Week 6 D1A Preview

D1A Rugby: Week 6 D1A Preview
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Mid-South

Arkansas State (3-1) @ Texas A&M (2-2)

After a Barnburner defeat at the hands of Life University last week, the Arkansas State Red Wolves will travel to College Station seeking mid-season redemption when they play Texas A&m. Texas A&M beat Notre Dame last week with a comfortable score of 38-8 and are hoping to turn their season around with a win over a vulnerable ASU side. The Aggies and the Red Wolves met in the first round of the season as ASU put away the Texans 71-20. But the match this weekend is pitting two very different teams against each other, one coming off some comfortable wins and the other still recovering from a reality check against one of the leagues best. This match could determine the second place team in the Mid-South as A&M is only five points behind ASU.

Oklahoma (1-3) @ Life (4-0)

The other Mid-South match up of Week 6 has powerhouses Life University taking on Oklahoma in Marietta, Georgia. While Life has swept aside every team they have met this season, including top challengers Arkansas State last weekend, Oklahoma is still looking to get their season on track by claiming some wins and prove their hard work has not been in vain. Oklahoma even has the talent to do so; several players represented the university at the regional level last summer on the Western Mustangs Collegiate All-Star team. But that talent hasn’t been utilized as Oklahoma has fallen to 1 and 3 half way through the season. And their most difficult match up is coming this weekend against Life. Life University is strong this year, much better than previous seasons. They put up 30 points against Mid-South powerhouse and 2011 national semi-finalist Arkansas State. The Running Eagles seem to speeding towards a National Championship slot and surely won’t slow down for Oklahoma this weekend.

West

BYU (2-0) @ Wyoming (0-1)

Top ranked BYU finishes out a multiple game tour of the Front Range with a match against Wyoming on Saturday afternoon. The Cougars decided to knock out two conference matches within three days as they met Colorado State on Thursday and will then play the Cowboys during the weekend. BYU brushed aside a weak Colorado State side 97-7 as they continue to control things not only within the West but also nationally. The Cougars put away top-ranked St. Mary’s comfortably 53-17 earlier in the week and will now look to take care of Wyoming in conference play. BYU is on their way to a shot at a National Championship but this weekend is no time to lose focus for the Cougars as they need to notch a good score to climb the West points table and over-take Colorado as the points leaders of this tough conference. Wyoming is still looking to turn their young season around as they have only played one league match against Arizona Sate where they lost 44-19. Wyoming can give the Cougars a scare with their physicality but it will be tough for them to hang with the experienced Cougars for eighty minutes.

Colorado (2-1) @ Air Force (1-1)

The season is still blooming for Air Force as they will seek to claim an upset over the shining Colorado Buffaloes this Friday night. Colorado is at the top of the West Conference currently and are seeking a playoff slot if all goes according to plan. Still glowing from there surprising domination of Arizona State last weekend the fate of their post season is looking good for the Buffs if they can put away the remaining teams in the West and have a good showing against BYU later in the season. Air Force is also in a good position to make a run at the 2012 post season as they are 1-1 with a defeat over Arizona, a team that beat Colorado, and a tough loss to BYU where the Zoomies scored 20 points against the power house program. Air Force is a force to be reckoned with and the match on Friday night could well decide who will be joining BYU in the D1A playoffs later this spring.

Utah (1-0) @ Arizona (1-1)

Western Conference play will continue to unfold as Utah meet Arizona in Tuscon this weekend. Utah’s season is unfolding as they have only played one match so far; a 49-19 victory against Colorado State where the Utes fielded a largely reserve side. Utah is still reputed as one of the stronger programs in the nation and will look to get their season rolling as they meet the Wildcats in conference play. The Western Conference is turning out to be very competitive within the teams battling for second place. Arizona has a great shot of making the playoffs as they put away Colorado with a tight win a few weeks back but lost narrowly to Air Force. A playoff slot below BYU in the West Conference will come down to the fight between Arizona, Utah, Air Force, and Colorado; so pay close attention to these teams in the following weeks and especially the match ups this weekend.

Pacific

Central Washington (1-0) @ St. Mary’s (2-0)

The only match in the Pacific Conference for Week 6 will see two storied programs go head to head in a match that will determine the leader of this tough conference. Central Washington travels to California to play St. Mary’s in a game that will not only decide the leader of the coastal table but also who could represent the Pacific once the National Playoffs roll around. St. Mary’s suffered a hard loss to BYU last week in non-conference play as the top-ranked Gaels fell to a dominating Cougar team 53-17. However the Gaels are still the most qualified team in the Pacific Conference and will look to get a shot into the playoffs as this upcoming match will determine who leads the coastal conference. Central Washington is still glowing after their definitive defeat of UC-Davis two weeks ago but has yet to get their season rolling as the D1A campaign is still fresh. Though they may lack the match conditioning and experience St. Mary’s has at this time, Central Washington is not to be taken lightly as they have shown great ability to use their talented player pool and their lessons from the sevens National Championship.

East

Kutztown (1-0) @ Army (2-0)

Rounding out the weekend’s action is an East Conference match between two regional programs known for their hard work and dedication off the field. Kutztown travels to West Point to play Army in this conference decider as both teams look to gain a big win over a strong conference team. Army leads the conference table with two wins over Delaware and Rutgers. The Knights have yet to be tested by a team of Kutztown’s caliber however and will look to record a decisive victory that will lead to a more comfortable spot at the top of the conference. Kutztown is coming off of a victory over Ohio State and are hoping to climb their way up the ladder while placing themselves in a good position to make a run at playoffs while the season is still young. The East Conference is an underrated one and after this weekend the table should be well defined as these two power houses of college rugby meet at West Point.