Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Game Previews - Week Four

We will continue to update here as news stories become available and game notes get posted.  In the meantime...

Some computer rankings to ponder

Midwestern State is #9, Texas A&M-Commere is #11, Angelo State is #12, West Texas A&M is #13, ENMU is #24, Tarleton is #38, Texas A&M-Kingsville is #87

LSC opponents and/or Super Region 4 teams
Delta State is #2, West Alabama is #22, Azusa Pacific is #32, Panhandle State is #139
Ferris State is #3, CSU-Pueblo is #5, Ashland #10, Colorado Mines is #14, Ohio Dominican is #17, Grand Valley is #18, Michigan Tech is #28, Findlay is #31, Chadron is #41, Colorado Mesa is #42, Western State is #77, Adams State is #100, Truman State is #112, Missouri S&T is #115

Massey predictions for this week's games
TAMK loses 20-33
TAMC wins 41-34
MSU wins 37-31
WTAM wins 40-38

Massey W/L for season
TAMC 7-2 heading into LSC playoffs (6-0 in LSC) top seed
MSU 7-2 heading into LSC playoffs (4-2 in LSC) ??? seed
ASU 7-2 heading into LSC playoffs (4-2 in LSC) ??? seed
WTAM 5-3 heading into LSC playoffs (4-2 in LSC) ??? seed
TSU 3-5 heading into LSC playoffs (2-4 in LSC) top seed
ENMU 4-5 heading into LSC playoffs (1-5 in LSC) 2nd seed
TAMK 1-8 heading into LSC playoffs (0-6 in LSC) 3rd seed
LSC - #6 Midwestern State, #17 Angelo State, #20 West Texas A&M, #32 Texas A&M-Commerce, #36 ENMU, #69 Tarleton State, #91 Texas A&M-Kingsville
SR 4 - #2 Ferris State, #8 Ashland, #9 Michigan Tech, #13 Colorado Mines, #15 Findlay, #19 CSU-Pueblo, #24 Grand Valley, #44 Ohio Dominican, #49 Colorado Mesa, Missouri S&T 114, #119 Adams State, #120 NMHU, #125 Western State, #127 Truman State, #133 Panhandle State
LSC opponents - #10 Delta State, #29 West Alabama, #33 Azusa Pacific

This Week's game predictions
TAMK loses 17-33
TAMC 40-31
MSU 36-29
WTAM 40-34

Atomic Football Rankings
No rankings to date

This Week's game predictions
TAMK loses 17-32
TAMC 41-32
MSU 36-28
WTAM 38-36

West Alabama at Texas A&M-Kingsville
Live Stats
TAMK Audio
TAMK Video
TAMK Game Notes
UWA Game Notes

The non-conference matchup of the week has the West Alabama Tigers coming to Kingsville to face the Javelinas.  UWA is off to a 3-0, with wins over Stillman College, NAIA Cumberland and Miles College.  The stats are impressive, (33-9 scoring margin, 388-189 yardage differential, and just 33 yards rushing allowed), but the opposition has not been top-notch.  Last season, after a quick 2-0 start, UWA went 3-6 the rest of the way.  Offensively, they have been balanced (189 rushing, 199 passing).

The Javelinas should gave notice that they are indeed an improved team, playing the defending LSC champions to a 17-17 tie midway through 3 quarters.  The Lions regrouped and scored 20 unanswered points to take a 37-17 win.  The Javelinas struggled running the ball (67 yards), stopping the run (272 yards), and lost the field position game horribly (average starting position 22 yard line compared to the 42 yard line for Commerce).  Taking that a step further, Commerce started in Kingsville territory 5 times, while TAMK only began one possession past midfield.  TAMC started inside their 20 just once, while the Javelinas had eight.  That's difficult to overcome.

The UWA run defense does not look good for the Javelinas, especially after last week's struggle running the ball.  But the team has faced a much tougher schedule than the Tigers and is playing fairly well, despite the 1-2 record.  Hogs win in front of the home crowd, 27-17.

