D2football.com: Tony Nicolette’s Weekly Column

Hillsdale (4-3, 5-3) at Wayne State (5-2, 6-2)

The Chargers put together one of their better offensive displays last week. Repeating that this Saturday will prove difficult. They are facing a WSU club that posted its second shutout of the year a week ago, and is second in the league in points allowed (13.6 per game).

Hillsdale Keys:
– Play YOUR game – WSU likes to force the issue in terms of field position. They do this with special teams and great defense. HC can’t get caught up in that kind of thing. Move the ball, don’t turn it over (Wayne State is tops in the league at +13), and cash in when you’re in the red zone.
– Stuff the Run – Wayne’s weakness all season has been on offense. Exploit this. Don’t let Joique and Company get things going on the ground. Kevin Smith is talented but inexperienced, and may not be suited to having to throw a bunch if the Warriors are behind late.

Wayne State Keys:
– If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it! Wayne’s methods haven’t been pretty this year, but at 6-2 it’s hard to argue their effectiveness. Admittedly, WSU has stumbled a bit at times. That said, they’ve only lost twice and it could be argued that one of those losses shouldn’t have happened. Keep forcing the issue the same way you have been.
– Have at least SOME offense – Yes, the D has been great. However, Hillsdale has all the weapons they need to light things up. Moving the ball and eating clock have to happen to keep that powerful HC unit off the field or they may get things figured out and get WSU in a hole.

Prediction: This is a pretty interesting match-up. WSU certainly has its strengths, but for the second time in three weeks they’ll face one of the league’s better offensive units. The last time they did so, they took a pretty good lickin’. It’s hard for me to pick against what they’ve been doing this year (especially at home), especially considering that they now realize that the playoffs are not an unrealistic possibility. With all of that said, I have a Hillsdale hunch again this week for some reason. Hillsdale 24, Wayne State 16.

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