Thursday, October 4, 2012
MSU Game Preview
Listen to the MSU audio broadcast
Watch the game on ESPN3
The Mustangs moved up to #13 in the AFCA polls this week, after beating Incarnate Word 34-7. The will be facing the #18 West Alabama Tigers. UWA is 4-1 on the season, with it's sole loss to FCS Samford in week two. The last two weeks resulted in wins over GSC rivals Valdosta State and West Georgia. MSU is now sixth in the nation in rushing offense (300.8 ypg) with 4 of the top 11 rushers in the LSC. Keidrick Jackson leads the way with 105 yards per game, while Chauncey Harris adds 78, Jimmy Pipkin has 52.5 and QB Brandon Kelsy another 41 per game. As a team, MSU is averaging 7 yards per rush, with Harris at an unbelievable 16.7 average per carry. Kelsey is also throwing for 171 ypg, but has an efficiency rating of just 119.95. Jared Freeman is the leading receiver, with 17 catches for 237 yards and one TD. So far, UWA has defended the run well, giving up 114 ypg. Teams have not passed well either, averaging just 141 yards per game and an efficiency rating of only 82.2.
Defensively, MSU is giving up 350 yards per game, 128 rushing and 222 passing. Neiko Conway and Ricardo Roascos each have two interceptions, while Elijah Winston, Vernon Brooks and Hunter Hale have combined for 8.5 of the teams 13 sacks. They will face a Tiger team that runs the ball well (246 ypg), but will be without their leading rusher, Matt Willis who was averaging 110 yards. QB duty is split between Gary Johnston (the runner) and Kyle Caldwell (the passer). When they do pass the ball, it is pretty evenly split, with 4 receivers gaining between 102 and 115 yards through the air.
This should be a close game, with both teams looking to establish their run games and both defenses geared up to force them into throwing the ball more frequently. MSU's superior depth at running back should be the difference. MSU wins a big road game, 35-28.