We’re here in week 2 of the Fall 15s seasons. Many teams are starting to get into the stride of the season. There are a few teams that will be debuting in conference play this week. With the Rugby World Cup going into full schedule today, there are plenty of options for Rugby. Check out our predictions for today’s game.
Vanderbilt (0-1) at Georgia (0-1)
Vanderbilt travels out to Athens to take on University of Georgia Rugby today. This is another SCRC East divisional battle. Both these teams are coming off big losses, but should find some rhythm in this game. Last week, Georgia opened up against SCRC Championship incumbent, University of South Carolina, losing 43-8. Vanderbilt took on Ole Miss, falling 43-21. With both these teams still trying to feel themselves out as Vanderbilt is a relatively inexperienced team, and Georgia still establishing a new coach and team, this is the perfect game for both teams. Despite the feel out, Georgia may have the edge on this match due to them having a little bit more athleticism on the team. Expect a close game with Georgia taking this 24-14.
UCF (0-0) at South Florida (0-0)
University of Central Florida will travel to Tampa to take on University of South Florida. This will be a South Independent Rugby Conference match debut for both teams. While on paper these teams are rivals, only a 45 minute drive down I-45 distance away, the field results speak a different tune. UCF are the current SIRC Champs, runner up national champions, and have been a consistent force the last several years. University of South Florida had a tough last year ending with a 2-4 season. UCF is back with another tough group of players. Look for UCF to take this match 44-5.
Clemson (1-0) at North Carolina (0-0)
Clemson will face off against UNC today. Last night they had a huge opening Atlantic Coastal Rugby League match debut against Wake Forest winning 89-0. Newly minted head coach, Steve Lynch, and the Clemson team will look to continue the momentum today. UNC will have a tough mountain to climb this week. Last year they finished with a 1-5 record and a big loss to Clemson 69-0. Though Clemson may have changed coaching, the momentum of the program is ever consistent. Look for Clemson to get another big win in the state of North Carolina, 60-0.
NC State (0-0) at Virginia (0-0)
North Carolina State will be traveling north to take on University of Virginia today. North Carolina State is the dark horse team of the Atlantic Rugby Coastal League. NC State has been steadily building their team the last few years. They finished 4-2 last season, with losses only coming against Maryland (77-0) and Clemson (27-20). Look for them to comeback strong this year with a chance at the ACRL title. University of Virginia will have a task ahead of them. They are coming off a dismal 1-5 season, and will have a tough test against NC State. Last season when these teams faced each other, NC State defeated Virginia, 31-18. Expect NC State to have a similar result winning 35-7.
Middle Tennessee State University (1-0) at Memphis (0-0)
MTSU will travel out to face University of Memphis in this South Independent Rugby Conference match up. Middle Tennessee State has come off a big debut against Kennesaw State University, defeating them 50-8. MTSU is the favorite to win the SIRC North, but it’s no given task. University of Memphis has been prepping for this season, taking on matches against Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Last year when these two teams faced, MTSU took the win against Memphis 82-10. MTSU is stronger than ever this year. Look for them to take this game again, 45-17.
Florida State will be traveling down to Miami, FL to take on Florida International University to open up the South Independent Rugby Conference play. This is a big game for both teams. These teams have been working hard all off-season and appear to be significantly improved from the previous season. FSU and FIU have gained a new head coaches this year in Michael Gomez for FSU, and Ronnie Suarez at FIU. Last season FSU lost in the SIRC playoffs, while FIU faltered off a little at the end of the season. This will be a great match for both teams as they are both contenders for SIRC playoff placement. In this situation have to give the lean to the home team. Look for FIU to take this match in a close battle, 17-14.
Mississippi State (0-0) at Florida (0-0)
Mississippi State will be traveling to Gainesville, FL to take on University of Florida. This is a match between our preseason SCRC West top 3. This match will probably determine who will have a top 2 finish in the SCRC West. Mississippi State is coming off a strong 7s rugby offseason and is lauded for their extreme athleticism and speed. University of Florida is getting a revamp in their starting roster. They lost several seniors in the starting lineup from last year, but have plenty of depth. Expect Mississippi State to take this game as they have a bit more momentum going into this 2015 season. Look for a “closer than the score appears” kind of match between the two, with Mississippi State taking this 35-19.
Kentucky (0-0) at South Carolina (1-0)
This is probably the biggest battle this week. Kentucky will be traveling down to Columbus to take on SCRC incumbents, South Carolina. This will be a battle of the SCRC East. University of Kentucky has been building up this off-season with an influx of new recruits. South Carolina has comeback after winning the SCRC championships, with a reloaded roster chalked full of top talent. South Carolina is coming off a win last week against Georgia, 43-8. Both these teams have been revamping and expanding their programs to be more fluid and competitive. This will be another game that has implications early on the SCRC East winners. Look for South Carolina to take this game in a close match up, 37-24.
Troy (0-1) at South Alabama (1-0)
Troy will travel to Mobile, AL to take on instate rival, South Alabama. These two teams are in flux, with South Alabama breaking in new inexperienced players, and Troy lacking players. Look for South Alabama to take this game 20-0.
Southern Miss (0-1) at Louisiana Tech (0-0)
Southern Mississippi travels out to Louisiana Tech. Louisiana Tech had a big output last season, but are dealing with a huge loss with the amount of seniors that exited. Louisiana Tech has some good talent that is returning this year. Southern Mississippi has struggled to maintain numbers the last couple seasons. They are still a team trying to establish themselves. Look for Louisiana Tech to win this one 35-0.
Citadel (0-1) at Lander (0-1)
Lander forfeited their game last week against College of Charleston. Citadel lost to UNC-Wilmington last week 38-10. Look for Citadel to take this match in a close one 20-17.
UNC-Greensboro (1-0) at Elon (0-1)
UNC-Greensboro had a big week last week against Western Carolina in a 43-8 win. Elon had a close loss against UNC-Charlotte, 10-7. UNC-Greensboro was a top 4 finalist in the Southern Rugby Conference Sevens. Look for UNC-Greensboro to have another big week, winning this one 40-13.
Appalachian State (0-1) at UNC-Charlotte (1-0)
Appalachian State will play UNC-Charlotte this week. Appalachian State fell to Eastern Carolina 36-5. UNC-Charlotte defeated Elon, 10-7. It’s still early in the season to determine these two teams. Look for UNC-Charlotte to take this game close 14-7.
Furman (0-1) at College of Charleston (1-0)
Furman entered this season as one of the favorite for top team in the nation. They dispelled those rumors last week losing to Coastal Carolina 29-8. College of Charleston won a forfeit match, 20-0 against Lander. Look for Furman to recover from last week to take this match 24-15.
UL-Lafayette (1-0) at Spring Hill College (1-0)
UL-Lafayette won last week against Tulane. Spring Hill College took a win against Troy. Spring Hill College is looking to come back strong after having a shaky year last season. ULL entered the season with uncertainty due to changes at the coaching position. Both teams debuted strong last week and are looking to defy expectations this year. UL is loaded with talent this year. Spring Hill has added new players to the program and changed up their off-season routine. Look for UL to take this win on the road, 24-15.