcome 5 turnovers, poor passing from the QBs (8-24 with 4 Ints) and had to stop SWO on 4th and 1 on the Tarleton 36 with under a minute to play. The defense gave up 380 yards, but was on the field for 88 plays and got the game saving stop. The Texans now find themselves at #13 in the latest AFCA poll.

While Tarleton is undefeated and nationally ranked and Texas A&M Kingsville is improved, there are still skeptics out there. Tarleton likes to run the ball and are good at it (228 yds per game), while TAMK leads the LSC in stopping the run (56 yds per game). The TAMK defense has given up a lot of yards through the air, so maybe Grantham will get a chance to air it out some. On the other side, the TAMK offense (44o yds per game) will be facing the LSC's best defense so far (225 yds per game). Both teams have been helped out by the punt/kick return game as well. Looks pretty even, so we'll take the ranked team at home. 35-27 TSU

Game of the Year #2
#4 Midwestern State (4-0) at #2 West Texas A&M (5-0)
(check back tomorrow)


Anonymous said...

Game of the week - what a joke. WT takes this one by 30+. MSU has become a legacy pick kinda like KV was last week.

Folks gotta learn to forget the past.

Anonymous said...

Here's a joke - the arrogance of fans from a school that has won a grand total of two playoff games, and has yet to even play in a regional final. and will flame out early this year AGAIN.

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