Friday, September 9, 2016

LSC Game Previews and Pickems

Team-first has long been mantra for MSU tackle  - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
Rams revamped D-line makes early impression - Charles Bryce, San Angelo Standard-Times
WT's Young brings it from the edge - Kale Steed, Amarillo Globe News

Al Whitehead Field at Greyhound Stadium
Greyhound Stadium ready for its debut

Midwestern State is idle this week

Angelo State at Northern Michigan - 3:00

Live Stats     Live Video
ASU Game Notes     NMU Game Notes
Things were looking good at the half for the Rams last week.  They had a 10 point lead, with all three units contributing.  The second half was a different story with McKendree outscoring ASU 24-0, with all four scores coming off of Ram turnovers.  Neither Jake Faber nor Jesse Drummer emerged as the clear cut starter at quarterback, and running back Josh Stevens the lone bright spot for the offense.  The defense played better, giving up just 379 yards, and limiting the Bearcats to 7 of 20 on third downs.

The Wildcats (5-6 in 2015) did not impress in their season opener, edging Lake Erie in overtime 38-35, overcoming a 22 point first half deficit.  Shay Brown, who came into the year with 6,927 yards and 52 TDs, started 2016 with 230 yards and 2 TDs, but completed just 19 of 46 passes.  Sophomore Jake Mayon rushed for 143 yards and 2 TDs.  The defense gave up 398 yards and had 5 sacks on the evening.

Oklahoma Panhandle State at Arkansas Pine Bluff - 6:00
Live Stats
It's difficult to make much of the Aggies' performance last week, facing the #2 FCS Sam Houston Bearkats.  Some bright spots were Jake Truelove  and D. J. Scott combining to throw for 276 yards and 2 TDs, Andrew Hernandez with 7 receptions for 133 yards and both TDs, and Devyn Williams returning a kickoff 90 yards for the teams other score.  As expected the run game struggled, and the defense gave up 668 yards and six consecutive scoring drives in the first half.

Arkansas Pine Bluff, an FCS team that plays in the SWAC, went 2-9 last year and dropped their season opener to Tennessee State 44-0.  The Golden Lions struggled on offense, picking up just 168 yards, 8 first downs and just 2-14 on third downs.  The defense gave up 461 yards and had a hard time getting TSU off the field (8-16 on third down conversions).  This is in line with last year (317 yds offense, 431 yds defense) when their two wins were against D2 Morehouse and 1-10 Mississippi Valley State in OT.

Texas A&M Commerce at Delta State - 6:00
Live Stats     Live Video
TAMC Game Notes     DSU Game Notes
Texas A&M-Commerce's season opener was supposed to be a marquee matchup of Lions, with North Alabama to Commerce for a battle royale.  Unfortunately, North Alabama was added to Jacksonville State's schedule long after finding a replacement quality opponent was feasible.  Instead, TAMC played an exhibition game against the University of Faith, a non-degree offering school.  As an exhibition, the game does not count in the W/L record, nor do any of the stats.  It did allow TAMC to shake off some rust, but that is all.   

Delta State beat Kentucky Wesleyan 50-29 last week, after racing out to a 36-0 halftime lead (DSU won 51-18 in 2015).  The Statesmen upset TAMC last year 51-44 in a game with a combined 1,151 yards.  QB Tyler Sullivan is back.  He came into the season with 7,250 yards and 62 TDs passing, including 496 yards and 3 TDs against the Lions.  His favorite target, Casey Osborne (76-1,007, 9 TDs LY, 144-1,890  17 TDs career) returs as well.  Chris Robinson is a newcomer at running back, and had 162 yards and 3 TDs on just 13 carries in his DSU debut.  The Statesmen defense was vulnerable to the run last year, allowing 172 yards per game, while also allowing 229 yards passing.

Arizona Christian at UT Permian Basin - 7:00
Live Stats     Live Audio
Arizona Christian is an NAIA school competing in the CSFL, along with Langston, Southwest Assemblies of God, Wayland Baptist, Bacone, Texas College and Lyon College.  This is the third year for the program, and they have improved from 2-7 in 2014 to 6-3 last year, including a 6-0 conference record.  They were ranked #20 in the preseason NAIA poll, and this is their first game of the season.  Last year, the offense rushed for 199 yds per game and threw for 238.  The defense allowed 210 yards rushing, 217 passing. (Team Preview)

The Falcons got their program off to a nice start, knocking off Sul Ross 27-6 before a crowd of 13,856.  Brandon Infiesto scored the first points in team history, and ended the night with 102 rushing yards.  Kameron Mathis threw for 163 yards and 2 TDs, both to Kristian Brown.  Chris Hoad, Diameon Brewer and Emilio Solis combined for 33 tackles, and Diego Assad had 3 TFL and 2 sacks.  UTPB was out gained by Sul Ross, 301-291, but stopped the Lobos four times on fourth down, including at the one yard line midway through the fourth quarter.

