Friday, October 4, 2013

I know who will win the DelVal vs Lycoming football game Saturday!

2012 File Photo: QB Tyler Jenny show his scrambling style down the sideline. Lycoming upset DelVal in Doylestown
Williamsport, PA - This coming Saturday at 1:00pm at David Person Field, there will be the most important Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) football game of the year for Lyoming and DelVal. It should draw record crowds as both teams are 3-0 in the MAC and the winner takes all as far as first place is concerned. The league standings after a third of the way through the schedule is as follows:

MAC 2013 Football Standings as of September 29th

Delaware Valley 3-0
Lycoming 3-0
Lebanon Valley 2-1
Stevenson 2-1
Widener 2-1
Albright 1-2
Wilkes 1-2
FDU - Florham  0-2
King's 0-2
Misericordia 0-3

The Offense

DelVal and Lycoming's offenses are similar in ability with Lycoming tilted slightly to the passing game. Both teams have a great running back. Lycoming's Jr RB Craig Needhammer is having a great start to the season with three games over 100 yards in the MAC.  Needhammer has four touchdowns while averaging 127 yards per game rushing. He can break loose at any time and scrambled for a 48 yard run against Wilkes, his longest this year. Craig leads the MAC with average yards per carry at 6.2. Needhammer also is first in total all purpose yards and is third averaging 158 all purpose yards per game. Also, WR Ryan Umpleby is fourth in both categories. The closest DelVal player in all purpose yards is WR Rasheed Bailey standing 13th.

Jr QB Tyler Jenny leads the Conference completing 66% of his passes and has a QB efficiency of 148% which is top by far over the rest of the league.

Delaware Valley is ranked first in the MAC in total offense with an average of 437.7 yards per game and second in scoring with an average of 34.5 points per contest. The team’s rushing attack is a big reason why as it is averaging 226.0 yards per game.

DelVal's likes to run the ball and why not with Kyle Schuberth who averages 181 yards and five touchdowns. One thing to watch is whether Kyle is healthy since he only played two games this year. I think he is back to 100% since he carried the ball 30 times per game and is averaging six yards per carry.

Schuberth is looking to become just the second player in school history (former teammate Matt Cook was the other) to record three straight, 1,000-yard seasons. He netted 1,095 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2011 and added 1,056 yards and another 14 scores last year.

Also watch QB Aaron Wilmer who Coach Mike Clark calls the best quarterback in the conference. He can run the ball and is very good at spreading the ball around to his wide receivers who combine for seven touchdowns. Wilmer completes just over 50% of his passes this year and has a conference pass efficiency of 138%.

Lycoming's passing game has the bulk of touchdowns this year so far and from longer range than usual. Lycoming's receivers have scored seven touchdowns lead by Sr WR Matt Atkinson. So WR Ryan Umpleby has two touchdowns and Sr WR John Sibel has one to his credit. The strength of Lyco's passing game is quality wide receivers and the accuracy of Jenny. Jenny can be laser sharp as he was in the Wilkes game completing 20-21 passes. This is also a testament to his receivers who have great hands.

I give a slight advantage to DelVal on offense (on paper) mainly due to QB Aaron Wilmer. He can scramble and pass which can keep any defense on their toes. Lycoming is good and could improve but the offensive line must find a way to protect QB Tyler Jenny Saturday. DelVal has not been playing against the meat of their schedule yet so, this game will test their outstanding offensive numbers. Defeating Rowan however was a pretty good come from behind win for the Aggies who also came from behind in the fourth quarter to defeat Stevenson.

The Defense

Lycoming and DelVal are know for their defenses. What can you say about 40 year defensive coordinator Steve Wiser. He has seen it all, coach in it, and produced game plans against the best offenses with great success over the years. The Warriors defense leads the MAC in scoring defense with allowing only 19.0 points on average per game. Lycoming also leads in total defense by allowing only  318.0 yards per game. Compare that to the Aggies defense who are ranked third in scoring defense giving up 21.0 points per game and fourth in total defense with 355.3 yards per game. Also, DelVal is ranked seventh in rushing defense with 180.5 yards per game.

Lycoming's defense has 11 sacks in MAC play while DelVal has a surprisingly low number, 4 for the year so far. This may indicate that QB Tyler Jenny will have more time to pass and find open receivers. Lycoming leads in interceptions for the year with six turning one into a "Pick 6."

I give the advantage to the defense of Lycoming in this contest. Look for them to shut down the run and get some key sacks to slow up DelVal's passing attach.

Special Teams

The kicking game goes to Lycoming as Zack Czap holds the edge in field goals and punting. Look for Zack to be a key in field position as he is very good a placing the ball inside the 20 yard line. A goal might again be the difference in this game. DelVal's kicker, Branden Snyder has 4 field goals with the longest at 33yards. Zack Czap has kicked a 44 yard field goal and still has distance left if needed.

DelVal leads in kick-off returns and is second in punt returns so Lycoming's special teams will have their hands full. Field position will be key and DelVal has the advantage here.

I know who will win!

This will be another great game between two heavyweights of the Middle Atlantic Conference. So it is my prediction that the team who will win this contest will be the team with the fewest mistakes and turnovers. Also, I believe defense trumps offense so it all boils down to turnovers in my opinion.