Abilene Christian league's only hope for perfect record - Nathan Wright, San Angelo Standard Times
With just four weeks remaining in the regular season (including today), the most intriguing storyline in the Lone Star Conference is whether Abilene Christian can complete its undefeated season and win the LSC South title with a perfect record.
The Wildcats are 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the South with wins over nationally ranked Texas A&M-Kingsville and Midwestern State.
Last week, they manhandled Incarnate Word 54-17. Their remaining schedule includes Eastern New Mexico this week, followed by Angelo State, nationally ranked West Texas A&M and Southwestern Oklahoma.
The Wildcats’ win to stay undefeated wasn’t the only big game in the conference last week. Top 10 teams Texas A&M-Kingsville and West Texas A&M battled to a 4-point victory by the Javelinas to give WTAM its first South Division loss.
Maroon and White Zone - Dave Henry, Amarillo Globe News
1st and goal: Tonight's game is pretty much do-or-die for the Buffs, who still have to face No. 4 Abilene Christian and can't afford another LSC loss. MSU's only loss this season came to ACU, 31-28, on Oct. 9. ACU scored the winning TD with 2:40 to play in a game that was basically even on offense (ACU had 461 yards, MSU 418). "Two years ago at West Texas was just a great atmosphere - probably the closest thing to D-I I'll ever experience," MSU DB P.J. Grundy told the Wichita Falls Times-Record News. "If you have any pride about you, you show up ready for the challenge. Everybody in the secondary is looking forward to it."
Buffs more than just 'next game' - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
Midwestern State head football coach Bill Maskill always says that a particular game is important “because it’s the next game on the schedule.”
But even Maskill admits this evening’s game against No. 17 West Texas A&M has a little bit more significance to it.
“At eight games, every game is important,” he said. “Not because it’s WT, but because of where it is on the schedule. Counting this one we only have four games left in the regular season.
“Then when you add in that it’s West Texas, they’re coming off a loss and we’re both ranked, it just adds to the importance.”
The No. 13 Mustangs (6-1, 2-1) head to Canyon for a 6 p.m. game at Kimbrough Stadium against the West Texas A&M Buffaloes (5-2, 2-1) in this week’s Lone Star Conference South showdown. West Texas A&M is coming off a 28-24 loss at Texas A&M-Kingsville, where the Javs shut the Buffs down in the second half.
Coach speak - Amarillo Globe News
Midwestern State head coach Bill Maskill
Maskill is in his ninth season at MSU, 67-28.
Maskill is the longest tenured coach in the LSC and is 4-4 against WT.
Maskill gave Super Bowl- winning coach/ESPN analyst Jon Gruden his first coaching job at Southeast Missouri State (1988).
"Last year is last year, and everybody has different strengths and weaknesses (MSU beat WT, 31-19, last season). We're still a work in progress. Our running game has been performing well, and we can throw the ball when we need to."
West Texas A&M head coach Don Carthel
Carthel is 56-14 in his sixth WT season and is second in all-time victories.
Carthel is 4-1 against the Mustangs, with three of those wins coming by a combined 10 points.
Carthel is 14-4 against the Lone Star Conference South at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium, but only 8-5 at home against ranked opponents.
"Midwestern looks very good. They only have one loss, and that was a close one against Abilene Christian. The key thing for us is to stop the run and shore up our coverage."
Getting personal with ... Maurice Caldwell - Amarillo Globe News
You're majoring in biotechnology. What exactly is biotechnology? "I have a mix of biology and chemistry classes. You have your microbiology, genetics, organic chemistry, biochemistry ... it is pretty science intensive. When I was a little kid I wanted to be a doctor, but as I grew up I realized I'm not the type of person to stay in school for that long. That wasn't going to work."
So you're going to work in a lab one day? "Could be. I'm going for a criminal justice minor and might try to work in forensic science." You mean like CSI? "Yeah, something like that."
Who's smarter - you or (offensive lineman/biochemistry major) Shaun Wesley? "Shaun. That boy's a genius."
