Argos travel to Lone Star State in top 10 matchup
By Tony Mixon
After a hard-fought win against No. 22 Carson-Newman last week, the Argos set their sights on another test against No. 10 Midwestern State on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 7:00 p.m in Wichita Falls, Texas.
A game that was cancelled last year due to Hurricane Irma, the Argos will get their chance to battle it out against the Mustangs, who are coming off a 55-12 win against Humboldt State.
The Mustangs finished last season with a 10-1 record, their only loss came against Minnesota State in the second round of the Division II playoffs. The Mustangs were the only team that defeated the eventual national champion Texas A&M Commerce last season. The Mustangs are led by senior quarterback Layton Rabb, who finished last season with 31 touchdowns and five interceptions.
The Argos suffered a number of injuries in their 19-9 win against Carson-Newman, including starting quarterback Mike Beaudry. Head coach Pete Shinnick will look to be more productive on offense this week against Midwestern State with backup and Georgia transfer Sam Vaughn at quarterback.
“We got to run the ball better and we got to be more productive in the passing game,” Shinnick said. “When you prepare a first team guy, you got that guy’s feel and that’s kind of how you do the game plan.”
The Argos will have a tough test playing a nationally ranked team in back to back weeks.
“No one else has played back to back ranked teams and nobody else in the top 25 is going to play a top 10 team right now.” Shinnick said.
In a very short amount of time, the Argos have evolved from being hunters to now being hunted. It’s a position that key players like senior linebacker Johnathan Coleman are prepared to handle.
“We know we have a target on our back,” Coleman said. “But we’re willing to work and go to work every week.”
Vaughn had a different take on being labeled as the hunted.
“I don’t think we necessarily feel like the hunted,” Vaughn said. “I think each week we want to come out as the hunters and although we may be the top team, we’re trying to hunt every week.”
The Mustangs will present a different challenge compared to Carson-Newman. Carson-Newman ran the option and the secondary for the Argos overall did not seem phased after quick adjustments by defensive coordinator Darian Dulin. The game plan will be different against the Mustangs and their air raid scheme this Saturday.
“These guys are going to be running verticals, they’re going to be running posts, they’re going to be running all kinds of routes,” Shinnick said.
The Mustangs also present a challenge from the defensive side of the ball by forcing turnovers, bringing back a lot of length and athleticism on that side of the ball.
After a tough win against Carson-Newman in the season opener, this will be another great test for the Argonauts. The offense will look to continue to build from the second half of last week’s game. With a full week of practice, the defense looks to stop the high-powered offense of the Mustangs.