The Red River conference will play its last matches of the fall before play resumes again on January 21st. With two or three matches played so far, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and LSU top the table.
Nov 18th: TCU vs. #20 LSU
The LSU Tigers have had a great start to their 2016 season. After their two confident wins against Texas, 48-7 and Texas A&M, 36-26, LSU is poised to do very well in the Red River conference. They will have to stay focused and take care of business against TCU. Now past two of the conference’s best teams, the Tigers will look forward to a key matchup against Arkansas on March 11th.
TCU is 1-1 so far through the start of the season. A tough loss to Oklahoma at the start of the season was enough fuel to motivate TCU past the University of Houston, winning 41-22. Its third match of the eight game season will be against one of the conferences toughest opponents.
Nov 19th: Texas vs. Houston
Houston has had some growing pains transitioning into D1A Rugby. The Cougars have lost to TCU and twice to Texas A&M. A new team to the conference, Houston will build on its losses and to try take advantage of a weakened Texas team. Captain and full back Ryan Becker will be expected to lead Houston’s backline and offer an offensive presence.
Texas, after finishing last season winless, has yet to log a win this year but fancy their matchup against an unexperienced Houston. Texas coach, Chris Hopps said, “Right now [Texas] have 10 starters out with injury – now when you put that Longhorn on your chest you are expected to perform for your school, teammates and families so there are no excuses”. This is a tough position for the Longhorns to be in, but giving younger players a chance to prove themselves could be a blessing in disguise. Texas still has the capability to have great matchups against conference rivals all season long.
Nov 19th: Oklahoma vs. Arkansas
This week’s key Red River match to watch will be between last season’s runner up, Oklahoma, and the conference’s other newcomer, Arkansas. So far Arkansas was beaten, 51-22, and just barely lost to Baylor 25-26. Captain and fly half Alex Reese has scored a huge portion of the Razorback points this season. Arkansas head coach Warren Fyfe has said “our impact players Alex Rees at fly half and Corey Jones at fullback [will] be the difference makers”. The Razorbacks have never beaten Oklahoma in Norman, OK but an improved defensive effort from the Razorbacks could be enough to secure a win.
Oklahoma is already out to a 3-1 start, only slipping once to Texas Tech in a 34-31 nail bitter. According to head coach Doug Neubauer, Oklahoma will build on its performances. When asked about the Sooners goals for the season, Coach Neubauer said “we set a goal of competing for the Conference Championship at the beginning of the season and that hasn’t changed. Our loss to Texas Tech only makes us work harder to get to that goal. We have accepted the challenge.”
Arkansas will have enough dynamic players to test the Oklahoma defense.