You've played corner and safety. Playing safety you get the chance to make more de-cleating hits don't you? "Yeah, you do. Actually, I went in at corner last game (Oct. 16 at Texas A&M-Kingsville) and had like eight tackles. I don't know if I've had eight tackles all together playing safety. It was a little weird."
If you go - Amarillo Globe News
Kickoff: 6 p.m., Kimbrough Memorial Stadium (20,000 capacity, FieldTurf).
Huddle up: No. 17 West Texas A&M is 5-2 overall, 5-1 in the LSC. No. 13 MSU is 6-1, 5-1.
Forecast: High of 74. Mostly sunny, 10 percent chance of precipitation.
On the air: Radio coverage in the Texas Panhandle will be on KGNC-FM 97.9 with Neil Horn (play-by-play) and Phil Woodall (color commentary). WT home games are not televised.
Internet: Game will be streamed live at www.GoBuffsGo.com.
'Cats wary of 'Hounds who play ACU tough - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
What’s riding on this game: The Wildcats are trying to remain in sole possession of first place in the Lone Star Conference. Midwestern State, Texas A&M-Kingsville and West Texas A&M are each a game back, and ACUalready has beaten all but WT. If ACU continues to remain unbeaten, the Wildcats could likely be ranked No. 1 in the region. The No. 1 team gets a first-round bye in the playoffs and homefield advantage through the region finals. ACU is 20-11 all-time against Eastern New Mexico and has won the last four.
Last week: East Central beat the Greyhounds 22-19 in Ada, Okla., while the Wildcats won their first meeting with Incarnate Word 54-17 in San Antonio.
Scouting Eastern New Mexico: The Greyhounds haven’t found their first season in the Lone Star Conference North Division as easy going as they might have expected, losing to both Southwestern Oklahoma and East Central — teams with a combined three victories. In fact, ENMU has only beaten Texas A&M-Commerce and Central Oklahoma in LSC play, and both those teams have won only two games each.
“Eastern and ACU is always a fight,” ACU coach Chris Thomsen said. “It wouldn’t matter what the records were or which team has had its ups and down. Then on top of that, you’ve got to go there, and it’s a tough place to play. They scare the heck out of you.”
Javelinas looking for complete game against Tarleton State - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller Times
Most football coaches will tell you there are more lessons to be learned following defeat than victory.
However, in Texas A&M-Kingsville’s case, there may be a few morsels from last Saturday’s remarkable win over then-seventh-ranked West Texas A&M that it can utilize as the regular season grinds to a close.
The resiliency with which the Javelinas displayed on offense, defense and special teams in dominating the second half of the 28-24 victory could be a positive impetus for the seventh-ranked team’s final four Lone Star Conference ballgames.
Make that “should” be an impetus.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence now. All we got to do is finish out and let the cards fall in place,” said senior Ryan Lincoln, who set A&M-Kingsville’s career receptions record last week. “You never know what can happen in this conference. Anybody can get beat. So we’ve got to do our part and just win and let the outcome handle itself.”
The 6-1 Javelinas will get to see if the lesson from last week has been absorbed when they travel to Tarleton State for Saturday night’s LSC South Division contest.
And that lesson was?
“That we can be a pretty good football team if we put it all together, and doing it together and everybody doing their jobs, just what the consistency can bring in all phases of the game,” fourth-year A&M-Kingsville coach Bo Atterberry said. “I think we’ve just shown glimpses of what we’re capable of being. We finally put together a full half in the three different phases of the game.”
Standout sophs Benson, Akins have stepped up - Nathan Wright, San Angelo Standard Times
The last month has not gone the way the Angelo State University football team expected it to go.
The Rams have lost four straight games after a 2-0 start; three of those losses, however, have come at the hands of nationally ranked teams.
During the recent tailspin, a couple of players have emerged as playmakers for the Rams, and their continued improvement could lead to a strong finish to ASU’s season and something to build on for next year.
The Rams face Lone Star Conference newcomer Incarnate Word at 6 tonight at San Angelo Stadium.
Sophomore linebacker Austin Benson and sophomore receiver C.J. Akins have contributed heavily to helping ASU stay in its last four losses, none of which has come by more than 14 points.