3 Matchups to Watch: UAPB


In 2017 "3 Matchups to Watch" was my favorite blog every week.  Digging into the rosters and figuring out how the teams match up is part of the fun.  Every team has strengths.  Every team has weaknesses.  Sometimes one teams strengths align with the opponents strengths creating a "unstoppable force meets unmovable object" scenario.  How the opponent works to exploit those weaknesses or minimize the opponents strengths is part of the fun.

So here we go with the 2018 version...

3 Matchups to Watch:

1. Jordan Brown vs. Josh Wilkes

This matchup has me pumped for Saturday!  JB is one of the best cornerbacks in the FCS and is drawing interest from NFL scouts.  Wilkes, a former Eastern Michigan commit, is 2nd in the FCS in receiving yards with 420 yards.  I would fully expect Brown to lock in on Wilkes wherever he lines up.  Last year, Wilkes was playing at junior college powerhouse Butler CC and was receiving offers from FBS schools, including Southern Mississippi.  He possess good size (6'3, 183) and appears to have above average speed.  With the MVFC graduating so many top wide receivers last season, this may be the best receiver that Brown will have the chance to face this season.  Jordan made a beautiful interception last week but also let a receiver get behind him in the 2nd half for a big gain.  This matchup will be one to watch.   

2. Jackrabbit OLBs vs. Golden Lion quick pass game
The Golden Lions have two options in their passing game; chuck it deep or get it out quick.  The OLB group of Logan Backhaus, Dalton Cox, Seven Wilson, Levi Brown, and Eric Kleinschmit will have to balance their responsibilities of stopping the run while also getting out on the perimeter.  UAPB has four very good athletes on the outside so it will be important to be sound in angles and make the tackle when the opportunity is there.  Last week the Jacks really swarmed to the ball.  If they can continue that this week, they should be okay. 

3. #605Hogs vs. UAPB Front 7
The UAPB front seven seems susceptible to the run.  Through two contests (D2 Morehouse and NAIA Cumberland) they are allowing 218 yards per game on the ground.  They have decent size but must struggle to get off blocks.  If the Jacks can establish a power running game, it could put this game out of reach early.  However, the Jacks are still breaking in a few new starters.  Last week, against a stout Montana State defensive line they were able to grind out 193 yards on a 4.6 ypc average.  I would expect the Jacks running game to have a big day.  If the Golden Lions can slow down the running game it could keep the game closer than many expect.

I've seen on Twitter that a number of verbals and potential recruits will be making their official visits to campus this weekend.  Lets hope the Jacks can give them a good show.  Also, this weekend is the Beef Bowl. The meal  will be just on the north side of the SJAC. They will be serving from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm and you can get tickets on site for $8 per plate. It is still done by the Department of Animal Science and the proceeds go to support undergraduate scholarships in the department. 

Have a great weekend! Jacks win 52-13.

Go Jacks!
Matt 

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