Wednesday, August 25, 2010

LSC Roundup 8-25

ABILENE -- Less than two weeks before the 2010 season kicks off, the ACU Wildcats suffered a blow to their offense when the team learned late Tuesday that starting running back Reggie Brown would miss the entire season with a knee injury.

Brown -- who last season rushed for 955 yards and scored seven touchdowns on his way to earning second team all-Lone Star Conference South Division honors -- injured his knee in practice last Wednesday and learned Monday that he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Head athletics trainer Cory Driskill said Brown will rehab the knee until after Labor Day to get the swelling down and regain some range of motion before undergoing season-ending knee surgery sometime shortly after the holiday.

The Wildcats -- ranked No. 7 in the country by the American Football Coaches' Association -- will open the season next Saturday (Sept. 4) at No. 10 Washburn in Topeka, Kan.

"Reggie is a really good player and we'll miss what he does for us on the field," Thomsen said. "But we'll also miss his leadership and what he does for us off the field. We're going to miss everything he provides."

Stepping into his place will be junior Daryl Richardson, who last season led the Wildcats with 961 yards on the ground and was second in the LSC in touchdowns scored (17, 16 on the ground) and points scored (102).

Richardson had three 100-yard games last year, including back-to-back 143-yard efforts in wins over Eastern New Mexico (Sept. 26) and East Central (Oct. 3). He also scored four touchdowns in an Oct. 10 win over Angelo State, and he had four other games with at least 84 yards rushing.

"We're all confident Daryl can step in and do the job," Thomsen said. "We've got a lot of confidence in him and his ability. He's very versatile so we won't change what we want to do offensively. He's had a great camp, and now we need him to carry that over to the season. I'm confident he's going to step up and do a great job."

With Brown out and Richardson moving into the starting role, junior college transfer Josh Morgan will move into the backup role. In two seasons at Pasadena City College, Morgan ran for 1,215 yards and scored seven touchdowns while catching 45 passes for 392 yards and a pair of scores.

"Josh is a quality back, and he had a heckuva junior college career," Thomsen said. "He's going to have to step up and be ready to play."

Thomsen also said redshirt freshman Darrell Cantu-Harkless -- who had moved to slotback this summer -- and freshman Sheldon Catley -- who had been working with the defensive backs -- will see time in the backfield.

ACU gains ranking, loses RB Brown - Abilene Reporter News
Abilene Christian is ranked No. 4 in the country, according to the preseason poll which was released Tuesday.

Defending national champion Northwest Missouri State is ranked No. 1 in the poll, while defending national runner-up Grand Valley State is No. 2. North Alabama is No. 3, and Central Washington is No. 5. Minnesota-Duluth is No. 6, followed by California (Pa.) at No. 7, West Liberty at No. 8, Washburn (Kan.) at No. 9 and Nebraska-Kearney at No. 10.

West Texas A&M, ACU’s rival in the Lone Star Conference, is No. 11. Texas A&M-Kingsville (No. 13), Midwestern State (No. 17) and Tarleton State (No. 18) round out the rest of the LSC teams in the poll.

Success at MSU has created lofty expectations - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
The Midwestern State Mustangs are coming off their 10th straight winning season, with the last eight of them under current head coach Bill Maskill.  They won shares of the conference and division titles in 2009; advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs for the third time; had one of the best scoring defenses in the country; as well as one of, if not the best quarterback in D-II — and he’s coming back for his senior season.

So expectations should be high for the 2010 season, right?

Maskill will concede that his 19th-ranked Mustangs should be good again, but he cautions that a lot must happen first if they want to repeat and then add to the success they had in 2009.  Mainly, they need to grow up — the faster, the better.

“We’re going to have to grow,” said Maskill, who is 61-27 in his eight seasons at MSU. “We have a lot of inexperience. In order for us to be a good football team, the defense is going to have to mature and develop quickly. Offensively we have guys who have played. They’ve been in games and understand the atmosphere and what it takes to play on this level.”

MSU quarterback Eskridge finds his game - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
The way Zack Eskridge figures it, this will be his fourth season playing football.

No, not the Rowlett senior’s fourth year playing college football. His fourth season, period.

While that might not warrant loads of optimism from the casual observer, any Mustangs’ fan who saw him play last year will be happy if he has a repeat performance in 2010 for Midwestern State.

