Friday, September 19, 2014

LSC Weekend Preview

Fri - Ouachita Baptist at Texas Woman's
Fri - Oklahoma Christian at Angelo State
Fri - St. Edwards at Texas A&M-Commerce
Fri - Lubbock Christian at Midwestern State
Sat - Dallas Baptist at West Texas A&M
Sat - Texas A&M-International at Eastern New Mexico
Sun - Texas A&M-Commerce at Ouachita Baptist
Sun - St. Mary's at Angelo State
Sun -  St. Edwards at Texas Woman's

Cross Country
Tarleton State at UTSA Ricardo Romo Classic
Midwestern State at Missouri Southern Stampede
Texas A&M-Commerce at Texas Wesleyan Ram Ramble

Friday Games
Cameron at Texas A&M-Commerce
Texas A&M-Kingsville at Tarleton State
Midwestern State at Texas Woman's
Quincy vs. West Texast A&M

Saturday Games
Texas A&M-Kingsville at Angelo State
Cameron at Texas Woman's
Truman State vs. West Texast A&M
West Texast A&M vs. McKendree
Midwestern State at Texas A&M-Commerce

UT-Permian Basin ate Midwestern State

McMurry at Angelo State 7:00 PM
McM Game Notes
ASU Game Notes
Live Stats
ASU Radio
McM Radio

The only game not at the LSC Football Festival.  Both teams opened with wins over not-so-good teams last week.  The Rams piled up 607 total yards of offense and gave up just 288 in their 38-6 win over Western State.  Kyle Washington threw for 362 yards and 2 TDs, averaging  over 10 yards per attempt, and added another 60 rushing.   Dakarai Pecikonis made a successful return to the field with 9 catches for 163 yards.  Clayton Callicutt had 3.5 sacks to lead the defense.  For McMurry, it was Matt McHugh throwing for 303 yards and 2 TDs, averaging 13 yards per attempt in his QB collegiate debut.  The Warhawks defeated Houston Baptist 26-17 in a tightly contested game.

The Rams will tune up again for next week's big game against West Texas A&M, keeping the offense balanced, and the defense preparing for a pass-heavy offense.  ASU 38-17.

LSC Football Festival Fan Information Guide
Link to AT&T Stadium Bag Policy

Texas A&M-Kingsville vs. Texas A&M-Commerce  10:00 AM
Joe Bergeron and Ashton Dorsey talk about the SFA game last week & the TAMK game this weekend
Live Stats
Live Audio via KETR 
A&M-Commmerce Game Notes 
Texas A&M-Kingsville Game Notes

A quick glance shows that both teams are 1-1 entering the game.  However, that is about the only similarity in these oldest of LSC rivals.  Texas A&M-Commerce leads the LSC with 443 yards passing per game, TAMK is giving up just 198.  Texas A&M-Kingsville is last in passing yards with a 115 yard per game average, while TAMC is last in pass defense at 410 yards weekly.  The Lions have done a better job running the ball (214-160) and stopping the run (115-169) than the Javelinas, though not against SFA last week.

While this should be a fairly comfortable win for the Lions, they need only look back to the 2012 game between these two schools to see "that on any given Saturday..."   Lions roll, 38-17.

Shorter vs. West Texas A&M   1:00 PM
WTAM Game Notes
Live Stats

For the first time since 2009, the Buffs have started the season 0-2.  That year they lost their first three games and five of the first six.  They find themselves at or near the bottom of the LSC in scoring offense and defense, total offense and defense, rushing offense (not a big stretch here) and defense, and middle of the pack in passing offense (FIFTH!) and defense.  Shorter is also at or near the bottom of their conference in scoring (27.5) points allowed (22.0),  total offense (286) and defense (371.5), passing (79.5) and pass defense (292).  They do run the ball (206.5) and defend the run (79.5) well.

Not exactly a marquee GSC program to bring to the big stage in Dallas, but it may be just what WT needs to get back on track.  If they can slow down the run game (and they should), they win comfortably.  WT 35-17.

