After spending three seasons in the Lone Star Conference, Incarnate Word is in the process of transitioning to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), or the lower half of Division I.
Suffice it to say, it’s a process.
Like fellow former LSC member Abilene Christian, the Cardinals (2-2) had trouble putting a schedule together this year. They’ve played two of their future Southland Conference rivals and lost big, and blown out a pair of NAIA squads.
Eastern New Mexico University figures to give them something in between those results in today’s 5 p.m. (MDT) matchup in San Antonio.
The Hounds (1-1), who won an exhibition game last week at Air Force junior varsity that doesn’t count on their record, begin a stretch of seven consecutive Division II matchups today — their six conference games, and a matchup against another former LSC member, Northeastern State..
Second-year ENMU coach Josh Lynn said the Hounds will face a team which has increased its talent, but is relatively young. UIW has home-and-home games down the line against ACU.
“It’s a game we can win, but we’ve got to go in there and play well,” Lynn said. “They’re going to D-I, and they’ve signed a lot better talent than in the past.
“Now it’s a matter of just getting their kids going.”
Eight of Incarnate Word’s starters on offense are freshmen or sophomores, including freshman quarterback Trent Brittain.
Lynn doesn’t expect to see the ball in the air much.
“Offensively, they’re a power team,” he said. “They play a lot of tailbacks and tight ends. They don’t throw the ball a whole lot.
“They’re probably looking at this game as one that that can test them a little bit.”
The Hounds play their first home game since the season opener against New Mexico Highlands a week from today when they open LSC play against Tarleton State in a 2 p.m. kickoff.
ENMU (1-1) at Incarnate Word (2-2)
5 p.m. (MDT) today at San Antonio
• Radio: KSEL-FM 105.9.
• Coaches: ENMU, Josh Lynn, 2nd year, 4-8; Incarnate Word, Larry Kennan, 2nd year, 4-11.
• Last meeting: 2012, the Greyhounds outlasted the Cardinals 34-24 in the Lone Star Conference football festival at Arlington, Texas.
• Last week: The Hounds beat the Air Force junior varsity 42-35 in an exhibition at Colorado Springs. The Cardinals, who are transitioning to the FCS (formerly Division I-AA) Southland Conference, lost to future conference foe Sam Houston State
• UIW players to watch: Trent Brittain, 6-2, 195, Fr., QB; Junior Sessions, 5-10, 210 Fr., RB; Matt Bass, 5-11, 240, Sr., FB; Robby Horton, 6-2, 290, Sr., DT; Juston Edwards, 6-2, 240, So., OLB.
• Notes: The Hounds lead the all-time series 2-1, winning at home 35-30 in 2009 and losing in San Antonio 41-28 in 2011 after falling behind 27-0 in the first half. … ENMU is seeking its first official road win since a 23-21 victory at Angelo State in October 2011. … UIW averages just over 30 points and gives up just over 27, but hasn’t had a close game yet. In addition to last week’s loss, the Cardinals shut out NAIA members Texas College and Langston while losing its season opener 58-7 to Central Arkansas. … The only other LSC team on the Cardinals’ schedule this year is Angelo State.
— Compiled by Dave Wagner