That’s because Eskridge set six season passing marks for the Mustangs and moved his name closer to the top in several other career categories as he helped the Mustangs pick up a share of the conference and division titles, as well as making the NCAA Division II playoffs for the third time in school history.

That was good enough to get him sixth in the final voting for the Harlon Hill Award. A repeat performance might get him the award as well as a spot in the 2011 NFL draft.

Not bad for a quarterback whose passing totals as a junior in high school — 205 yards — wouldn’t even be a good game for him now.

“I pretty much blocked all my high school career out of my memory before my senior year because it wasn’t very quarterback friendly,” Eskridge said. “I just didn’t really have the coaches that knew how to use personnel very well. But then the spring after my junior year — that’s when Scott Smith came in. They put in the spread and everything. We learned it pretty quick and I was able to have a good senior season. The rest is kind of history.”

LSC Fall Sports Preview Series: West Texas A&M - Nick Eatman, LSC Office
RICHARDSON, Texas – This is the 13th of a 16-part series, analyzing the fall sports of each school in the Lone Star Conference. Today will feature the West Texas A&M.


After starting the season 1-5, any form of the post-season seemed rather unrealistic for the Buffaloes. But thanks to a five-game winning streak to end the regular season, West Texas A&M advanced to the inaugural Kanza Bowl in Topeka, Kansas, and continued its hot streak, beating Nebraska-Omaha.

“We just got hot at the right time,” said Buffaloes head coach Don Carthel, who enters is sixth season at WT. “I think a lot of things just came together for us. We got healthy and we started playing better. It was a fun experience for us.”

But it’s also an experience – especially the bowl game – that Carthel doesn’t really want to repeat. Instead, he’s hoping the Buffaloes can return to the Division II playoffs where the school had been the previous four years before last year’s absence. To return to the playoffs, senior quarterback Taylor Harris will be the key. Harris enters the season as the school’s sixth-leading passer. Last year, Harris passed for 3,738 yards with 22 touchdowns, including a 536-yard passing game against Tarleton State. Senior running back Kelvin Thompson takes over the departed Keithon Flemming, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason. Thompson rushed for 529 yards and six touchdowns as a junior. Receiver should be an area of strength with the return of Stephen Burton and Brittan Golden. Burton had 62 catches for 888 yards last year and Golden caught 46 balls for 946 yards. Three starters return on the offensive line, including left tackle Shaun Wesley and left guard Isaiah Lewis.

Defensively the Buffs should be strong again. Defensive end Bryan Braman earned All-LSC first-teams honors last year, recording a team-high 16 ½ tackles for loss. Linebackers Anthony Scott and Kyle Voss should handle the inside of the defense. The secondary will be helped by first-team All-LSC cornerback Tae Evans, who had 72 tackles and three interceptions in 2009. Safeties Jordan Smith and Curtis Slater should anchor the backside of the defense as well.

On top of an already-difficult LSC schedule in the South Division, the Buffs open the season Sept. 2 at perennial power Grand Valley State in a nationally televised game on CBS College Sports.

Gerlich Announces 2010-11 Lady Buff Basketball Schedule - WTAM Sports Information

2010-11 Lady Buffs Basketball Schedule
Canyon, Texas – West Texas A&M head women’s basketball coach Krista Gerlich announced the details of her team’s 2010-11 basketball schedule on Tuesday, which includes the Lady Buffs hosting 11 homes contests and a tournament in San Antonio to begin the season.

WTAMU will face a very challenging non-conference schedule as the Lady Buffs will go head-to-head with four teams that ended the 2009-10 campaign ranked in the NCAA Division II Coaches Poll Top 25 poll, including three teams that finished inside the top 10. In addition, the Lady Buffs will also take on eight teams which saw action in the 2010 postseason, including national runner-up Fort Lewis and Elite Eight qualifier Arkansas Tech.

“We are very excited about the level of competition that this year’s schedule provides for us,” Gerlich said. “Every game we play will be an extremely tough challenge for us and hopefully it will prepare us for post-season play.”

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Lone Star Conference

Angelo State University

Cameron University

Eastern New Mexico University

Texas A&M-Commerce

Tarleton State University

Texas A&M-Kingsville

Texas Woman's College

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

West Texas A&M University

Western New Mexico