Florida Tech vs. #12 Tarleton State   5:00 PM
TSU Game Notes
FIT Game Notes
Live Stats
TSU Audio

The Texans won the first big LSC matchup last week, edging West Texas A&M 31-27 in Canyon.  They move up to  #12 in the latest AFCA poll.  Collin Strahan went 16-22 with 123 yards passing and 124 rushing, while Eric Mathews was 2-3 for 47 yards passing and had 20 yards rushing in the two-QB rotation. Zach Henshaw had 107 yards rushing and Cody Burtscher added 44 with 2 TDs, including the game winner with 10:22 left in the ball game.  WT was driving after that score and had the ball inside the Texan 30, but TSU came up with a big sack on 3rd down, and were able to run out the remaining 5 minutes of the game to secure the win.  Florida Tech comes into the game 2-0, but the wins were over Stetson (a second year FCS program like Houston Baptist) and Ave Maria (an NAIA school).  FWIW, they are scoring 48 points a game, and allowing 9).  They average 435 yards on offense, 184.5 rushing and 250.5 passing.  They allow 219 yards per game, 119 rushing and 100 passing.

Another new GSC program, another ho-hum matchup for the LSC Football Festival (sure would like to see Valdosta, North Alabama or Delta State).  Tarleton should win this win handily - TSU 42-7.

Eastern New Mexico vs. Midwestern State 8:00 PM  Game of the Week
MSU Game Notes
ENMU Game Notes
Live Statistics

MSU Audio
ENMU Audio

Easily the marquee game, and kudos for the schedulers getting them in the proper time slot.  Early in the season, there is not much to separate these two in the stats book.  Both offenses are averaging more than 40 points, 500 total yards, over 275 rushing yards, and 220-230 yards passing.  The defenses are allowing right at 310 yards a game, they are 1-2 in rush defense and 6-7 in pass defense.  Dante Taylor (MSU) and E'lon Spight (ENMU) are 1-2 in the LSC rushing, and Jacob Johnson (48.2 yds per catch) and Levy Wilson (50 yds per catch) are dangerous pass threats.  A big difference so far has been at QB - ENMU's Jeremy Buurma is averaging 221 yds per game and has a passer rating of 232, while MSU's Jake Glover threw for just 86 yards with an efficiency rating of 69.6 against Missouri S&T.  The Mustangs will need to be better than 2-14 on 3rd down conversions,  and in the red zone (5 trips, 1 TD, 3 FGs).  The Greyhounds will hope to continue in those areas (40% on 3rd downs, 8-8 in the red zone, with 7 TDs, 1 FG).

While they won't sneak up on anyone this year, the Greyhounds look to be even better than last year and won't need the element of surprise.  Greyhounds win a close one, 28-24.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

LSC Midweek Update

LSC Football Week 2 Recap
LSC Football Weekly Release
Tarleton State moves up 4 spots to #12.  Midwestern State enters the rankings at #23.  Eastern New Mexico and Texas A&M Commerce are receiving votes.  West Texas A&M drops out of the rankings and received no votes.

LSC Scoop Power Poll

  1. Tarleton State - Got their first win in Canyon since 2004.
  2. Midwestern State - Spotted Missouri S&T 14 before shaking off the cobwebs.
  3. Eastern New Mexico - Greyhounds in fine form heading into the LSC Game of the Week.
  4. Angelo State - Not much of a challenge from Western State last week, look to move up next week.
  5. Texas A&M-Commerce - After two weeks, still not sure how good the Lions are.
  6. West Texas A&M - Every week is playoff elimination week from here on out.
  7. Texas A&M-Kingsville - Gutted out a tough home win, now the tough LSC slate starts.

LSC Volleyball Weekly Release
West Texas A&M is #20.  Angelo State is receiving votes, just two spots out of top 25.  Texas Woman's is receiving votes.

LSC Scoop Power Poll (Based on results to date).

  1. Angelo State
  2. West Texas A&M
  3. Tarleton State
  4. Texas A&M-Kingsville
  5. Cameron
  6. Texas Woman's
  7. Midwestern State
  8. Eastern New Mexico
  9. Texas A&M-Commerce

LSC Soccer Weekly Release
NSCAA Coaches Women's Poll
Angelo State, at #14 is the only LSC school ranked or receiving votes.

NSCAA Coaches Men's Poll
Midwestern State is #20 and is the only school ranked or receiving votes.
(Men's soccer is not an LSC sanctioned sport).

Friday, September 12, 2014

LSC Week 2 Preview

Texas A&M-Kingsville is hosting the Emerald Beach Hotel Invitational tournament, with West Texas A&M, Eastern New Mexico, American International, Adelphi and Fort Lewis competing as well.

