UTPB at Angelo State
When: 6 p.m. Saturday at 1st Community Credit Union Field at LeGrand Stadium in San Angelo
Broadcast: Lone Star Conference Digital Network
The Matchup: More than the race for the Lone Star Conference title is on the line when UTPB travels to meet Angelo State this week. Saturday’s contest will be a significant data point when the first NCAA Division II Super Region Four rankings are released at the end of October.
Some pundits believe the Rams are unlikely to make the playoffs with another loss this season. Angelo State has won three straight games since consecutive losses to regional favorite Colorado School of Mines and LSC foe Central Washington. CWU remains undefeated in the LSC but has three challenging games remaining. Any losses by the Wildcats will hurt the Rams strength of schedule.
Meanwhile, UTPB still hopes to win the LSC title and earn its first playoff appearance in program history under first-year head coach Kris McCullough. The Falcons will conclude the regular season by hosting CWU in a game that could decide the outright LSC champion.
On paper, this game is set to be a classic. This season, the Falcons offense averages 50.3 points per game, including 35.8 points per LSC contest. The Rams have a stingy defense under head coach Jeff Girsch, allowing 18.5 points per game overall and 16.5 points per game against LSC competition.
UTPB’s defense hasn’t received the notoriety this season but is very talented, led by senior linebacker Hayden Kelly. The Falcons have held opponents to 20.1 points per game this season and 24.8 points in LSC action. Angelo State’s offense relies on ball control, averaging 34.3 points per game overall, and leads the LSC with 36.8 points per game against conference foes.
Angelo State owns a 6-0 record all-time in the series
X-Factor: This game will be decided by the team that executes the best on third down. Kenny Hrncir is regarded as the best quarterback in the LSC and is a big reason the Falcons offense has excelled on third downs, converting on 50 of 98 opportunities (51 percent) this season. The Rams defense has been extra stingy on third down, allowing the opposition to convert on only 33.7 percent of third downs this season.
The question for Angelo State will be its offense against the UTPB defense on third down. The Rams have struggled to convert on third down this season (36.6 percent). Meanwhile, the Falcons defense has been solid on third downs, allowing opponents to convert on 32.7 percent of its attempts.
Prediction: UTPB 24, Angelo State 21
Best of the Rest:
When: 4 p.m. Saturday at Homer Bryce Stadium in Nacogdoches
Prediction: SFA 27, ACU 24
When: Noon Saturday at Jackson Field in Alpine
Prediction: HSU 28, SRSU 24
When: 3 p.m. Saturday at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium in Kilgore
Broadcast: Kilgore College YouTube channel
Prediction: Kilgore 31, TVCC 27
Other Texas Non-FBS Games:
Saturday, October 21
Nicholls at Texas A&M-Commerce, 3:30 p.m.
Morehead State at Tarleton, 6 p.m.
Florida A&M at Texas Southern, 7 p.m.
UIW at McNeese, 7 p.m.
Midwestern State at Western Oregon, 3:05 p.m.
Texas A&M-Kingsville at Eastern New Mexico, 7 p.m.
West Texas A&M at Central Washington, 8 p.m.
Howard Payne at Sul Ross, 1 p.m.
Trinity at Southwestern, 1 p.m.
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Austin College, 1 p.m.
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran, 4 p.m.
Wayland Baptist at Texas Wesleyan, 2 p.m.
North American at SAGU, 2 p.m.
Texas College at Oklahoma Panhandle State, 2 p.m.
Louisiana Community at Navarro, 1 p.m.
Tyler at Cisco, 1 p.m.
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