By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (October 7, 2016) — Tarleton State (2-3, 2-1) welcomes Western New Mexico (2-3, 2-2) to Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday for a matchup between teams trying to stay in the upper echelon of the Lone Star Conference standings.
The Texans are coming off a 48-20 win over Texas-Permian Basin in which Zed Woerner passed for a career best four touchdowns, two going to Del’Michael High, who amassed 188 yards on six catches. WNMU was close with Midwestern State until surrendering three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and falling, 43-22.
Here are three keys as the Texans take on WNMU on Breast Cancer Awareness and Tarleton Faculty/Staff Appreciation Night:
Get the ground attack going:
Western New Mexico is surrendering 260 yards per game on the ground, so it’s time for the big uglies up front to get some movement – as hard as that is with the injuries and inexperience Tarleton has up there – and give Joseph Sadler, who does have two 100-yard rushing performances this season, and Jabari Anderson room to work.
Get pressure on Javia Hall:
Last week UTPB limited the Tarleton pass rush by releasing the ball quickly, some of that by design in the air raid offense. Javia Hall is dangerous on his feet, too, but has not shown that much since twisting an ankle during the Mustangs’ 68-17 rout of UTPB. Sources at last week’s WNMU game against Midwestern State suggest he did not look near as mobile, but that was a week ago. The bottom line is, Tarleton has 22 sacks on the season and needs that number to grow and also to get hurries, QB hits, and all those other little pass rush stats involved to keep Hall from easily targeting talented receiver Xavier Ayers and company.
Giveaways and Takeaways:
Often when you have two pretty well matched ball clubs on the field this is the determining factor. Zed Woerner has 12 touchdown passes to one interception, while Hall has 12 TDs and 4 interceptions. Overall, WNMU has 11 turnovers and 12 takeaways on the year, while Tarleton has just five turnovers and 12 takeaways, a trend that needs to continue for the Texans to keep adding key LSC wins.