Texas A&M-Commerce is hosting the A&M-Commerce Classic this weekend.  Participants include Ark-Fort Smith, Southern Arkansas, Dallas Baptist, Texas Woman's and #17 Colorado School of Mines.

Midwestern State and Cameron will both face Tarleton State and Angelo State at home.

Cross Country
West Texas A&M and Angelo State will run at the Red Raider Open.
Midwestern State and Texas A&M-Kingsville will run at the MSU Stampede.

Texas A&M Commerce hosts Columbus this afternoon.
Midwestern State hosts Western State this evening.
Angelo State faces Colorado Mesa Saturday
West Texas A&M hosts UT-Permian Basis Saturday
On Sunday, Texas Woman's travels to Harding, Texas A&M-Commerce goes to West Florida, Midwestern State is on the road at Southwestern Oklahoma and Eastern New Mexico goes cross-state to play New Mexico Highlands.

Western State at Angelo State 6:00
ASU Game Notes
ASU Live Stats
ASU Audio
ASU Video
The Mountaineers opened their season with a lackluster 38-21 win over Wayland Baptist last weekend.  They ran for 336 yards (led by Austin Elker's 247 yards and 2 TDs on 31 carries) , and passed for 160.  The defense allowed 351 yards, 69 on the ground and 282 passing, giving up the big play (20.1 yards per completion), but also scoring 2 TDs and a safety.

Will this be the year that the Rams get over the hump?  The team's 5-6 record may not impress, but 4 of those losses were by just one score.  They closed the season on a three game win streak and return a veteran offense that set school marks for rushing yards and total offense.  All eyes will be on QB Kyle Washington, a 1,000 yard rusher and 2,000 yard passer as a sophomore last season.  The defense returns five of the top 6 tacklers, but need to improve on last year's 31 points and 400 yards allowed per game.

With the new on-campus stadium and the fact that the last season that Western State won more than 3 games was 2002, look for the Rams to batter the Mountaineers, ASU 35-17. 

Adams State at Eastern New Mexico 7:00
Live Stats
ENMU Game Notes
ENMU Video
Fellow RMACer Adams State also opened their 2014 campaign with an unimpressive win, 23-7 over Panhandle State.  Like WSC, they rushed the ball well (242 yards, 2 TDs), but struggled in the air (9-24  133 yards, with an interception).  The defense held the Aggies to 122 yards on the ground and gave up 268 yards passing, but did pick off three passes, returning one 85 yards for a TD.

The Greyhounds are getting 2014 off to a much better start than 2013, and now have a 7 game winning streak.  The offense was in midseason form, rushing for 203 yards and passing for 276.  Jacob Johnson had 178 receiving yards and 3 TDs.  Jeremy Buurma completed 9-18 passes for 276 yards (31 yds per completion) and 4 TDs and E'lon Spight had 114 yards rushing.  The run defense was great (19 yards allowed on 20 attempts), but they allowed 415 yards through the air.

This is another good game for ENMU to prep for next week's game against Midwestern State at the LSC Football festival.  Unless of course, the Greyhounds are looking ahead to that game.  Greyhounds continue their winning streak, 34-17.

Colorado Mesa at Texas A&M-Kingsville 7:00
Live Stats
TAMK Video
Yet another RMAC team visits the LSC, as Colorado-Mesa makes the long trip down to Kingsville.  The Mavericks outlasted Dixie State last week, 44-37 in overtime.  CMU was outgained 640-417, but won the all important turnover game 5-1, including an interception in the end zone in overtime, securing the win.  Outside of the turnovers, CMU allowed 301 yards rushing and 339 passing, not an impressive showing at all.

That should be good news for the Javelinas which, outside of a 72 TD pass, gained just 184 yards last week.  The second half was particularly tough, with just one possession netting more than 8 yards.  The defense played better, but still allowed 400 yards, including 209 on the ground.  Anthony Washington's 96 yard kickoff return was the sole highlight for the special teams, as TAMUK had a punt blocked for an HSU TD, a bad snap resulting in a 14 yard loss and setting up an HSU TD, an HSU punt hitting a TAMUK blocker downfield resulting in a turnover and 2 missed field goals (22 & 31 yards).

Despite the Javelinas struggles last week, they were just a couple of mistakes away from winning the ball game.  Can they eliminate the mistakes and start to turn things around, or will they add to their 9 game losing streak?  Gonna take the Mavericks in a close one, CMU 35-27.

