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Friday, November 20, 2015

ACRC Preview: AIC vs. Clemson and Kutztown vs. Indiana

The ACRC Bowl Series kicks off today with a full slate of matches. For many teams on the East Coast this is the culmination of their season and you can expect teams to come out fighting hard. We've been previewing the action with a look at St. Bonaventure vs. Western MichiganSyracuse vs. Notre Dame College (both by Ryan Trost), UMass vs. North Carolina State, and a quartet of matches. We continue with more previews.

AIC vs. Clemson

This is a match that a lot of people will have their eyes on and for good reason as it features two top teams. AIC is quickly becoming one of the elite teams in the country up there with the likes of Lindenwood and Davenport while Clemson was the surprise team of the Varsity Cup last season putting in a memorable run. Both teams have a lot of talent and will want to prove exactly how good they are with a win against each other.

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To say that AIC were dominant in the ECRC would be an understatement. The Yellow Jackets put up an impressive +519 point differential in league play and only gave up 71 points. The score over 70 points in eight of their eleven matches. Their closest matches of the year were wins over Penn State and New England College. The man running the show is fly-half Jihand Khabir who should get more attention than he does. He's a great playmaker that gets AIC out running. That said, the player that may get the most attention is Christian Adams who has been destroying opponents. He's in line of big things after he graduates.

Clemson had a busy fall season as well with matches against some top clubs and colleges. Their biggest opponent was Life and they came away with a respectable 43-0 loss. Other than that they didn't lose with wins over Maryland, Atlanta Old White, and Virginia. They will be playing close to home and will have a good following. The team wants to make another strong impression in the Varsity Cup and a solid showing against AIC would do that.

Kutztown vs. Indiana

Like the AIC and Clemson match this one is tasty. Kutztown are the sixth ranked team in the DI-A Top 20 while Indiana comes in fifth. Indiana has a very solid core group of players that haven't had the opportunity to play in the post season the last few years. This is their opportunity to prove their worth outside of conference play. Speaking of conference play, Indiana stormed through the Big Ten. They had a point differential of +370 and scored a lot of points in the process while not giving up very many. The Hoosiers also picked up the full bonus points in every match.

Awaiting the Hoosiers are Kutztown, a team that has plenty of claims of being a top side themselves. Kutztown finished in the Rugby East as the top side with a one point edge over Penn State. The Golden Bears only loss on the year came to Penn State but they barely picked up enough points to survive. Some of their impressive wins include matches over Army and Wheeling Jesuit. The tough Rugby East schedule should prepare Kutztown well but they will have to find stars to replace the likes of Niku Kruger.

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