Simon Fraser at Texas A&M-Kingsville - 7:00
Live Stats     Live Audio
TAMK Game Notes
The Javelinas are calling last weekends game "Redemption", knocking off FCS Incarnate Word 31-22.  Myles Carr threw for 313 yards and 3 TDs, with Jordan Thomas catching two of those.  They will want to improve on the 124 rushing yards.  The defense was solid almost all game, holding UIW to a negative 26 yards rushing, but did allow two short passes to turn into long TD plays.

Simon Fraser also played an FCS team last week, but with a much different result.  Idaho State (2-9 in 2015) beat SFU 47-3, outgaining the Clan 543-233, including a negative 22 yards rushing.  Miles Richardson was a bright spot offensively, throwing for 255 yards.  Defensively, Jordan Herdman led the way.  The preseason All-American and 2-time reigning GNAC Defensive Player of the Year tallied 20 tackles, 2 TFL, forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble as well.  SFU is winless in its last 14 games, dating back to October of 2014.

West Texas A&M at Colorado State Pueblo - 7:00
Live Stats     Live Video
WTAM Game Notes     
If last week's season opener was any indication, the pass happy, high scoring Buffalo teams might be a thing of the past.  If that's the case, the defense will be relied upon to keep WT in ball games.  Azusa Pacific was held to just 242 yards and 4/13 on third downs, but took advantage of good field position on its five offensive scores. Interesting tidbit, on APU's scoring drives they averaged 8.6 plays and 43.6 yards, on their six non-scoring drives 3 plays and 1.5 yards - talk about all of nothing.  For the offense, Ja'Quarius Daniels had 11 catches for 93 yards, Devon Pay with 62 yards and a TD rushing, while Ethan Brinkley threw for 233 yards on 46 attempts and had two interceptions.

Fifteen minutes into the season and all was well.  CSUP had an 8-0 lead over Colorado Mines and the Thunderwolves defense was disrupting the game.  Then the second quarter happened.  Two turnovers, a safety and 261 yards given up by the defense and a 36-8 deficit that could not be overcome.  When the dust had settled, CSUP had suffered their worst loss in recent memory, 57-21 with 5 turnovers.  Bernard McDondle led the offense with 150 yards on 16 carries. He had 1,439 yards as a sophomore last year.  The key to CSUP having another successful season will be the play of the QBs.  CSUP won 10 games with AJ Thompson at QB last year, so expect him to play better.  They also have Rex Dausin, (began college at Houston, then Lamar before CSUP) waiting in the wings.  His older brother Ross was the starting QB for the Thunderwolves from 2010-2012.

Southwest Baptist at Tarleton State - 7:00
Live Stats     Live Video     Live Audio
SBU Game Notes
The Bearcats used a combination of long drives and turnover created short fields to beat ENMU 49-35 last week.  QB, TJ Edwards (18-25-261 3 TDs), RB Bubba Jenkins (173 yds 2 TD rushing), and WRs Kendrick Payne, Cassian Foreman, and Chris Robb (16-261 3 TDs combined) led the offense.  The defense struggled to stop the ENMU running game (444 yds, 4 TDs), but stopped the Greyhounds when it mattered (2-12 on third downs).

At least Tarleton got the toughest game of the year out of the way early.  Not much to talk about offensively, with just 134 yards on the night, and one drive of more than 35 yards, and just two lasting more than 3 plays.  Garrett Simpson and Zed Woerner split time at QB, combining for 139 yards on 12-31 passing.  The running game was worse, with Skyler Wetzel leading TSU with 5 yards.  The Texans defense started off well, forcing punts on the first two series, but couldn't hold off the Cowboys the rest of the night.  The Cowboys scored on six of seven possessions and ended the night with 568 yards.

Western New Mexico at Eastern New Mexico - 8:00
Live Stats     Live Video     Live Video 2     Live Audio
ENMU Game Notes     WNMU Game Notes
The Mustangs offense never got on track, with just 217 yards and one drive of more than 35 yards (the final drive, which ended on downs at the USD 5 yard line).  No one misses Mitch Glasmann more than preseason Xavier Ayers, who was held to just 4 catches for 16 yards.  The defense played well at times, but at the end of the night had allowed 403 yards and five scoring drives of 50+ yards.

The Greyhounds simply dug too deep of a hole, falling behind by three TDs in the second quarter and never getting closer than 14 points the rest of the way.  The Bearcats took advantage of short fields after ENMU fumbles on special teams for 2 TDs, but also had 5 TD drives of more than 70 yards.  The Greyhounds had four long scoring drives themselves, but could not convert enough third downs (2 of 12) to keep the offense on the field.  As expected, Kamal Cass (149 yds, 2 TDs) and D'Maujeric Tucker (147 yds, 1 TD) had big games for ENMU.

