2019 Round 6 Preview

D1A Rugby: 2019 Round 6 Preview
Photo Credit: Boston College Instagram Page @bcrfc - @coolrugbyphotos
  • Kutztown back in action against Penn State
  • Ohio State vs Michigan
  • Lindenwood returns to D1A play vs Army
  • Notable home conference games
  • All matchups listed across the weekend

East

There’s two home conference matchups in the East and get ready, they’re big.

A well-rested #7 Kutztown (2-1) travels to Happy Valley, PA, after a two-week break from D1A play, and faces off against #8 Penn State (3-0). Last year’s battle between these two East titans resulted in a 32-27 win by the Nittany Lions. We fully expect a similar type of game to incur, with high-flying attacking schemes mixed in a boiling pot of conference prominence. Count this battle as the “Match of the Week”.

The other big matchup to be aware of is #12 Army (1-2) hosting the #4 team in the land, Lindenwood (0-0). This will be an extremely interesting match due to Army’s recent loss vs #11 Notre Dame College, how they’ve prepared to bounce back, and the emergence of Lindenwood having only warm-up scrimmages so far this Fall. Army has the advantage in having played incredibly tough competition week after week, but Lindenwood has been notoriously Top-4 in recent years and they are dangerous. Lookout for a bruising contest between these two diligently coached and well-trained clubs.

Big Ten

To start things off with a bang, the infamous Ohio StateMichigan rivalry is finally upon us. In the last 5 years of this matchup, the Buckeyes (3-1) have had the Wolverines (1-0) number, with just as many victories over the rival club. #20 Ohio State have outscored Michigan 259-92 in their annual battle since 2014, according to USA Rugby’s CMS database. The Wolverines are in fact 1-0, beating Wisconsin two weeks ago, and unfortunately had their Battle for the Mitten matchup against Michigan State cancelled last week, due to unsavory weather. The Buckeyes will have home-field advantage on their side, but this rivalry is nothing short of historical.

Illinois (1-2) will be hosting Purdue (0-3) in a matchups where the Illini will be looking to carry the momentum from their previous week’s victory against Wisconsin. Purdue have yet to mark themselves within the win column this year, although they’ve produced two close games that have been within 10 point deficits. Illinois has the upper hand on the Boilermakers in more recent years, and are aiming in keeping that tradition rolling.

Wisconsin (2-2) are traveling to Bloomington, IN for their upcoming match against #19 Indiana (3-1). The Badgers lost a close one last week, and will have a tough time rebounding against the up-trending Indiana side. The Hoosiers are on a three-game winning streak, having their only loss to now, #16 Iona in the first game of the year. Expect another tough Big Ten matchup that will be maxed out on effort and passion.

In the final Big Ten match of Round 6 is Michigan State (2-1) hosting Minnesota (1-3). After winning their first game against Purdue, the Gophers have ridden a tough three-game losing streak, and will have their hands full against a Spartan side coming off a good conference win. Michigan State has had both close victories and defeats the entire year, and yet again within the Big Ten, this match will be too close to call.

Liberty

One of the bigger games of the conference will be Buffalo (3-1), with their only loss on the year to the undefeated Syracuse, hosting Cortland (2-2). Buffalo has had convincing wins all year, and expect them to take advantage of their home field turf in this challenge.

One of two undefeated teams in the conference, Northeastern (3-0), will be on the road against hosting side UMASS (1-1). The hosts have had inconsistent point differentials all season so far, in their win and loss, so expect the Huskies in taking advantage of that chink in the UMASS defensive armor.

The recently, first time this season, defeated Boston College (3-1) will be traveling to face off against a Tufts (1-2) side who is riding a two-game losing streak. BC had run into a difficult Northeastern club the previous week, in a battle of the undefeated, unfortunately in their particular case, it wasn’t their night to have.

Fairfield (2-2) will be on the road against the winless UCONN (0-3) side. The Connecticut Husky side has only scored 25 points in three games, and expect Fairfield hone in their attacking efforts in keeping the ball. Brockport (1-3) will host conference rival Oswego (2-2). Oswego has been praised publicly by multiple Liberty clubs, and this underrated side will be looking to avenge their previous week’s loss against a strong Buffalo team. The winless Albany (0-5) will host Binghamton (2-1), and finally to wrap things up, #16 Iona Gaels (3-2) will be on the road against Stony Brook (3-1). Firsthand, looking at Stony Brook’s record, they are showing great improvement and promise, although they have faced clubs that are on the conference’s bottom of the table. Iona only has one loss on the road, against #5 Navy, and they will not go easy against their next challenger.

Rocky Mountain

First up, #9 BYU (2-0) will be traveling to Colorado Springs in facing off against a struggling Air Force (1-3). The Cougars will be looking to pounce on this weary Falcon side, and sink their claws with another win on their record.

Colorado (1-1) will host On The Bubble #24 Utah Valley (1-0) in a potentially even matchup in the Rockies. The Boulder-based side is currently on the ropes regarding an eligibility issue, but the best thing their club could do is concentrate on their next challenger, in a potentially dangerous UVU side.

In the final matchup within the Rocky Mountain conference is New Mexico (0-4) on the road against On The Bubble #21 Colorado State (2-1). The Rams only loss came just last week, to #9 BYU, and they are aiming their horns against their opponent and will be ready to knock the Lobos out of their way.

Independent

The lone cross-conference / independent home matchup this weekend is Notre Dame (0-2) hosting the #13 St. Bonaventure side (1-2). Looking at the Bonnies record, you might be asking yourself, “why are they ranked that high, with their record?” The simplest answer is, because their two losses were from #5 Navy and #8 Penn State, while their lone win came against #11 Notre Dame College. The Fighting Irish are looking for their first win of the season, while the Bonnies are currently undefeated against Notre Dame named-based schools, and intend on keeping that streak alive.

ALL MATCHUPS ACROSS THE WEEKEND:

10/11/2019MichiganatOhio State7:00 PM CDTColumbus, OH
#13 St. BonaventureatNotre Dame 6:00 PM CDTSouth Bend, IN
10/12/2019#7 Kutztownat#8 Penn State1:00 PM EDTState College, PA
PurdueatIllinois1:00 PM CDTChampaign, IL
Wisconsinat#19 Indiana1:00 PM CDTBloomington, IN
MinnesotaatMichigan State1:00 PM CDTEast Lansing, MI
#9 BYUatAir Force1:00 PM MDTColorado Springs, CO
#24 Utah ValleyatColorado 1:00 PM MDTBoulder, CO
New Mexicoat#21 Colorado State1:00 PM MDTFort Collins, CO
Boston CollegeatTufts5:30 PM EDTMedford, MA
NortheasternatUMASS1:00 PM EDTAmherst, MA
FairfieldatUCONN2:00 PM EDTStorrs, CT
#16 IonaatStony Brook1:00 PM EDTStony Brook, NY
OswegoatBrockport1:00 PM EDTBrockport, NY
BinghamtonatAlbany1:00 PM EDTAlbany, NY
CortlandatBuffalo1:00 PM EDTBuffalo, NY
#4 Lindenwoodat#12 Army1:00 PM EDTWest Point, NY