Another installment of yet another ongoing playoff rivalry.
GV travels to NWMS and the best player in all of Division II football.
I think Chuck might actually let Omon get his numbers, but shut him down when it's needed. Make them pass the ball inside the 30's, though. Grand Valley's defensive backs will easily be able to handle the Bearcat receivers, but the tight ends might be a problem.
On offense, Grand Valley might have to rely on the run just as they have the first 2 playoff games. The forecast calls for low temps and freezing rain right now. That would definitely hinder the GV passing attack, and might actually benefit NWMS and Omon with his power running and downhill style.
In the end though, even with both teams playing with a chip on their shoulder...the experience will come out on top. Grand Valley has a very tough test in front of them, but in the end, this is the best Laker team since 2003 and this is a weaker NWMS team than GV saw in '05 and '06. I think the game starts off slow, and eventually GV pulls away and turns this into a game that has a wider result than expected.
Grand Valley - 27
NW Missouri St. - 14
Bonus Prediction: VSU 21, CUP 14
I've heard a lot of people on the GVSU side say they don't think this will be as close as people think and I can't buy into that.
The thing is, the way the Laker defense has been playing, I can't see Xavier Omon taking over the game. He had a decent game last year, but didn't dominate it, I see the same thing happening again. He'll get his, but the Bearcats will have to pass to win.
Again, I think a low scoring game and turnovers will again be the difference. Brandon Carr and Bill Brechin made big plays last year and this attacking secondary could be the difference. Conversely, Brad Iciek needs to continue to stay cool and make good decisions on a big stage.
Close one that comes down to the wire, I think Laker fans have reason to be worried, especially if it comes down to the kicking game.
GVSU - 20
NWMS - 17
Predictions: Northwest Missouri State
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