Missouri S&T at Midwestern State 7:00
Live Stats
MSU Video
MSU Audio
The Miners dropped their season opener at Chadron, 25-42 last week.  After falling behind 21-0 in the second quarter, MST played the Eagles even the rest of the way.  The offense was good, 486 yards (106 rushing, 380 passing) and the defense was non-existant giving up 563 yards (212 rushing, 351 passing).

The Mustangs have to replace some big time players from last year, namely 1st team all-LSC picks, RB Keidrick Jackson, CB Neiko Conway, OL Bryan Keith, as well as 5 2nd team selections.  The offense should continue to run the ball well, with QB Jake Glover and RBs Dante Taylor (552 yds rushing as a freshman) and Chauncey Harris (9.2 yd per carry career average) returning.  Marqui Christian and Ricardo Riascos lead the defense that led the LSC in both points and yards allowed last season.

Much like the ENMU game, this should be a great tune-up for what is shaping up to be a huge game with the Greyhounds next week.  MSU runs to a 42-14 win.

Texas A&M-Commerce at Stephen F. Austin 6:00
Live Stats
SFA Game Notes
TAMC Game Notes
TAMC Audio

Former LSC rivals square off for the 57th time this Saturday in Nacogdoches, with the Lions holding a decisive 43-12-1 advantage.  SFA is 1-1 on the season, dropping a 55-16 decision to Kansas State and beating Incarnate Word 38-3.  With the departure of record setting QB Brady Attaway, the Lumberjacks have exhibited more balance on offense - 68 rushes for 442 yards and 70 pass attempts for 410 yards through the first two weeks.  The star on offense has been running back Gus Johnson. Johnson, who has rushed for more than 2,000 yards the past two seasons, is averaging 139 yards per game this year, and tore through UIW for 252 yards and 4 TDs last week.  Zach Conque has gotten the start at QB the first two games, but has split time with (and been outplayed by) Joe Minden. The SFA defense was atrocious last year, giving up 528 yards and 49 points per game.  So far this year, they are showing improvement, allowing 357 yards and 29 points.

Everyone knows what the Lions did to ETBU last week - 986 total yards of offense, 98 points, Tyrik Rollison 26-33 for 546 yards and 6 TDs passing, three 100 yard rushers, three 100 yard receivers, etc.  We could go on with the superlatives, but everyone gets the picture.  Despite the gaudy numbers, there are a few areas that need to improve - 3 lost fumbles, 13 penalties, and 369 yards passing allowed specifically.

This is shaping up to be a really good game, and will give an indication of just how good the Lions are.  While we don't expect anything close to last week's offensive production, we don't expect the FCS Jacks to shut down TAMC either.  The Lions will need to limit the SFA ground game, and maintain offensive balance.  Commerce wins a competitive game, 35-24.

Game of the Week 
Tarleton State at West Texas A&M 7:00
TSU Game Notes
Brad Keith Story - The Flash
WTAM Game Notes
TSU Audio
WTAM Audio
WTAM Video
Live Stats
Traffice detour for fans attending the game

While the loss at Colorado State-Pueblo wasn't surprising, the ease at which CSU-P won the game was.  WT's vaunted aerial attack gained just 208 yards and the running game was held to 94 yards.  Three lost fumbles and 3-19 on third downs aren't going to get it done against good competition.  Some good signs - running backs Geremy Aldridge-Mitchell and Venric Mack averaged 5 yards per carry, and LB Carter James had 16 tackles.

Tarleton State will be breaking in a new starter at QB, though no starter has been named publicly.  Whether its Collin Strahan or Memphis transfer Eric Mathews, there will be experience at the skill positions - Zach Henshaw at RB, and WRs Bubba Tandy, Clifton Rhodes, and Le'Nard Meyers.  The defense (which gave up 29 points and an LSC-worst 442 yards per game) has some holes to fill, with just 4 starters returning.

