Top 10 showdown is a first for Tarleton State football

THE GAME
The first NCAA Top-10 showdown in Tarleton Football history brings along some major championship and postseason ties as the No. 8 Tarleton Texans take the field in Wichita Falls against the No. 10 MSU Texas Mustangs, formerly Midwestern State, with the Lone Star Conference Championship and NCAA regional seed positions on the line at 7 PM.

WHAT’S AT STAKE
With a win, Tarleton can secure its first Lone Star Conference Championship since 2013. With one conference game remaining on the schedule, it would guarantee at least a shared title with the opportunity to win the league outright on Nov. 10 when the Texans host Western New Mexico. In addition to the conference championship implications, No. 5 Tarleton is also sitting just above MSU Texas in the NCAA regional playoff rankings and just behind Colorado State-Pueblo, who has one loss, in the No. 4 spot that brings the right to host a first-round playoff game.

GAME COVERAGE
A complete broadcast of the game can be heard on the Tarleton Sports Network presented by the North Texas Ford Dealers. The Tarleton Sports Network team of Byron Anderson, Kyle Masters, Savion Washington, and J.P. Stingley have the call on the flagship station of Tarleton Athletics – KTRL 90.5 FM in Stephenville – and worldwide at TarletonSports.com/ListenLive. Links to live stats and a video stream of the game can be found on the Tarleton Football schedule, the Game Day preview story, and on the @TarletonSports social media channels. The home team will provide live stats free of charge, but the video stream is pay-per-view.

TICKET INFORMATION
Single-game reserved tickets are $15 while general admission tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for seniors and military. All Stephenville-Campus Tarleton students with a valid ID will receive discounted tickets for $3. Tickets can be purchased at the gate on the day of the game or online at full price at msuticketsonline.com.

NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT
Tarleton Football is back among the top 10 football programs in the nation according to the latest American Football Coaches Association poll. The Texans moved up one more spot to No. 8 in the nation and lead the way among Lone Star Conference schools with MSU Texas at No. 10 and Texas A&M-Commerce at No. 18. West Texas A&M continues to receive votes as well. Tarleton is ranked No. 10 in the nation by D2Football.com. This will be the first game between nationally-ranked top-10 teams in Tarleton’s NCAA history.

ABOUT THE TEXANS
Tarleton is sitting atop the Lone Star Conference standings as the top-ranked team in the league following a 59-21 win over Texas A&M-Kingsville last weekend. With the win, Tarleton improved to 7-0 on the season, which is the third-longest win streak to begin a season in program history (1990, 2007). Tarleton continues to dominate both sides of the line of scrimmage as the Texans rank No. 2 in the nation in scoring offense (47.3 ppg) and No. 13 in the nation in rushing defense (96.6 ypg). Daniel McCants leads the ground attack with 653 yards while Xavier Turner (586), D’Anthony Hopkins (237), Ben Holmes (257), and Adam Berryman (250) have also gone for over 200 yards each on the season. Holmes also leads the air attack with 1,641 yards passing and 18 touchdowns. Zimari Manning leads the receiving corps with 643 yards on 32 catches and nine touchdowns. Defensively, Ronnell Wilson leads the team with 54 tackles while EJ Speed (9.0), Chris Radford (7.5), Gary Moore (7.5), Sean Walton (5.5), Prince Robinson (5.0) and Tyrell Thompson (5.0) lead the way for the Texan defense in making tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

ABOUT THE MUSTANGS
MSU Texas comes into the game with a 6-1 record overall and a 4-1 mark in Lone Star Conference play. The Mustangs boast one of the nation’s elite offenses with 517.9 yards per game and 44.6 points per game. Led by QB Layton Rabb, the Mustangs lead the nation in passing offense with 341.6 yards per game and are No. 5 in the nation in scoring offense. Defensively, the Mustangs allow just under 400 yards per game which ranks them No. 108 out of 167 teams in the nation. Vincent Johnson leads the way on the ground with 695 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns while Juwan Johnson has caught 50 passes for 902 yards and seven scores.

SERIES HISTORY
Tarleton leads the all-time series with Midwestern State 20-12-1, which dates to 1925. Tarleton has won three of the last seven matchups with Midwestern State, which includes an overtime loss in Wichita Falls last year. Tarleton is 8-8-1 in Wichita Falls all-time.

UP NEXT FOR TARLETON
Tarleton will take a one-game hiatus from Lone Star Conference play with a 2 p.m. showdown with Lincoln (Mo.) on Saturday in Stephenville.

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