Tarleton State at #23 Midwestern State
Live Stats

Tarleton State with the very good offense vs. Midwestern State with the very good defense.  Or is it the Mustangs with a struggling offense vs. the Texans with a porous defense?

First the good - Tarleton's offense averages 36 points and 492 yards per game, both third in the LSC.  They are balanced, rushing for 210 and passing for 282 weekly.  Daniel McCants and Jabari Anderson combine for 137 yards per game and each are averaging more than 7 yards per carry and Zed Woerner and Le'Nard Meyers make for a potent passing combination.  They will face the top defense in the LSC early in the season.  The Mustangs allow just 13 points and 303 yards per game.  The pass defense also leads the LSC (134 yds), but the run defense has been a bit more generous, giving up 169 yards (5th).

The not so good - Midwestern's offense has gotten off to a slow start, last in scoring (25 points) and total offense (350 yards).  Very surprisingly, the running game is next to last, averaging just 165 yards per game.  They are passing for 185 yards per game, but are last in QB efficiency rating at 106.7.  They will face a Tarleton defense that is giving up 44 points and 550 yards (165th nationally) per game.  They are last in rush defense (250 yards) and next to last in pass defense (300 yards).  Their pass defense efficiency rating is an astounding 196.4 (168th out of 169 nationally).

You don't see such a matchup of statistical strengths and weaknesses very often, which should make for an interesting game.  So far this year, the Mustangs have shown the ability to win close games, while Tarleton has yet to break through.  Throw in the home field, and we'll take Midwestern State 35-28.

Eastern New Mexico at #20 Texas A&M-Commerce
TAMC Game Notes

By the numbers - The LSC's second most prolific offense (43 points, 499 yards) vs. a middle of the pack defense (23 points, 418 yards).  Somewhat surprisingly, the Lions are third both in rushing (231 yards) and passing (268 yards). The Greyhounds counter with the LSC's #4 defense against the run (174 yards) and pass (244 yards).

On the flip side, ENMU is averaging 36 points and 437 yards weekly, leading the LSC with 301 yards rushing and  last with 135 passing yards per game.  They complete just 41% of their passes, but average 25 yards per completion.  The Lions are allowing 28 points and 395 yards per game.  They lead the LSC in run defense (80 yards) but are last in pass defense (315 yards).

Look for the Lions' offense to continue to shine.  The key to the game will be ENMU's run game.  If the Greyhounds can run the ball effectively, they will make this a ball game.  If the Lions can slow them down a bit, they should win by double digits.  Texas A&M-Commerce pulls away in the second half again, 42-28.

#6 Angelo State at West Texas A&M
WTAM Game Notes (website link goes to womens soccer game notes)

The Buffaloes are walking a tightrope.  A bounce or two their way in week one, and they could be 3-0 and probably ranked in the top 15.  Conversely, the could easily be 1-2 or possibly 0-3.  The one thing no one can argue with is that they have faced one of the toughest schedules in Division II.  Last week, QB Ethan Brinkley (256 yards, 3 TDs) and RB Geremy Alridge-Mitchell (236 yards, 3 TDs) took advantage of Tarleton's defense, as WT cracked the 500 yard mark last week.  Defensively Trevor Myklebust and Hunter Streuling combined for 36 tackles as WT kept the Texans out of the end zone in the fourth quarter.

As difficult as WT's schedule has been so far, Angelo's has been the opposite.  Oklahoma Panhandle State, Western State and Bacone are a combined 1-8 this season and have been outscored by a 158-423 margin.  This will easily be their toughest opponent to date, and we should get an idea of whether they are deserving of their #6 ranking in the AFCA coaches poll.  Kyle Washington continues his climb up the ASU record book - he is now 3rd in passing yards, 1st in TD passes, and 5th in rushing yards.  The defense has not put up stellar numbers, considering the competition, but is well ahead of last year's pace.  That could all change this week.

We have mentioned the opening schedules for the two teams several times this year.  If that was the only factor, then WT would have a decided advantage this week.  But the Rams have an experienced veteran playoff team that should be able to ramp things up once the game begins.  Look for Angelo State to break their 9 game losing streak at the hands of WT.  ASU wins a shoot-out, 48-42.

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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