The 2-1 Elecom Kobe Finies take on the 1-2 IBM Big Blue Sunday, October 6 in Japan’s X League.
These two teams met twice in 2018 with IBM coming out on top both times, 55-17 and 34-23.
The Finies 2-1 record is a little misleading because both wins were against basement dwelling teams. Elecom defeated the 1-3 Tokyo Gas Creators 21-16, lost to the 3-0 Obic Seagulls 38-3 and then downed the 0-4 All Mitsubishi Lions 37-6.
Meanwhile, IBM have had a far tougher schedule with a lopsided loss 55-13 to powerhouse the Fujitsu Frontiers, a solid 41-36 win over Nojima Sagamihara Rise and 42-28 loss to the Panasonic Impulse. So both losses against top teams.
Finies quarterback Cody Sokol has completed 32 of 64 passes for only 340 yards and five touchdowns so far this season, good for only 10th spot among all passers while his leading rusher, running back Yuki Shirakami, is the sixth leading rusher in the X League with 189 yards on 39 carries. The Finies do not have a receiver in the top 20 in receiving yardage.
For IBM quarterback Kevin Craft who has also taken over as head coach is the third leading passer in the country. He has thrown for 556 yards and four touchdowns while his Japanese quarterback, Yuki Masamoto has thrown for 357 and three scores. Masamoto is also Big Blue’s top rusher with 135 yards with Takaki Ito right behind him having rushed 22 times for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite their records, expect IBM to make short work of Elecom, unless Sokol can get the protection he needs.