Friday, November 13, 2009

LSC Scoop Game Preview - TSU at TAMK NCAA Playoffs

Meanwhile down in South Texas...
It was only 5 weeks ago, but it seems like so much longer. In their first meeting, the Javelinas jumped to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter, only to see Tarleton battle back and tie the game on a 40 yard Garrett Lindholm field goar with just over 9 minutes to play. After stopping TAMK on the ensuing possession, the Texans appeared to be driving for a go ahead score. Instead, the game took a dramatic turn as the Javelinas forced a fumble and scoring the tie-breaking TD four plays later. The next TSU possession resulted in another turnover, and the final TAMK TD one play later.

Tarleton State
The first thing that comes to mind with the Texans is defense. Tarleton was 2nd in the LSC in both scoring (17.2) and total defense (308.5). Teams were held to just 94 rushing yards per game, and 214 through the air. Marcus Phillips (90) and Matt Knicky (88) were the leading tacklers, with Phillips also picking up 10.5 for losses. On the line, Alonzo Horton, Bryant Bray and Ben Taifane combined for 116 tackles with 25 for losses.

The offense did it's part as well, scoring 31.2 points per game and picking up 392 yards. Evan Robertson and Roderick Smith each have rushed for over 700 yards to pace the LSC's 4th ranked rushing game. Scott Grantham has thrown for almost 2,500 yards with 16 TDs and 11 Ints. His favorite targets are Devin Guinn (63 receptions, 947 yards, 7 TDs) and Jahmeel Hobson (46 catches, 799 yards, and 5 TDs).

On special teams, Devin Guinn has averaged 10 yards on punt returns with one TD, while Evan Robertson is the leading kick returner, averaging 26.1 per return. Garrett Lindholm has been solid kicking, hitting 11-14 field goals, including a game-winning 55 yarder against Midwestern State. Kyle Hopf is averaging 39.2 yards per punt, but has had 3 blocked so far.

Texas A&M-Kingsville
On the flip side, the Javelinas are more known for their offense this year. TAMK is third in the LSC in scoring (31.9) and 4th in total offense (426.8 yards). The running game is 2nd in the LSC with 180.5 yards per game, while the passing game is 7th with 246.3. Fred Winborn leads the LSC in rushing with 1,072 yards and also has 13 TDs. Connell Davis has also done well when called on . Billy Garza has been streaky, but still has passed for 2,547 yards with 17 TDs and 10 Ints. Ryan Lincoln is the teams leading receiver (52 catches for 810 yards, 2 TDs), but 3 more wideouts have 33 or more receptions.

Defensively, the Javelinas are 4th in the LSC in scoring (24.9), and total defense (343.0). They are allowing 121 yards rushing and 222 passing. DeIra Glover leads the team in tackles with 82 and has 2 interceptions, both of which he has returned for TDs. Linebacker Jeff Edwards leads the team with 3 interceptions (2 of which were against Tarleton) and also has 6 tackles for losses. DE Matt Romig leads the team in sacks (6) and tackles for loss (11).

Special teams is not an area where TAMK has shone. Jonathon Woodson is the leading kick returner, averaging 20.9 yards per return. E.J. LeBlanc is the top punt returner with an 8.7 yard average. Cody Smith is only averaging 35.4 yards per punt, and Christian Brom is 7-12 on field goal attempts.

This Week's Outlook
Both quarterbacks have been hot and cold this year. That makes it more important for each team to establish their running games. The Javelinas were able to run for 228 yards and 3 TDs the first time around, while Tarleton was held to 112 yards and a single TD. While we don't think the disparity will be that large this time around, the Javs will likely retain the advantage. Couple that with playing at home, and we think TAMK pulls out another tight one, 28-21.

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