Season openers can be tough, and an old coaching cliche is that teams show the most improvement between games one and two.  If that holds true, Tarleton make struggle a bit, shaking off the rust, while the Buffs start to get things clicking.  Not sure that will be enough - a year after the Texans broke and 8 game skid to WT, they will look to win in Canyon for the first time since 2004.  Tarleton takes this one 28-24.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Weekend Recap & National Polls

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16. West Texas A&M
25. Angelo State
RV. Texas Woman's

LSC Volleyball Weekly Release
The Lone Star Conference volleyball season is in progress with all nine teams competing in tournament play on the opening weekend.  Six teams have just one loss heading into this week.
League play starts this week with two matches Tuesday, three contests Friday and three on Saturday.
LSC volleyball teams are 23-14 overall this season.  The squads are currently 13-9 combined versus Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference teams, and 1-1 against the Heartland Conference, which are the other leagues in the NCAA South Central Region.

Click here for the complete release

Hailey Roberts, Tarleton State University, FR, Cedar Park, Texas, Cedar Park HS

Roberts had arguably the best first career week of any TexAnn in school history. The true freshman from Cedar Park has a league-high 94 kills in 23 sets to lift Tarleton to a 4-1 start to the season. She made her collegiate debut with 27 kills, which tied her for eighth most in a single match in school history, to lead Tarleton past regional power Arkansas-Fort Smith Friday afternoon. She has recorded four double-doubles in her first five matches, has had at least 20 kills in three of the first five matches and has hit over a .300 percentage in two of the first five matches. She also had a team-high 10 service aces and 83 total digs over the weekend en route to being named to the All-Tournament team at the Kathleen Brasfield Invitational at Angelo State. To cap off her week, Roberts turned in a clutch performance Monday night to secure the TexAnn win over Texas Wesleyan on the road. Tarleton was tied 11 in the fifth set but Roberts sealed the game by having a hand in all four of the final points – three kills and an assisted block – to give Tarleton the road victory.

Casey Fletcher, Midwestern State University, SR, Eddy, Texas, Moody HS

Fletcher played a key defensive role while helping Midwestern State to a 3-1 record at the season opening Hampton Inn-vitational. The senior from Eddy, who leads the Lone Star Conference averaging 6.71 digs per set, recorded a career high 36 digs in a five-set win over Colorado State-Pueblo in the season opener. Fletcher followed the effort with a 29-dig performance in a four-set victory over Fort Lewis. She closed the weekend with a pair of 20-dig efforts Saturday against Southwestern Oklahoma and Arkansas Tech. The Mustangs limited the opposition to a .143 attack percentage.

Alexa Johnson, Angelo State University, SO, La Vista, Neb., Papillion HS

In her first matches as a Belle, setter Alexa Johnson had 176 assists (11.00 per set) and 29 digs. A sophomore from Nebraska, Johnson played for Lamar University last season before transferring to Angelo State this season. She established a season-high 57 assists in ASU's five-set loss to UAF before contributing 47 assists in a four-set win over WNMU. She also had 45 assists in the season-opener against MSSU and 27 in the sweep of UAM. Johnson had an ace in three of four matches last weekend and supplied seven kills against MSSU and six kills against UAFS.


16. Tarleton State
22. West Texas A&M
RV. Midwestern State, Texas A&M-Commerce

LSC Football Weekly Release
LSC Football Recap - Week 1
Six games are on the schedule for this week including a Lone Star Conference contest between Tarleton State and West Texas A&M.  The Texans and Buffs play Saturday at 6 p.m. in Canyon, Texas.  Non-conference action includes Western State at Angelo State, Texas A&M-Commerce at Stephen F. Austin, Adams State at Eastern New Mexico, Colorado Mesa at Texas A&M-Kingsville, and Missouri S&T at Midwestern State.
A&M-C, ENMU and McMurry began the season with wins in non-conference action last week.
LSC football teams are 3-2 overall this season.  The squads are 1-1 combined versus the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Great Lakes Valley Conference and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference teams, which are also in NCAA Super Regional Four.
Click here for the complete release


Tyrik Rollison, Texas A&M University - Commerce, SR, QB, Sulphur Springs, Texas, Sulphur Springs HS
Rollison and his arm sparked the Lion offensive output that broke the NCAA DII record for total yards as A&M-Commerce accounted for 986 yards. To go along with the NCAA record for total offense, the Lions set LSC record for points scored with 98, tied the touchdown record with 13, and matched the record for the most point after attempts with 12.  The A&M-Commerce record book was rewritten for most points in a half with 57 in the first half.  Rollison broke the school record for passing yards (562) and total offensive yards (564), tied the record for TD passes (6) and broke the record for yards per attempt (17).

