Thursday, November 8, 2012

Game Previews and Predictions - Week 11

Where did the time go?  It seems like just last week was the middle of June and the season would never get here.  Instead, we are upon the final week of the regular season, and the last game of the year for at least five teams.  There is still the possibility of two LSC teams making the playoffs, one to the Kanza Bowl, and maybe one more to the ????? (we'll save that one until we can confirm)


Milestones
Mitchell Gale - can he catch Billy Malone?  he is currently 311 yards behind Malone on the all-time LSC passing yardage chart.
Wes Wood - has 7,695 career passing yards, needs 149 more to move up 4 spots and pass ASU's Ned Cox for #11on the LSC career chart
Nate Poppell - 4th in the TAMK record book, needs 109 to pass Billy Garza for 3rd all-time.
Keidrick Jackson - can move into third on the MSU single season chart wtih 25 rushing yards, he is 212 yards behind Dominic Rhodes for the single season school record
Taylor Gabriel - 36 yards shy of 2,000 career receiving yards
Sherman Batiste - 131 receiving yards shy of 2,000



West Georgia at Midwestern State
Expectations were high for West Georgia coming into the season.  The Wolves were coming off of a 6-4 season in which the defeated Valdosta State and Delta State (the national championship runner-up).  Instead they are 3-6, including a 52-28 loss to West Texas A&M two weeks ago.  More telling, the lost at home to Shorter University, a first year D2 program.

Midwestern State will want to keep the momentum they have from last week's hard fought win over West Texas A&M and not repeat last year's near-miss against Northeastern State.  The Mustangs should get up big early and let some reserves get some playing time.  MSU 42-21


West Texas A&M at Texas A&M Commerce
You'd have to excuse the Buffs if they are still a bit in shock over last week's game.  Khiry Robinson's TD reception with under 3 minutes to go gave WT a ten point lead, and the defense had held MSU in check for most of the second half.  But a quick MSU scoring drive and a bad snap turned the game around and put WT's playoff hopes on thin ice.

On the other extreme, Texas A&M-Commerce and Eastern New Mexico were locked into a game that generated about half of the yardage of the WT-MSU game and just 10 points.  The teams combined for just 3 drives of more than 35 yards.  One of those almost won the game for the Lions as they marched 68 yards down to the ENMU 12 yard line, before they finally ran out of gas, continuing a frustrating three stretch, in which their 3 losses were by a total of 12 points.

Commerce is playing for pride, while WT is still shooting for the playoffs.  That doesn't bode well for the Lions.  WTAM 49-14.


Abilene Christian at Incarnate Word
The final LSC matchup for these two, but not the final conference game, as both are headed to the Southland Conference after this year.  ACU is not having the year they are have become used to, having lost as many conference games this year as the last four years combined and, more importantly, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2005.  The are coming off of their biggest win of the season, knocking off #13 West Alabama in overtime.

Incarnate Word expected to be better than 2-8 at this point, with their wins coming over NAIA doormat Texas College and Texas A&M-Commerce.  They are more competitive this fall, playing WTAM and MSU as well as just about anyone, but it has failed to translate into more wins.

Look for ACU to throw the ball a bunch, as Mitchell Gales needs 312 passing yards to take over the all-time passing yards top spot from former ACU legend Billy Malone.  Wildcats close out their LSC tenure in style, with a 38-17 win.


Eastern New Mexico at Texas A&M-Kingsville
The Greyhounds may be just 3-6, but with a new coaching staff and new schemes on both sides of the ball, that isn't all that bad. They have beaten the teams should have been competitive with, and played several others tough for a while, before bowing out.  They are running the ball well and controlling the clock, but the defense still needs to improve a lot before they will be a contender.

The Javelinas are coming off of a solid performance at Valdosta State, overcoming a short week and long travel to battle the Blazers down to the wire.  With the game tied, TAMK had a chance to take the lead, but turned the ball back over on a failed fourth down attempt, and dropped one they could have had.  It was the third loss by one score this year.

No playoff implications here, but the Javelinas might have a chance at a bowl game invitation if they win and things fall into place.  Also the Greyhounds have never won at Javelina Stadium.  It won't be easy, but TAMK should win 35-21.


Angelo State at Tarleton State - Game of the Week
Angelo State bounced back from a tough road loss, to knock off Incarnate Word 38-21.  Redshirt freshman Kyle Washington replaced Michael Cochran early in the game and was very impressive, completing 12-16 passes for 189 yards and 3 TDs.  He was at his best early in the fourth quarter.  UIW had pulled to with 21-14, but ASU scored TDs on their next two possessions, with Washington completing 4-5 passes for 115 yards and 2 TDs.

Not to be outdone, the Texans went to Florence, Alabama, and took a hard fought 38-28 decision over North Alabama.  It did not look like it was going to be that close, with TSU taking a 27-14 lead with 6 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter.  The offense was rolling, with four straight scoring drives and the defense had stopped UNA on 6 straight possessions allowing just 4 first downs.  But UNA did rally to take a 28-27 lead. Instead of folding, TSU responded taking the final lead on a 75 yard drive capped off by a Jake Fenske TD pass.  Speaking of Mr. Fenske, the fifth-year senior is making the most of his playing time, completing 68& of his passes for 825 yards with 8 TDs (QB rating of 143.6) in two and a half games since Aaron Doyle went down with an injury.

This looks like a pretty evenly matched up game.  The Texans have been a bit better on offense this year, but the Rams have the edge on defense.  Momentum is on TSU's side, with the offense really rolling now.  Tarleton wins it 38-28.





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