This week, the Buffs moved up to No. 5 in the American Football Coaches Association Top 25, marking the highest ranking the program has received since the 1986 season when it climbed as high as second in the Dunkel rating poll. WTAMU is 8-0 for only the second time in school history, matching the start of the 2005 team under then first-year head coach Don Carthel. That season, the Buffs’ perfect run was halted by the ASU Rams who escaped Kimbrough with a 58-53 win over the seventh-ranked Buffs.
The Buffalo defense, led by juniors Jared Brock and Brandon Swain, will attempt to ensure that history does not repeat itself this season as the ‘05 Rams piled up 748 yards of offense, including 352 on the ground, against WTAMU. This year’s version of the Buffalo defense is much steadier, ranking fifth in the Lone Star Conference and allowing 328.9 yards per contest, despite facing some of the country’s most potent offenses. Brock ranks eighth in the LSC with 68 total tackles on the season, while Swain is among best in the nation in tackles for loss (14), sacks (7), forced fumbles (4) and fumbles recovered (3). Additionally, senior linebacker Steve Allen has been a standout with 57 tackles on the year, while junior defensive back Cashmin Thomas leads the Buffs with four interceptions and seven pass break-ups on the season.
Offensively, junior quarterback Keith Null was selected as LSC South Offensive player of the Week after throwing for 360 yards and four touchdowns while playing with an badly sprained ankle for much of the Abilene Christian contest. One of Null’s favorite targets was senior tight end Kolo Kapanui who hauled in six passes for a team-high 101 yards and a score, while wide outs Charly Martin and A.J. Ruffins continue to duel each other for the team lead in touchdown receptions with both players pulling down their sixth touchdown of the season against ACU. On the ground, redshirt freshman running back Keithon Flemming eclipsed the century mark for the fifth time on the year as he piled up 113 yards on 18 carries last weekend. The Mesquite, Texas, native, who also leads the Buffs in receptions with 44, has reached the end zone 14 times on the season.
Angelo State enters the weekend with a 2-5 overall record on the season and a 2-4 mark in LSC play. Junior running back Daniel Thomas leads a solid ASU rushing attack as the Taylor, Texas, native enters the weekend second in the conference in rushing yards per game at 132 per contest. Sophomore quarterback Josh Neiswander has completed 53.4 percent of his passes this season and has thrown for 1,284 passing yards and four touchdowns. All four of Neiswander’s scoring strikes have gone to the Rams’ top receiving threat, sophomore Chris Fowler, who ranks seventh in the LSC with an average of 68.1 receiving yards per game.
Article courtesy: www.gobuffsgo.com