The final weekend of the regular season is upon us, and while it would seem like the intrigue is over as the conference has crowned a champion, that logic is far from the truth. Today the conference slate has the champion preparing for the FCS playoffs taking on a very good, and possible playoff team, a conference game that could determine who gets an at large, and a random FCS at FBS game. Here is today’s first word:
Its amazing how just one week ago, this was the most anticipated game of the season, now it seems (based on predictions) that this game means nothing for the host school, UT Martin. One loss, which was at Tennessee Tech, is seen as a pitfall and won’t allow the Skyhawks a chance at an at large bid. For the Tigers, it seems a win over the Skyhawks will be enough to propel Michael German and Trabis Ward into the playoffs, however if the Tigers stubble on the road (which they like to do) then it could be the Colonels getting an at large bid. None the less, it will be interesting to see how both teams play, will Derek Carr come out on fire or will the Tigers take away his passing attack.
The Ohio Valley champions take to the road in what is a perfect way to prepare for the playoffs as they take on Southland champion Central Arkansas who has already played the Racers and throttled them 42-20. The record watch continues for star junior wide receiver Erik Lora who already has 115 receptions, 1479 yards and 11 touchdowns, and it seems that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will continue to target him against a pass defense that gives up just over 230 yards per contest. Both teams average over 35 points per game on offense so it could be which ever defense shows up early, could set the tempo as to who wins this defacto playoff game.
Its a passing attack of Murray State versus the ground attack of Southeast Missouri in this one as both teams look for momentum to end the season. Both are coming off tough losses and would like to end the season with a victory. For the Racers its the last time Casey Brockman suits up in the blue and gold and will attempt to pass for 10,000 yards in his career, as he needs just 199 to do so. As for the Redhawks, they will depend on the running combo of quarterback Scott Lathrop and running back Levi Terrell. The Redhawks need just 30 yards through the air to reach 1,000 for the season.
Well every team gets the spotlight and these two havn’t had it yet. It is the last time we get to see Da”Rick Rogers, as he announced he will leave after his one year in Cookeville for the NFL. The Golden Eagles are flying high after a one point win over UT Martin and will look for their first winning streak of the season. For Austin Peay, the team will be looking for its first conference win since October 1 2011, which was at home against Tennessee State. That was also their last winning streak.
The SEC schedule every week is generally very rough, but as they do every year the majority of teams take on FCS teams the weekend before Thanksgiving. It helps both sides actually as usually those teams will be playing the following week in the playoffs and I’m sure this was supposed to be one. Jacksonville State however won’t be in the playoffs. Jacksonville State should stick around in the first half as they run the ball very good.