Friday, December 11, 2009

Fan's Weekend Guide - Week 15

College Football Insiders previews the Week 15.

Division I-FCS Semifinal: William & Mary (11-2) @ Villanova (12-1)
December 11 * ESPN2 * 8:00 PM

It’s a rematch of the October 3rd battle in which Villanova came out on top 28-17 despite William & Mary out-gaining them 472-283 in terms of yards. The Indians have arrived at this point led by their defense. They rank fifth in the country in sacks and first against the run. The game features two veteran pass rushers on both sides. For the Indians it’s senior Adrian Tracy (pictured) who has 23 career sacks and 17-tackles for a loss. Coming off of a two-sack performance is Tim Kukucka who now has racked up a total of eight on the season.

Division II Championship: Grand Valley State (12-1) vs. Northwest Missouri State (13-0)
December 12 * ESPN2 * 1:00 PM

The Bearcats look to cap off an undefeated season and be crowned Division II champs when they face the one-loss Lakers. Quarterback Blake Bolles has 41 touchdowns on the year and 26 of them have gone to receiver Jake Soy. Going up against a solid Laker defense that has 20 interceptions on the season, the duo will need to continue their connection if the Bearcats are to be successful offensively. The Lakers, for their part, must get production out of their two-headed backfield monster, James Berezik and P.T. Gates. They’ll also need quarterback Brad Iciek, who has 33 touchdowns and two interceptions on the year, to perform at that mistake-free level for his team to hoist the trophy.

SWAC Championship: Alabama A&M (7-4, 4-3) vs. Prairie View A&M (8-1, 7-0)
December 12 * ESPN Classic* 2:00 PM

The Panthers come into the SWAC Championship game having won their last seven games, one of which was against the Bulldogs. Panther running back Donald Babers will have to run effectively and quarterback K.J. Black needs to make smart decisions as he has all season (19 TDs, three INTs.) to give his team an opportunity to win. The Bulldogs won the much weaker Eastern division in the SWAC by ending the season as its only team with a winning conference record. They will need 1,000-yard rusher Ulysses Banks and receiver Thomas Harris to make some big plays to have a chance at the upset.

Army (5-6) vs. Navy (8-4))
December 12 * CBS* 2:30 PM

One of college football’s oldest rivalries will be renewed when Army (5-6) and Navy (8-4) meet Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia. In a departure from the past, the annual Army/Navy game was rescheduled this season to the week following “Championship Week” in an effort to gain exposure for the contest. This game is going to be won on the ground. Both teams have highly productive running attacks—Navy is ranked third in the nation in rushing yards per game (279.7) while Army is 14th (212.1). Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs is the offensive key for the Midshipmen. Dobbs is second in the nation in scoring with 12.6 points per game. Army’s ability to slow down Dobbs and the Navy rushing attack will be a key factor in determining whether the Black Knights can knock off the Midshipmen. Army has not beaten Navy since 2001. The Black Knights will need a great performance from leading tackler, junior linebacker Stephen Anderson, to end the losing streak. This game has bowl implications as well. Navy is slated to face Missouri on December 31 in the Texas Bowl. However, Army needs a win in order to qualify for the EagleBank Bowl on December 29, otherwise the Bruins of UCLA will take the last available bowl slot.

Division 1-FCS Semifinal: Appalachian State (11-2) @ Montana (13-0)
December 12 * ESPN * 4:00 PM

This isn’t the first time to the show for quarterback Armanti Edwards (pictured). He’s already led Appalachian State to two NCAA Division I-FCS Championships and has improved his playoff record to 11-1 by advancing this far. With a combined 30 touchdowns passing and rushing on the season, he has once again delivered as one of the more exciting players in all of the college football. However, he is not the only player to watch in this contest. Montana’s Chase Reynolds and Appalachian State’s Devon Moore are both in the top five in rushing touchdowns and have combined for 2,535 yards on the year.

John Garrett, Christopher Mogollon & Mark Zavodnyik contributed to this column.

Photos Courtesy of ASU Sports Information/Keith Cline, Jim Agnew