Round 14 Preview: Conference crossovers in the West Coast and Texas

D1A Rugby: Round 14 Preview: Conference crossovers in the West Coast and Texas
Photo Credit: Baylor Men's Rugby Instagram
  • All West coast clubs will be facing off in crossover PAC & California conference matchups
  • BYU traveling to the state of Texas for back-to-back Red River showdowns
  • The lone inter-conference matchup this weekend, going down in the Lonestar state with Baylor hosting Oklahoma

PAC / California Crossover

Kicking off the exciting weekend of top collegiate rugby is San Diego State Aztecs (0-0) on the road, traveling to Tucson, AZ to challenge the #14 Arizona Wildcats (0-0). Both teams have yet to play a regular season game towards their overall record in the 2019/20 campaign, but expect a high-flying and exciting matchup in the desert. For SDSU, last year’s season was a bit inconsistent, but nonetheless, the Aztecs of Southern California have always had a strong and passionate program and will be ready to ‘flip the script’ from their 2018/19 schedule.

On the other side of the ball, the Wildcats had a tremendous season of last, losing only four games, in which three were against top ranked clubs in BYU and Cal (x2). Head Coach Sean Duffy has been prepping his team with competitive preseason matches in lieu of the impending season, and we’ll be ready to see what transpires in this nationally broadcasted game.

ForTheFans HQ

The game will be broadcasted on For The Fans and Eleven Sports at 5pm EST and 2pm PST, with links below to watch the matchup live.

WATCH LIVE HERE » FTFNext.com OR bit.ly/2JoEgJE

In the second west coast crossover matchups, #2 Cal Bears (0-0) will be traveling eastward to Davis, CA to play their territory rivals and in UC Davis Aggies (0-1). After a rough start against St. Mary’s last week, the Aggies have gone back to the drawing board to prep for another daunting match versus the #2 team in the land, and ever-powerful Cal. Both games last year were not in favor of the Aggies, but with an improving club, they will be ready to bring the fight on their home-field.

The Cal Golden Bears have had a decent preseason within both 7s and XVs tournaments, but their true character reveals itself when January rolls around. The Bears of Berkeley have been on the brink of a National Championship victory in the past two consecutive years, but expect them to awake from their Fall ‘hibernation’ with an absolute force of an appetite to compete in finishing as best in the land. With only three XVs losses in the past two years, two of which in the Championship game, expect nothing less than an astounding season once again from Cal.

In the third and final PAC/California crossover matches, Cal Poly (0-1) will be hosting #19 UCLA (0-0) in San Luis Obispo, CA. Cal Poly has been showing excellent improvement within their preseason, going 6-0, beating Cal in a 7s tournament, but had been stopped for the first time in their opening match against #21 Grand Canyon last week 10-13. Although the final play came down to the wire with a Mustang try held up in the tryzone, look for Cal Poly to come screaming back with a vengeance this weekend.

But before giving too much away, Cal Poly has a very tough opponent in UCLA upcoming. The Bruins of Southern California are surely prepped after the Dennis Storer Classic, and facing off in a tight match against Cal (condensed time XVs). UCLA has been consistently ranked in the Top 20 all Fall Campaign, without playing a regular season match, which is a testament to the potential and hype of this club. Be ready for a battle in mid-coastal California this weekend, and expect nothing less than a bruising chess match.

Red River / Rocky Mountain Crossover

In an exciting Texas road-trip, #8 ranked and Rocky Mountain Champions, BYU (7-0), will be playing in back-to-back matches within just as many days facing off against #23 Texas A&M (3-1) on Friday the 24th in College Station, and on Saturday the 25th in Austin versus Texas (1-1) during the Austin Blacks hosted “Australia Day”.

Before we get into the Austin club side’s event, the Cougars of Brigham Young, have yet to lose a match their entire 2019/20 campaign, with the closest game 42-10 versus Colorado State. BYU also had 11/15 All Conference First XV starters recently, which shows how powerful and dynamic this club has been this year. Although this will be a tough two-day game schedule for BYU, don’t count out either Texas-based collegiate club side in their attempts of spoiling a fantastic season thus far for the Cougars.

In the first match, #23 ranked Texas A&M Aggies currently only have one loss on the campaign in a crossover battle against Clemson in 2019, but will be experiencing their first regular season Spring game in 2020. Since that opening loss, the Aggies have been on a three-game tear through the Red River scoring a total of 110 points while only conceding 42 total points.

In the second matchup, Texas (Hook ‘Em!) will be ready to bust out their 2020 campaign with a scorcher of a matchup versus BYU, in the second-to-last game within the Austin Blacks hosted ‘Australia Day’. This wonderful rugby weekend was put on by the local men’s club year after year, but with a little more emphasis on helping fundraise towards the Australian Red Cross due to the Bush Fires the past couple months. A great display of rugby will be shown throughout the whole day, but keep your eyes peeled on the final score of this match with a gigantic home-city crowd coming to cheer on the Longhorns.

Austin Blacks Club FB Page – Australia Day

Red River

Within the entire weekend, the lone inter-conference match will take place between Oklahoma (2-0) and Baylor (1-1). The Sooners will be traveling to Waco, TX for each of their third matchups of the 2019/20 campaign. Currently, the Bears of Baylor are only down 5 points within the Red River standings, and will be hungry in shortening that lead from Oklahoma. The Norman, OK side has yet to lose a game this campaign and will be vying for their position to potentially surpass rivals Texas A&M after hearing of the BYU matchup outcome. Both of these sides have shown the nation they are willing to compete at a very high level, and will not be letting up in this interstate rivalry match.

All Matchups Across the Weekend

DATEAWAYHOMETIMELOCATION
1/24/2020#8 BYUat#23 Texas A&M6:00 PM CSTCollege Station, TX
1/25/2020#8 BYUat UT Texas2:00 PM CSTAUSTIN, TX
San Diego Stateat#14 Arizona3:00 PM PSTTucson, AZ
#2 CalatUC Davis11:00 AM PSTDavis, CA
#19 UCLAatCal Poly1:00 PM PSTSun Luis Obispo, CA
OklahomaatBaylor1:00 PM CSTWaco, TX