Decorian Johnson, McMurry University, SO, CB, Houston, Texas, Oak Ridge

Johnson recorded eight tackles with six solo and two for a loss along with a third quarter interception at the McMurry two-yard line to stop a Houston Baptist threat.  The War Hawks allowed just 324 total offense yards in the upset, 26-17, of the NCAA Division I Huskies.

Anthony Washington, Texas A&M University - Kingsville, SR, PR/KR, Cypress, Texas, Cypress Springs HS

Washington began the second half with a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to give the Javelinas a 14-3 edge over Humboldt State on Saturday. The redshirt senior also added two tackles in the season opener. It marks the second consecutive season that the Cypress, Texas native returns a kickoff for a touchdown.

LSC Scoop Power Poll

  1. Tarleton State - Jumping right into the fire, opening with a WT team that can't afford a loss.
  2. Midwestern State - Ease into the season with Missouri S&T
  3. Eastern New Mexico - balanced offense, but defense gave up 435 passing yards.
  4. Texas A&M-Commerce - Forget last week, SFA will give an indication of Lion's potential.
  5. West Texas A&M - Must rebound quickly or playoff chances are virtually gone
  6. Angelo State - Open with what should be an easy game vs. Western State
  7. Texas A&M-Kingsville - Could not hold on to 11 point third quarter lead at home

USTFCCCA Cross Country Rankings
National Poll
13. West Texas A&M

12. West Texas A&M

Regional Poll
4. West Texas A&M
9. Cameron
10 Texas A&M-Commerce

4. West Texas A&M
7. Midwestern State
10 Tarleton State

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Week One Game Previews

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Thursday night's games went about how we expected, just more extreme than the predictions.

Buffs get off to rough start with 35-6 setback  - Amarillo Globe News
No. 11 Buffs fall 35-6 at No. 4 Colorado State-Pueblo in Season-Opener - WT Athletics
Lions Open Season in Record-Breaking Fashion Thursday - TAMC Athletics

LSC Scoreboard

East Texas Baptist at Texas A&M-Commerce

Here's and understatement: the Lions return a lot of firepower on offense.  QB's Tyrick Rollison, Harrison Stewart and Deric Davis combined for 3,634 yards and 35 TDs passing.  WR's Vernon Johnson, Seth Smith, Hayden Marsh, Jordon Jenkins, and Taylor Peasha caught 186 passes for 2,804 yards and 29 TDs.  At running back, Ki-Janaven Garrett is back after rushing for  665 yards and 3 TDs as a freshman.  Up front, 3 starters return, but they must replace Andrew Weidel and Trevor Goodale, both honorable mention All-LSC last fall.  Some new faces to watch on the offense are OL Elwood Clement, WR Ricky Collins and some guy named Joe Bergeron.

The defense has a few more holes to fill.  Gone are four of the top five in tackles - a combined 240 tackles, 31.5 TFL, and 16.5 sacks.  The cupboard is far from empty.  Up front All-American Charles Tuaau (22 TFL, 12.5 sacks) and Brandon Turner (9 TFL, 5.5 sacks) are back.  At linebacker, Cole Pitts (62 tackles, 7 TFL) and Corey Childs (25 tackles, 4.5 TFL) return as starters.  The secondary is the most experienced area on defense, with starters Ronald Fields (52 tackles, 14 passes broken up), Pablo Vasquez (52 tackles), and Traven Johnson back.

Don't look for ETBU to offer much resistance.  The Tigers are picked 4th in the 6 team American Southwest Conference and went 3-7 last year, winning their first two games, then losing seven in a row, before edging a 1-9 Sul Ross squad (that lost to TAMC 51-6 in the season opener).  ETBU was good on offense last year (455 yards, 32.3 points per game), but bad on defense ( 478 yards, 42.4 points).

This should be a blowout and a great opportunity to get Bergeron fully integrated into the offense.  TAMC 63-17.

