|« CSN So South: Preseason Favorites Key to SoCon Title and Playoffs||11/10/08 Gridiron Power Index (GPI), James Madison Locked at No. 1 »|
No feedback yet
CSN Down South: First Half Surges Continue Southland Shakeup
By Jason Plotkin, CSN Down South Columnist
In three games, the first half set the tone and put the winning team in those contests in a comfortable position. The Southland Conference race for the automatic bid into the Division I playoffs still is not clear as even a team with a 2-3 record in conference play is mathematically in the mix and could conceivably win a spot based on the results.
In Hammond, Texas State took a 38-14 advantage into halftime against host Southeastern Louisiana as SLU took in “Senior Day” festivities.
On this day, it was the usual standouts for the team from San Marcos, Texas. Cameron Luke scored twice and totaled seven catches for 185 yards. Bradley George’s 68-yard touchdown pass on the first play started the scoring and set the tone. Karrington Bush did what he needed on the ground with 18 carries for 91 yards while Stan Zwinggi showed the Lions just how much backfield depth the team has with another 11 carries for 82 yards.
For the home team, Brian Babin is now up to 21 touchdown passes after throwing two more. He’s just the third quarterback in school history to pull off the feat. A junior, Babin should be able to duplicate it next year, especially now that freshman Simmie Yarborough has emerged. Yarborough had six catches for 92 yards with a score while Chris Wilson caught the other touchdown pass, giving him seven The will without a doubt have more than 10,000 yards and 100 touchdowns and a few months down the road, have his name called during the first day of the NFL draft.
Brown’s receiver of choice this week was Eric Ware, who had a career-high 174 yards, with five receptions and a TD catch. Clint Conque’s team heads to SFA this weekend. Brown vs Moses. Seems like each week we have another great matchup at the QB position in the SLC.
A Storm Out of the Gates – For Naught
The final game of the week was in Lake Charles, La., where McNeese and Stephen F. Austin were looking to stay within reach of a possible auto-qualifier. It looked as if the Jacks would follow the lead of the other teams that came out of the gates strong. The visitors from Nacogdoches put the first 10 points on the scoreboard with just over five and a half minutes remaining in the opening quarter.
Twenty-one points (or three Toddrick Pendland touchdowns,depending on how you want to look at it) and McNeese was surging ahead of the Jacks. It was 21-10 at that point. Jeremy Moses got SFA back on top with touchdowns to end the first half and one more halfway through the third quarter. A Derrick Fourroux touchdown scamper put the Pokes back on top and when you needed him again, Pendland scored another touchdown for McNeese, a team that with victories in its final two games could make the playoffs with some help.
If a runningback has 178 carries for 1,218 yards for a 6.8-yards per carry average through nine games, do you think that would get Payton Award attention? What if you throw in 12 touchdowns on the ground, another three through the air and 160 yards of total offense a game? Does that help a little?
With Karrington Bush and Jay Lucas getting most of the attention around the conference, Pendland has been the shining star runningback the last few weeks. Backs against the wall, the Pokes saw Pendland pick up 173 yards on 24 carries Nov. 1 against SLU. That total was more than three times Lucas in the same game and only 25 yards less than the entire Lions offense.
Last week against SFA, Pendland had 39 carries for 242 yards and three touchdowns. A 6.2-yards per carry average for the back, who also caught five passes for 65 yards and a fourth touchdown. A one-man machine! It doesn’t hurt the Pokes that they have other explosive players in Derrick Fourroux and Steven Whitehead, but there’s no question, that Pendland has been the difference maker for Matt Viator’s squad.
* * *
Lagniappe – A Bit Extra To Write Home About
* Bomar is within striking distance of Arthur Louis (1977-80) for the SHSU passing yard mark. Louis threw for 4,902 yards during his career while Bomar enters the contest against SLU with 4,721, if my math serves me right. I’m sure the SID office in Huntsville will provide an updated listing of all the Bomar record chases as it did last week, so make sure to check out the game notes.
* This weekend is “Pink Out” at Bowers Stadium. While some of you might be familiar with “Dig for the Cure” (volleyball), “Think Pink” or “Pink Zone” (women’s hoops), the Bearkats “pink out” their stadium. Last year, players wore pink tape and did their part in playing a part of the festivities. For those who always have wanted to wear pink to a football game, here’s your chance. Hopefully, some of the SLU fans, players, coaches and even the SID in the press box will get into the act.
* McNeese at Northwestern State, from Turpin Stadium at 6 p.m Saturday is the SLC TV Game of the Week. An elimination game, the loser will be out of the SLC autobid race. While nothing is guaranteed, the SLC did choose just right ahead of the season in getting its “Game of the Week.” Again, check the Southland Web site ahead of the contest for a listing of how to find the game. With the Dynamo out of the playoffs, rest assured, there will be no issues on KTBU in Houston.