Dear readers, while there is one D2 game this weekend, I'm considering the real start of the season to be Dec. 3, when we have three games. So no season preview this week. Enjoy stuffing your face with turkey and carbs, and I'll see you in a couple of weeks. --SW
Posted on 11/16/2016 1:52:09 PM
Miami RFC (0-0) vs. Fort Lauderdale RFC (0-0) - An interesting game to open things up this matrix season. It's actually a reverse fixture from last year's opening weekend, a game the Knights won 36-24. Unfortunately for Miami, that was the first of 10 losses suffered in a winless 2015-16, and they are 1-18 in their last 19 D2 contests since winning the state title in 2013-14.
Miami did have a few games last season when they got close, but their defense was miserable, allowing an average of 40.2 points a contest. Fort Lauderdale, meanwhile, shot out to a 7-0 record last season before losing three of their final four contests, including a 57-7 shellacking at the hands of Naples in the state semifinals.
The Knights have been perennial final four contenders the last few years, but the question at this early point in the season, are they ready as a club for this contest?
The two teams actually played a friendly on Oct, 22, with Miami winning 50-28, and FTL only beat D3 Palm Beach by a couple of points on Oct. 29 in their only other local preseason contest (they did go up to Battleship). Miami has knocked off Boca this preseason, but fell to Naples on the road, and their numbers have been impressive. While I think FTL will end up in the Final Four once again when everything is said and done, I just think Miami is better prepared for this matchup and will finally end their long matrix losing streak.
Miami 35, Fort Lauderdale 22
(Result: Miami 22, Fort Lauderdale 19)