Game of the Week
West Texas A&M at Colorado State-Pueblo
WTAM Game Notes
CSUP Video
WTAM Audio

There will be a lot of new faces on the field for West Texas this season, as the Buffaloes lost 11 first team All-LSC performers (plus 2 second teamers, and 2 honorable mentions), including record setting quarterback Dustin Vaughan.  Junior Preston Rabb looks to get first crack at replacing Vaughan.  Anthony Johnson (87-1,294  14 TDs) leads the returning WRs.  Jarrian Rhone (37-371  4 TD) and Jeremy Watson (17-224  3 TD) should see a signifcant bump in their production.  Transfer running backs, Venric Mark (Northwestern) and Derrick Thomas (Boise State) will provide a significant boost to the ground game.  Austin Carson and Arthur Fatu are returning starters on the line, while 2013 starter Emory Atterberry is second on the depth chart at left tackle. Newcomers to the OL include Solomon Normore (originally committed to New Mexico out of JC in 2013), former UCLA Bruin, Stan Hasiak, Alex Mitchell and Shaq Davis.

Defensively, seven starters must be replaced.  Alex Tucci (17 tackles, 5.5 TFL) and LePear Willrich (50 tackles, 11 TFL) return up front, with LB Alex Olson (25 tackles) and CB Torian Oakley (44 tackles, 8 passes broken up, 2 Ints) lining up behind them. Juco transfes David Tameilau and Iosia Iosia will add depth up front, with LBs Elijah Lagafuaina and Syracuse transfer Markus Pierce-Brewster helping out immediately.  The secondary looks to fill its holes from within.

Colorado State-Pueblo is coming off an 11-1 season, with seven returning starters on offense, including QB Chris Bonner (3,413 yds, 33 TDs), WR Paul Browning (1,155 yds, 11 TDs receiving), running backs Cameron McDondle (848 yards, 8 TDs) and Marche Dennard (371 yards, 3 TDs), and four starters on the line.  The Thunderwolves averaged 509 yards and 42.7 points per game last year.

The defense has seven returnees with 40 or more tackles in 2013.  Darius Allen, the Gene Upshaw Award winner in 2013 is the leader.  Allen led the nation with 15.5 sacks and also had 23.5 tackles for loss.  As a unit, CSUP gave up 393 yards and 19.8 points per game.

This series has instantly become one of the top non-conference matchups in D2.  CSUP has won both regular season contests (26-24 in 2011 and 44-34 in 2012), while WT knocked off the #1 Thunderwolves in the NCAA quarterfinals 34-16 in 2012.  Look for CSUP to continue to take the regular season games, with a 34-17 win.

Saturday Games
Humboldt State at Texas A&M-Kingsville
Live Stats
TAMK Video
TAMK Game Notes
HSU Game Notes
Humboldt State went winless in 2013, getting outscored by an average of 32.2-15.5 and outgained by 455.9-328.1 yards weekly.  All-American running back Nick Ricciardulli returns after being injured in week two last year.  In 2012, he rushed for 1,579 yards and 12 TDs, leading HSU to a 7-4 record.  True freshman Robert Webber is slated to start at QB and has Chase Krivashei (96-915  3TDs) and Kelechi Nwadibia (57-796  2TDs) as his top returning targets.  Defensively, Silas Sarvinski and Alex Markarian lead the All-Beard team and combined for 18 TFLs and 9 sacks.  Overall, the Jacks return 6 of their 7 top tacklers and should show improvement over last year's numbers.

The Javelinas had a rough year as well, going 2-8 with a an 8 game losing skid to end the year.  Juco transfer Trey Mitchell is slated to get the nod at QB to start the season, with newcomers Joe Te'o and Shawn Vasquez joining Marquise Cardinal and Greg Pitre in the running back rotation.  The graduation of Robert Armstrong leaves Musa Mahmud and Patrick LaFleur as the leading returnees at WR.  The key to the offense will be how much improvement the offensive line shows - last year 4 freshmen and sophomores started most of the games and that experience should pay dividends down the road.

Defensively, TAMK must replace 3 starters in the line.  Nose tackle Josh Toki is the lone returning starter, and could see Augafa Vaaulu (New Mexico State out of HS) join him in the interior of the line.  Look for returnee Henry Greathouse and newcomers Darius Lively (Louisiana-Monroe) and Will Juarez at the end positions.  Both starters return at LB - Brandon James and Mark Savere combined for 174 tackles with 15 TFLs last year.  The secondary also has experience with Trevor Pesek, Anthony Forker, Lamont Hills, Kelechi Amushie and Joe Crowe returning.  T.J. McCullough returns from injury and transfers Sidney Sanders and Korey Alston join the group as well, providing more depth than the Hogs had last year.

