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Mustangs aim to avoid repeat of upset
While there are a few differences, the scenario heading into tonight’s Midwestern State-Central Oklahoma game is very similar to last year’s contest. The Mustangs again are ranked, have two losses and are right in the middle of the Super Region Four playoff hunt.
However, the 17th ranked MSU squad hopes the similarities end there as the Bronchos won last year’s game and finished the season on a seven-game winning streak, while the Mustangs lost two of their last three games and finished out of the rankings.
ECU preps for winless Southwestern
ADA — Last Saturday’s losses by Abilene Christian and Texas A&M-Kingsville left the Lone Star conference without a single unbeaten team. After Saturday night’s East Central-Southwestern clash in Weatherford, the league will also be down to just one team without a victory this season.
As rare as meetings between 8-0 conference rivals are, “showdowns” between 0-8 teams are probably more uncommon. And while the winner of Saturday’s game will avoid the stigma attached to being the last winless team in the LSC in 2009, the ECU-SWOSU loser will probably miss its last best chance to sidestep a dubious piece of history. The LSC hasn’t had a winless team since 2004 (when Northeastern finished 0-10) and has never had a team finish a season 0-11.
“Southwestern has had a season very similar to ours,” ECU coach Tim McCarty said Thursday. “It should be a good ball game. It’s a huge game, obviously, because it’s the next one,” he said. “Any time we play teams in the North, we consider all the games to be big. They provide different opportunities each week. This week, we feel we can do a couple of things, but we’re still going to have to execute. We feel like we have a chance to take a step forward.”
ACU preview: Wildcats look to bounce back
What’s riding on this game: Both teams are tied with Angelo State and Texas A&M-Kingsville for first-place in the Lone Star Conference — one game ahead of Midwestern State. But the conference champ doesn’t get an automatic bid to the playoffs — only the top six teams in the final NCAA Super Regional Four poll. ACU is No. 4 and the Texans are No. 10. So this might be a must-win game for Tarleton State. ACU is ranked No. 9 in the AFCA Division II national poll, and Tarleton State is No. 11.
ACU, Tarleton look to survive LSC showdown
It’s gut-check time for the Abilene Christian football team. After the Wildcats suffered their first regular-season loss in 17 games — less than a week after rising to No. 1 in the AFCA Division II national poll for the first time in school history, ACU must bounce back on the road against a tough Tarleton State team.
Both teams have one loss in Lone Star Conference play and both are battling to be among the top six in the region to qualify for the D-II playoffs.
“One of my favorite verses is James’ chapter one, verses two through four: ‘Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kind,’” ACU coach Chris Thomsen said. “I told the team: Look at this as a great challenge and a great opportunity to show what you’re made of. When things are going good, that’s easy. But when you lose a game, you get the opportunity to bounce back and show what kind of courage and determination you have. So I’m excited about the opportunity.”
Hounds test No. 14 Texas A&M-Kingsville
As of Friday afternoon, Mark Ribaudo was still hedging on who would be his starting quarterback today.
With Eastern New Mexico University’s football team in southeast Texas to face Lone Star Conference South Division foe Texas A&M-Kingsville tonight, Ribaudo said he wasn’t quite sure if sophomore J.J. Harp, one of four players to sit out last week with a suspension, or Muleshoe freshman Wes Wood would start.
Wood went 41-for-74 for 320 yards in the 30-20 loss to Tarleton State at Greyhound Stadium.
“I haven’t quite made that decision yet,” Ribaudo said. “I want to see how our walkthrough goes later this afternoon.”
The Maroon and White Zone: Two teams on the rebound
Analysis, statistics, strategies, quotes and numbers about tonight's Lone Star Conference game between West Texas A&M (3-5 overall, 2-2 in the LSC South) and Angelo State (6-2, 2-1), 6 p.m., Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.
When the Angelo State University football team takes the opposing quarterback down behind the line of scrimmage — something the Rams have done an NCAA Division II-leading 38 times this season — odds are that the the culprit is Calvin Fance.
The senior defensive end for the Rams has 13 sacks on the season, a number that leads all of Division II. He set an ASU and Lone Star Conference record last week with five quarterback takedowns in a 42-30 victory against Southeastern Oklahoma.
On one of those sacks, it wasn’t clear who got to the quarterback first, so the official scorer gave it to the Houston Jersey Village alum. Fance has been so dominating this season, it is usually more than likely that he was the player responsible for driving the opposing quarterback to the ground.
“I think when they don’t know who to give the sack to, they just give it to Calvin,” ASU head coach Dale Carr said.