Friday, October 16, 2015

Week Seven Game Previews

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 moved up to #2, Texas A&M-Commere is #3, Angelo State dropped to #13, West Texas A&M is #20, ENMU is #21, Tarleton is #47, Texas A&M-Kingsville is #83

LSC opponents and Super Region 4 teams
Humboldt State is #9
CSU-Pueblo is #6
Ferris State is #8
Colorado Mines is #10
Ashland is #15
Mesa State is #18
Grand Valley is #24
Ohio Dominican is #29

Massey predictions for this week's games (last week they were 4-)
ASU wins 41-20 over TAMK
ENMU wins 44-38 over TSU
TAMC wins 38-3 over WTAM
MSU wins 34-31 over Humboldt State

Massey W/L for season - No changes from last week
TAMC 7-2 heading into LSC playoffs (6-0 in LSC) top seed
MSU 8-1 heading into LSC playoffs (5-1 in LSC) 2nd seed
ASU 7-2 heading into LSC playoffs (4-2 in LSC) 3rd seed 
ENMU 6-3 heading into LSC playoffs (3-3 in LSC) 4th seed
WTAM 3-5 heading into LSC playoffs (2-4 in LSC) top seed
TSU 2-6 heading into LSC playoffs (1-5 in LSC) 2nd seed
TAMK 1-8 heading into LSC playoffs (0-6 in LSC) 3rd seed
LSC - #5 Midwestern State, #16 Texas A&M-Commerce, #36 Angelo State, #52 West Texas A&M, #53 ENMU, #108 Tarleton State, #136 Texas A&M-Kingsville

Humboldt State jumped from #9 to #3.

This Week's game predictions 
ENMU 48-37 over TSU
ASU 41-17 over TAMK
TAMC 38-26 over WTAM
HSU 34-31 over MSU

Atomic Football Rankings
No rankings to date

This Week's game predictions (changes in prediction from last week)
ASU 43-18 over TAMK (slight change from 42-19 LW)
ENMU 44-36 over TSU (42-34 LW)
TAMC 42-29 over WTAM (42-30 LW)
MSU 32-27 over Humboldt (34-28 LW)

They also have next week's games.  We'll compare next week to see if they change b/c of this week's results.
TSU 51-33 over Opie State
ASU 36-33 over ENMU 
WTAM 38-23 over TAMK
TAMC 35-27 in the LSC  Game of the Year

This week's games
Eastern New Mexico at Tarleton State
TSU Game Notes
ENMU Audio

The good news for Tarleton - the Texans gutted out their first 2015 win last week in Kingsville.  The bad news - the Javelinas had 10+ points and 70+ yards above their season average and were a fumbled snap at the one yard line from losing the ball game.  ENMU is quietly putting together a good season and has a shot at cracking the top 3 heading into the LSC tournament.  ENMU rolls, 52-24.

Texas A&M Kingsville at #25 Angelo State
TAMK Game Notes

Angelo State is desperate for a win.  After riding a soft early schedule to a top 10 ranking, the Rams have dropped two straight and are on the verge of NCAA playoff elimination.  Kyle Washington is having a very good senior season, but he's thrown 4 INT's the last two weeks.  The Javelinas lost another winnable game last week, fumbling the snap on the one yard line as time expired.  Their 1-5 record could easily be 4-2 (also losing games on a blocked PAT resulting in a 2 pt conversion in week 1, 2 kickoff returns for TD in week 4), but they aren't.  Much like their games against TAMC and ENMU, the Javelinas could stick around for a while, but ASU pulls away.  Angelo 45-24.

#14 Texas A&M Commerce at West Texas A&M
TAMC Game Notes
WTAM Game Notes

If you take a quick look at LSC stats, you might think that the LSC office has it all wrong.  Not so much on the defensive side, where TAMC and WT are #5 & #6 in yards allowed and #3 and #5 in points allowed.  The offense?  Commerce tied at #1 in scoring and #3 in yardage is about right, but WT at #6 in scoring and last in yards gained? Or Commerce #2 in rushing and WT #6 in passing (203 yards per game!!!) and last in pass efficiency?  WT has a running back leading LSC in rushing and Commerce with the #2 and #3?  But that is the LSC of 2015 - more balanced offensively, but just as entertaining.

This is an interesting matchup for reasons other the numbers as well.  Since Coach Carthel leaft WT and took the reins at TAMC, the Lions have been a team on the rise, while WT seems to be slipping.  Throw in a few puzzling questions in the Spanish-gate fiasco and this has the makings of a nice little feud.  Of course we could be reading way too much into the backstory, but it sure makes it more interesting.  TAMC 49-24.

#10 Humboldt State at #11 Midwestern State

The surprise marquee matchup of the week.  Neither team was ranked in the preseason, but both are undefeated and ranked by the AFCA at #10 and #11.  The Jacks come into Wichita Falls with a 5-0 record having defeated Western Oregon (which just defeated North Alabama), Dixie State, South Dakota Mines and Azusa Pacific (twice) - combined record of  12-7 in non-HSU games.  They are scoring 50 points a game and giving up 19.  They are rushing for 305 yards (5th in the nation), while allowing 118.  They throw for 197 and allow 110.  Total offense 502 (10th nationally) vs. 347 given up by the defense.  Individually, Ja'Quan Garnder leads the nation with 210 yards per game and 15 TDs rushing.  QB Robert Webber doesn't throw the ball much, but is efficient when he does.  He is completing 61% of his passes, has a 10-1 TD to INT ratio and a QB rating of 161.5.  His favorite target is Chase Krivashei, with 27 receptions for 379 yards and 8 TDs.  LB Drew Dubois is the defensive leader with 7 sacks and 27 total tackles.

Midwestern State has a defense playing very well and an offense that is doing just enough to win.  So far in 2015, they are 4th in the LSC in scoring (31.8) and total offense (425.3).  The run game is producing 214.5 yards per game, and they are passing for another 210.8.  The defense has been stellar, giving up an LSC best 20.5 points per game, (holding Angelo State to just 20 and ENMU to 24), and is third in yards allowed (378.7).  Also working in their favor is a +7 turnover margin.

Playoff implications
For HSU - in recent years, the GNAC has had teams miss the playoffs with just one loss, so the Jacks have to see the urgency in winning this one and run the table on the remainder of the regular season.  They still have road games at Central Washington and the regular season finale at Western Oregon though.
For MSU - with a surprising tough non-conference schedule (Colorado Mesa has just one loss (to MSU) to date and this game), MSU could be the top seed in SR4 if they win out.  One loss and they should be a #3 or #4 seed.  Two losses and they could still make the playoffs.  With games against Commerce and likely two of ENMU/ASU/Commerce, nothing is guaranteed.

This looks like a good matchup on both sides of the ball.  Look for MSU to hit their offensive averages or slightly exceed them.  The key to the game is how well MSU defends the HSU run game.  Webber has been efficient, but the run game has opened up the passing game this season.  If the Jacks are forced to pass, there might be some drop-off there.  Weather could come into play as well - predicted highs in Arcata this week are in the 60's, while in Wichita Falls it is expected to be in the mid 80's.  We'll take the Mustangs to continue to surprise in 2015.  MSU 35-31

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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