Week 4 Preview

D1A Rugby: Week 4 Preview
Photo Credit: University of Arizona Rugby Facebook Page

After last week’s exciting and explosive fixtures, Week 4 has a lot to live up to, but with over ten games being played the potential is definitely there. This week sees the full resumption of Red River play, with the California Conference following suit, while the Arizona State will kick off their PAC campaign with a trip to La La Land.

#1 Saint Mary’s faces their toughest competition of the year so far as they take on #14 San Diego State.  Saint Mary’s has started their title defense in style as they have dismantled all their opponents with ease. Most notably they were able to dispose of #17 Central Washington by over seventy points.  San Diego after a shock loss to, at the time unranked, Grand Canyon University will be looking to prove that they are worthy of the top ten ranking they held last week. What better way to do that than beat the number one team in the nation?

#3 BYU takes the paddock for the first time of the season, their opponent is the freshly ranked #19 Grand Canyon. While there is still a large gap between the two teams rankings-wise Grand Canyon showed last weekend that they are capable of being giant killers. This game shall serve as a good yardstick to measure whether GCU are contenders or pretenders.

#5 Lindenwood this weekend takes on Central Washington. Lindenwood has been in impressive form throughout their fall season. They have gone a perfect 7-0 and with hopes to make that 8 in a row when they make the trip to Ellensburg. CWU wants to rebound from their heavy defeat to Saint Mary’s earlier in the year, and try to climb back into the good graces of the rankings panel by claiming Lindenwood’s scalp. 

In the Red River Conference Baylor takes the trip to Houston, as they look to continue their dominating start to 2018. Baylor is coming in hot on the heels of an impressive win over Texas Tech last weekend. Houston, on the other hand, has let in over seventy points in two of the three games they have played this season, tightening their defensive screws is paramount if they are to get their season back on track.

Texas plays their first game in nearly two months as the Texas Tech Red Raiders make the trip from Lubbock. Texas has had a see-sawing season thus far, interestingly the Longhorns beat Baylor during the preseason and it will undoubtedly be using that as a source of inspiration going into this weekend.

The final Red River game of the weekend sees TCU and Texas A&M go toe to toe. The Aggies have been explosive so far this season as they have won their two games by over thirty points. TCU, on the other hand, has had a start to the season they’d like to forget, they’ve started off at 1-2. The Aggies are favorites heading into the weekend.

In the other California Conference match-up, it is Cal Poly taking on UC Davis. This is UC Davis’s first conference match at the D1A level. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt to the new level of competition.

Arizona State makes the trip up to Southern California this weekend to take on UCLA on Saturday, and USC on Sunday. UCLA is coming off an impressive start to their PAC conference play, handling USC last weekend. UCLA will want to keep on brewing that winning formula this weekend, as they look ahead to a tough matchup against Arizona next weekend. USC, however, has a lot to make up for after their loss last weekend. Arizona State has their work cut out for them this weekend with both opponents having a lot to play for.

Other D1A teams in action this weekend include Clemson taking on in-state rivals, South Carolina. Arkansas State will come up against Iowa Central Community College, and #4 Cal has their home opener against Olympic Club.