Greetings, Lions fans, after the frustrations of last week, it’s time to turn our attention to the Mustangs of Western New Mexico. Let’s get to it.
OVERVIEW-To say the Mustangs are young is an understatement. Starting only one senior, Western has struggled on offense to date, having failed to score a rushing touchdown, and have turned the ball over a total of 10 times.
The Lions, despite their struggles in being on the field for far too long on too short of a field, continue to be a bright spot for Colby Carthel and his staff. They are among the conference leaders in rushing defense, and have developed a very good pass rush.
TALE OF THE TAPE-
The Mustangs do have a decided size advantage on the offensive line, averaging 6’2″ 300 lbs. and 6’0″ 190 lbs. at the skills positions. The Lions front seven averages 6’1″ 235 lbs., and 6’0″ 178 lbs. in the secondary. The Lions have a real advantage in speed, experience, and talent.
CAST OF CHARACTERS-The Mustangs are led in passing by 6’3″ 215 lb. junior Blayne Armstrong, 121-218, 1,293 yards, 5 TD’s, 5 interceptions, with a long of 82. Junior D’Andre Williams is the leading rusher with 78 carries for 311 yards. Freshman Koudre Roberts is the leading receiver with 33 catches for 392 yards with 3 TD’s, and the lone senior on Mustang defense, Evan Beebe, contributes 25 catches for 317 yards.
The Blue Gang continue to be led in tackling by senior Brucks Saathoff, with 70 (31 solo), followed by Mark Westbrook with 52 (35 solo) and Neema Behbahani with 40 (15 solo). The Lions have 16 total sacks, led by senior Michael Onoha with 5 and a half.
THE BOTTOM LINE-The Lions should roll this week, and roll big. In addition to holding a decided talent advantage, the Lions come in to this week licking their wounds after a humiliating loss to Tarleton State. To borrow a phrase from Charles Barkley, when asked about the 1992 Olympic “Dream Team” Basketball team in their opening game against, Angola, Barkley said…..”Angola’s in trouble.” That is the case here. Western is in deep trouble.
THE FINAL VERDICT-The Lions must absolutely maintain focus and cool this week. The struggles this season have come when they lose their focus. That’s when the silly unforced errors happen. Simply put, control these two areas, and they win.
Hang in there, Lions fans. This season has only just begun.