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.

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