OOC game - Humboldt State vs. Azusa Pacific
Humboldt State survived a wild season opener at Carson-Newman, emerging with a 52-45 win.  All-American Ja'Quan Gardner got off to a slow start, but finished with 138 yards and 3 TDs rushing and another 71 yards receiving.  QB Robert Webber had a huge game, with 370 yards passing and 3 TDs.  The defense allowed 672 yards, including 464 rushing.

Azusa Pacific had a complete opposite opener, dropping WTAM 28-10, with the defense holding WT to just 272 yards on the night. The offense was not great, gaining just 242 yards, but did not let scoring opportunities pass, going 4-4 in the red zone.  Kurt Scoby led the offense with 118 yards and 2 TDs, and could be in line for a huge game against the HSU defense.

Bonus question - Which LSC QB will throw for the most yards this weekend?


Lee Baker's Picks
KVII-TV Sports Director
Northern Michigan over Angelo State - Rams lose indoor game
Arkansas - Pine Bluff over Oklahoma Panhandle State
A&M Commerce over Delta State - Lions return favor from last season.. win on road
Arizona Christian over UT Permian Basin - third year program beats first year program
A&M Kingsville over Simon Fraser - Canadians have lost 14 straight games
CSU-Pueblo over WTAM - Home field advantage
SW Baptist over Tarleton - SWB gets 2nd straight win over LSC team
ENMU over WNMU - Hounds win opener at new on-campus stadium
Humboldt State over Azusa Pacific - HSU should win league again
Bonus Question - Myles Carr, TAMK. Should light up Simon Fraser


Joe Price's Picks Columnist

Angelo State at Northern Michigan - The Rams had a rough week last week. Unfortunately, I don't see it getting any better this week. NMU for the win.

Oklahoma Panhandle State at Arkansas Pine Bluff - I think this will be a close one and a good game for the Aggies after playing SHSU. I'll take OPSU.

Texas A&M Commerce at Delta State - Big test early for the Lions. Delta's Tyler Sullivan is back from his season-ending injury from 2015. I'll take the Lions by 3 in another epic battle!

Arizona Christian at UT Permian Basin - The Falcons win convincingly. I would be surprised if this was a close game. UTPB all the way.

Simon Fraser at Texas A&M-Kingsville - I will be at this game to watch the Javs versus NCAA's Canadian team, Simor Fraser. Javelinas looked impressive last week. Kingsville by 10.

West Texas A&M at Colorado State Pueblo - This is a very interesting game, as both enter with letdowns in their season-openers. However, I think the Pueblo offense will be the factor in this one. CSUP at home.

Southwest Baptist at Tarleton State - SBU stepped up and took down ENMU. Will that happen to Tarleton? I think this will be a very close game. TSU by 1.

Western New Mexico at Eastern New Mexico - Here it is. EAST versus WEST. I'm really excited about this game. ENMU has just a little more firepower than WNMU, in my initial views. ENMU win at home.

#24 Azusa Pacific at #13 Humboldt State - Azusa looked decent against WT last week; however, Humboldt is a different team and has more offensive production than WT and should roll in this one. I'll take the Lumberjacks

Which LSC QB will throw for the most yards - I think this comes down to either TAMC's Perez, WT's Brinkley or TAMK's Carr. Perez seems to be a machine at throwing the ball and very methodical; however, the Lions run the ball pretty consistently. WT is playing Pueblo, who gave up 400 passing yards to one of the top D2 QBs; and, Carr is playing a Canadian team in Simon Fraser that gave up 378 passing yards to Idaho State. I think my choice is Texas A&M Kingsville's Myles Carr.


Charles Bryce's Picks
Charles is a journalist for the San Angelo Standard-Times


Adam Ostrow's Picks
Adam is the Sports Director for KAUZ in Wichita Falls
Angelo St. at Northern Michigan: Despite another long road trip, and as much as I want to pick NMU purely because their coach is named Chris Ostrowsky... I think Angelo State gets the win here. NMU is 1-0, but had to rally to beat a not-very-good Lake Erie team Week 1.

OPSU at Arkansas-Pine Bluff: UAPB is a weak FCS team. OPSU is a weak D2 team. Pine Bluff did struggle to beat D2 Morehouse last year, but Morehouse is a lot better than Panhandle. Give me the Golden Lions.

A&M-Commerce at Delta St.: Commerce is the higher-ranked team, but Delta got a much-better test in Week one with a good win over a solid Ky. Wesleyan team, while Commerce played a glorified scrimmage vs College of Faith. They played a shootout last year in Commerce, I'll take the home team with the returning QB who played a real Week-1 game to pull the upset here.