This is an interesting matchup of teams expecting to show improvement over last year's results.  A non-roster factor that could have an affect is the weather.  The expected high today in Arcata is 82 degrees with a 34% humidity level.  Game time temperature at kickoff Saturday 86 degrees with a humidity level of 71%.  This could be the 12th man for the Javelinas, and help them open with a 28-17 win.

Eastern New Mexico at New Mexico Highlands
ENMU Game Notes

The surprise team of the LSC looks to add to their LSC-leading 6 game winning streak as they face long time rival, New Mexico Highlands.  The offense will be lead by returning starter Jeremy Buurma.  Buurma, threw for 1,569 yards and 11 TDs with just 3 interceptions earning him honorable mention All-LSC honors.  His top WR, Jacob Johnson (2nd All-LSC, 32-571  2 TD) is back, along with 1st team All-LSC Jordan Wells (652 yds  3 TDs) and E'lon Spight (262 yds  3 TDs) in the backfield.  The O-Line returns Maanaima Lang (HM All-LSC), William Jurek and Jordan Wade, but loses John Mendoza and Kevin Smith, both second team all-conference.

Linebackers Benjamin Langford (2nd All-LSC), Seth Bailey, and Julian Yearwood (both HM All-LSC), and defensive backs Kevin Reaves (1st All-LSC), Ibrahim Maiga, Connor Brinton, and Darrelyn McCloud bring a good deal of experience to those positions.  Up front there were a few more losses, but Joshua Bounds and Tanner Melson are back.  All-in-all, 8 of the top 9 in tackles are back from a defense that was second in the LSC in yards allowed (364) and third in points allowed (26.8).

New Mexico Highlands is coming off a 2-9 season, losing their final 8 games.  After splitting the first four games, the Cowboys lost 5 consecutive games by a touchdown or less.  They will have to replace almost all of their top skill players from last year.  Especially missed will be QB Emmanuel Lewis, who threw for more than 7,000 yards with 46 TDs the past two seasons.  The defense returns just 3 of the top 11 in tackles from last year from a squad that gave up 387 yards and 34.4 points per game.

The Greyhounds should not stumble out of the gate this year.  They return the majority of the squad that gelled last year, bringing home a surprise co-LSC championship.  Their sights are on another title and a possible playoff run.  ENMU 35-14

McMurry at Houston Baptist
HBU Video
HBU Audio
HBU Live Stats
HBU Game Notes

Aaahh.... McMurry....I guess they are technically part of the LSC this year, so we will cover their games as well.  A quick glance of last year indicates a mixed bag for the War Hawks.  A 3-8 record, closing the season out with two wins.  A closer look is not so kind.  The three wins came against Oklahoma Panhandle State, Wayland Baptist and Southern Nazarene.  In the 8 losses, McMurry gave up an average of 59.8 points and 585 yards.  Missing from the offense is QB Gabe Rodriguez.  Rodriguez threw for 3,237 yards and 43 TDs as a freshman.  He is rumored to be sitting out this season, but look for him back in the LSC in the future.  The only QB on the roster that is not a true freshman is Matthew McHugh, but he has no collegiate game experience under center either.  Running backs Chris Simpson and Paxton Grayer (combined 1,666 yards, 14 TDs rushing, 58-455  3 TD receiving) and wide receivers Jeret Smith (61-846  10 TD) and David McHugh (27-206  3 TD) do return to provide some offensive threats.  The defense returns just 3 of their top 11 in tackles.

They will face Houston Baptist, an FCS school in their second year of existence.  The Huskies beat the teams they should have last year (Wayland Baptist, Oklahoma Baptist and Texas College), and lost badly to everyone else (Sam Houston, Abilene Chrisitan, Incarnate Word and Texas A&M-Commerce) in an abbreviated inaugural season.  The Huskies averaged 24.4 points and 327 yards per game, while allowing 37.1 points and 389 yards.  Interestingly, last year was a development year, so none of the results and stats  count, nor did HBU players use any eligibility, but it did count for the players' 5 year NCAA clock.   New FBS additions this spring include DE Rion Gurnell (LSU), LB Aaron Benson (Texas), and DBs Tyler Stephenson (Baylor), Eric Amoako (Oregon), Deon Hall (Houston) and La'Travien Gee (Oklahoma State).

Had the Warhawks not lost so many players from last year, this game might have been a toss-up.  As it stands now, look for HBU to win comfortably.  HBU 35-7.

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