Today we sit down with ASURAM2010 from the d2messageboard.com world to have a chat about Saturday’s game. Great chat so let’s get to it.
BTB: First, give us your overall thoughts on the game.
RAM: This game scares me a bit due to Commerce having the ability to score quickly. We are not built to win games, this year, that are high scoring. If we can keep Commerce to 24 or less, I really like our chances. Our defense will have to continue to play well to keep us in this game as our offense is still a work in progress.
BTB: This has not been a typical ASU year. What has been the difference?
RAM: There has been a ton of change from last year to this year. Changes in offensive coordinator, changes in QB , not just replacing Kyle Washington, but also going through 3 different QB’s this year. WE are replacing a ton of skill position players as well. I think the time that is taking for everyone to get on the same pages is one of the reasons for the slow start out of the gate.
BTB: A lot of people overlook Will Wagner in the conference among coaches. Tell us about what makes him a great coach?
RAM: The thing that I look at first when it comes to Will Wagner is his ability to graduate players. But for the on the field side, I think it is his ability to put players in the best position for them to succeed. Our starting MLB is a former 3A QB/Safety who has turned into a pretty darn good player, and that is just one of many examples.
BTB: Kyle Washington was a fantastic player. What is he up to these days?
RAM: I believe he is in graduate school at ASU.
BTB: Speaking of QB’s tell us about your QB situation for this year.
RAM: Everyone at ASU knew that replacing Kyle was going to be an astronomically large problem, you just don’t replace that kind of production very often. To add to that replacement, his backup decided to forego his senior season to focus on getting his doctorate in Physical Therapy (can’t fault the kid for that). We brought in a widely recruited JUCO QB with good production and have 2 redshirt freshmen. None of the 3 of the QB’s on the roster had any experience at this level and it has taken some time to find the guy to run our offense.
BTB: From an outsider’s view, tell us what you think about the Lions?
RAM: The Lions are a great team under Carthel and Co., in years past their offense has carried their defense, but this year I believe it is the opposite. That is not take anything away from the offense, but I think their defense is what is going to keep them in games going forward.
BTB: Who are the playmakers for the Rams this year?
RAM: The top playmaker on the team this year is RB Josh Stevens. The kid has speed to burn and it hitting his stride with the offensive lineman and scheme that we run. Add in the fact that now teams have to worry about the QB run game, Josh will continue to impress. On the outside, you always have to worry about Donovan Thompson. He is a big play threat no matter where he catches the ball. There are 2 other receivers that are flying under the radar but would not be surprised to see them make big contributions and those are sophomore Deontae Scott (he is big, strong, athletic, and fast) and true freshman Lawson Ayo. I believe that Ayo will eventually fill the shoes of Talon Smith and I think the Scott has the ability to be a V’Keon Lacy type player for the Rams.
BTB: What is the key match-up to watch for in this game?
RAM: They key match up will be our offensive line v. the front 7 of Commerce. Our offense depends on our OL, and we will go as they go.
BTB: Tell us about LeGrande stadium and compare it to San Angelo stadium as far as game day atmosphere.
RAM: Pregame is without a doubt much better since we moved to the on campus stadium. The tailgating has increased probably 25X what it was when we were at SAISD Stadium. That being said, the actual game atmosphere still leaves some to be desired. With much of the construction of the stadium happening in phases, we don’t have a finished product at any level outside of the field surface. I think that once all of the construction is complete, LeGrand Stadium will be one of the nicest in the country and will only help the game day atmosphere.
BTB: Predict the score.
RAM: As much as I don’t like to say it, I think this one goes the way of the Lions 34-21.
BTB: Bonus: What is the best ASU/TAMUC game you ever witnessed?
RAM: I haven’t seen a whole lot of these games in person, but I’m going to go with 2 games. During the 2014 season, there were two great games played between these two teams. Game 1 was at ASU with the Rams having a chance to win it at the buzzer with a field goal that was ultimately missed. The second game was in the LSC playoff at Commerce where our defense stopped Commerce at the goal line in the final minutes to win the game. That game propelled us into the playoffs.
Major Props to ASURAMS2010 for a FANTASTIC set of info!