Arizona Christian at UT-Permian Basin: It's two young programs facing off here. This is the season opener for the Firestorm, who went 6-3 last year in the NAIA, but were obliterated by WNMU in their only game against D2 competition. UTPB looked good in a win over D3 Sul Ross, I think they can keep the confidence rolling against ACU.

Simon Fraser at TAMUK: A team that hasn't won a game since October 2014 travels 2500 miles to face a team that just beat a D1 opponent. Yeah, I'm going to take the Hoggies.

WT at CSU-Pueblo: The ThunderWolves are probably going to remember last year's 1-point loss to the Buffs, not to mention last week's blowout national-tv loss to rival Colorado Mines. I wouldn't want to be the Buffs this week. Pueblo, big.

Southwest Baptist at Tarleton St: The Texans' defense seemed a bit better last week, before D1 McNeese St. wore them down. Southwest Baptist just beat Eastern New Mexico by 2 touchdowns, hanging 550 yards on the Greyhound defense. Still, I think the game against tougher competition might have helped TSU get more of an edge, so I'll take the Texans, but not all that confidently.

WNMU at ENMU: Eastern has won the last 11 in this series, but they haven't met since 2005, so that isn't worth much. This is the first LSC game of the year, and the debut of ENMU's new Stadium. Eastern also uses an offense that you don't see much these days, which WNMU probably isn't as familiar with as other longer-term LSC members. I have to give the edge to the home team.

Azusa Pacific at Humboldt St: I saw Humboldt in person last year against MSU. They looked really impressive on their first drive, not so much after. The Jacks have won three of the last four games in the series, in the weird double-round-robin the GNAC plays. I think Humboldt's offense is enough to do more damage to Azusa's defense than WT did, so I'll take HSU.

Bonus: Myles Carr threw for 313 yards last week against a D1 defense. The Javs throw more than they run normally, so I'm not as worried about him losing stats to the run game with a lead. I'll take him again this week.


J. Scott Russell's Picks
J. Scott is a journalist for the Times Record News out of Wichita Falls

Angelo State at Northern Michigan -- Northern Michigan 24-21

Oklahoma Panhandle State at Arkansas Pine Bluff -- Aggies scored 21 points against Sam Houston. Unless it was a gift from Bearkats, that will be enough to beat Lions, OPSU 24-14.

Texas A&M Commerce at Delta State -- Now we'll see what Lions can do against real competition. Expect aother close one, A&M-C 35-31

Arizona Christian at UT Permian Basin-- UTPB should get second win of the season, UTPB 28-10

Simon Fraser at Texas A&M-Kingsville -- Javelinas roll 42-17

West Texas A&M at Colorado State Pueblo -- Both teams smarting from Week 1 losses. Take CS-Pueblo 38-21

Southwest Baptist at Tarleton State -- SW Baptist 42-21

Western New Mexico at Eastern New Mexico -- Greyhounds open new stadium with 31-14 win

#24 Azusa Pacific at #13 Humboldt State -- expect a lot of points, Humboldt 50-42

Bonus - Which LSC QB will throw for the most yards? Myles Carr

LSC Scoop Picks

ASU v. NMU - Angelo State limits the turnovers and gets the road win.  ASU 28-21

OPSU v. Ark Pine-Bluff - OPSU goes from playing one of the best FCS teams to one of the worst.  Still, its an FCS team, Arkansas Pine-Bluff in a close one, 35-31.

TAMC v. DSU - Will this be another offensive shootout?  If so, home field advantage and a tight win for DSU. 42-38

UTPB v. ACU - Arizona Christian looks to have a pretty good NAIA team with experience.  UTPB makes history again with their first loss. ACU 35-24

TAMK v. SFU - Could the Javelinas be overlooking SFU with Midwestern State lurking next week?  After three consecutive 2 win seasons, that doesn't seem likely.  Javs 42-14.

WTAM v. CSUP - Can the Thunderwolves bounce back from an early season loss?  They did last year, winning 11 straight after a 31-30 loss to WT.  They start a new streak tonight, 31-17.

SBU v. TSU - Southwest Baptist's offense made ENMU's defense look bad, and the Texans had the worst defense in D2 last year.  SBU 35-17.

WNMU v. ENMU - Doesn't look like the Mustang's offense will give ENMU the same problems they had last week, and the Greyhounds should be off and running on offense.  ENMU 35-10.

HSU v. APU - Humboldt State's offense vs. Azusa Pacific's defense should be fun to watch.  HSU too strong 35-21.

Bonus question - Angelo State, Western New Mexico and Tarleton State don't seem to be settled on one QB, TAMC and TAMK will likely be too balanced, ENMU is too run oriented,  and don't expect CSUP to play pass D like last week.  That leaves Kameron Mathis from UTPB and Shane Truelove from OPSU.  Truelove has the experience and will likely need a big game to keep OPSU close.  Our pick Shane Truelove

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