Friday, September 8, 2017

LSC Game Previews Week 2

*** Midwestern State at West Florida cancelled ***

Three keys to a WT win - Kale Steed,
Ram's Jones keeps kickers on edge - Charles Bryce, San Angelo Standard-Times
Javelinas head to Canada in search of win - Quinton Martinez, Corpus Christi Caller-Times
UTPB travels to take on FCS Lamar - Odessa jAmerican

WT football coach to take on his former team - Kale Steed,
Maroon and White Zone - Kale Steed,
Getting personal with John Cummings - Kale Steed,
WNMU take on in-state rivals in home opener - Silver City Sun-News
Houston area Mustangs reflect on trying week - Donnie Palmer, Times Record News

Game Previews

Eastern New Mexico at Western New Mexico - 1:00 (WNMU Notes)
While it's too early to call this a rivalry, its an interesting matchup.  Both teams had much better opening week games against 2016 opponents - WNMU lost to FCS playoff team San Diego 34-20 and was within one score in the fourth quarter, while ENMU topped nationally ranked, and D2 playoff participant Southwest Baptist 23-21.  ENMU will try and get the running game going, after averaging just 3.1 yard per carry last week.  WNMU will see what the Javia Hall - D'Angelo Bowie pass-catch combo can do for an encore after last week's record setting game.  ENMU looking too strong right now, Greyhounds 35-27.

Texas A&M-Kingsville at Simon Fraser - 3:00 (TAMK Notes)
The Javelinas are looking to rebound after last week's disappointing performance at home against Central Washington.  After jumping out to a 10-0 lead, the TAMK offense did not threaten again until the 4th quarter. The Clan has not won a game since October 2014, a streak that reached 24 after last week's loss to NAIA Arizona Christian.  Last year, the Javelinas emptied the bench in the second quarter of a 68-7 romp.  They might not substitute so early, but should still win comfortably, TAMK 45-10.

William Jewell at Texas A&M-Commerce - 6:00 (TAMC Notes)
Mismatch of the week.  This will get ugly early.  The Cardinals dropped their season opener to South Dakota School of Mines & Technology 42-27 at home and were 1-9 last year beating Lincoln.  The Lions will be anxious to get their offense cranked up after last week's game at North Alabama.  The defense was strong, and TAMC won the special teams battle.  TAMC romps in this one and everyone gets to play, Lions 56-0.

Northern Michigan at Angelo State - 6:00 (Angelo Notes) (Northern Michigan Notes)
This is the season opener for the Wildcats, so there's less to go on to predict the outcome, so we'll look at last year.  NMU's 3-8 record is a bit deceiving, as they actually outscored their opponents by a point per game and outgained them by two.  They'll have a new QB, so the running game could be emphasized more this time around.  The Rams are looking to show the LSC that last week's performance was not a fluke.  Jake Faber did a good job of throwing to the right team, Josh Stevens had a 100 yard rushing game and the defense was lights out.  The level of dominance from week one won't likely be repeated, but ASU should be 2-0 when this is over.  Rams 31-17.

Colorado State-Pueblo at West Texas A&M - 6:00 (WT Notes) (CSUP Notes)
Game of the Week
Though they didn't get the win last week, Buffalo fans should not be disappointed in last week's game.  The defense kept Azusa Pacific in check, giving up just 314 yards and 17 points.  The offense did okay, picking up 223 yards on the ground, but did not find the end zone and Justin Houghtalinig was just 9-21 for 94 yards passing.  Good news?  WT was driving twice in the fourth with a chance to win the game, but the first drive stalled deep in APU territory, forcing WT to settle for a FG, and their last chance ended with a fumble that APU returned for the final score in the game.

It gets even harder this week, with Colorado State Pueblo coming to Canyon.  This will be the 7th meeting between the teams, with each having won 3 games in the series.  The Thunderwolves rolled over Colorado Mines last week 38-7 serving notice to the RMAC and nation that they are ready to make some noise this year.  As expected the defense was strong, allowing just one drive for the first three and a half quarters.    The offense got on track in the third quarter, putting together three solid scoring drives that put the game away.  Three different running backs had 50+ yards as the Wolves totaled 237 as a team.  Brandon Edwards and A. J. Thompson combined to go 18-27 for 228 yards and 4 TDs with 0 interceptions.

This will be tough one for the Buffs, but coach Hughes knows the opponent better than anyone and could have a surprise in store.  Another learning game, another loss, CSUP 35-21

UT Permian Basin at Lamar - 7:00 (UTPB Notes)
Mismatch of the Week - Part II
While last week's loss to Sul Ross was a suprise, it wasn't a total shock.  While UTPB won last year's game 27-6, the game was closer than the score indicated.  Last week, SRU jumped out to an early lead and never trailed in the game.  The Falcons defense gave up 427 yards, with 345 coming through the air.  The offense gained 414 yards, with 367 passing and just 47 rushing yards on the evening, but had 5 turnovers, including 4 interceptions.  SRU turned those TO's into 20 points, providing most of the margin in the game.  They face the Lamar Cardinals.  Lamar will look to end a six game losing skid and rebound by a UNT 59-14 beat down last week.  The Cardinals will take out their frustrations, LU 63-0.

Oklahoma Panhandle State at Tarleton State - 7:00 (TSU Notes) (OPSU Notes)
This has been a pretty good matchup the past couple of years, but the Aggies are not the same team that we've seen the last couple of years.  That is especially true of the offense, where all of their skill players gone.  In fact, of the starters in last year's matchup, just three starters return on offense (all linemen) and four on defense.  So Tarleton has more returning starters from last year's game right?  Not if last week's lineup is any indication.  On offense, Del Michael High is the only one who started last week and against OPSU last year, while Chase Varnado, Basil Jackson, Devin Hafford and E. J. Speed did the same for the defense (though Speed is at a different position).  Tarleton should be able to get the running game going and keep the Aggies offense check. (QB and RB starters are listed as game day decisions)  Texans 35-14.

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