By BRAD KEITH
CLEVELAND, Miss (September 2, 2017) — Tarleton State brought in a lot of transfers over the off-season, but so did Delta State, which didn’t resemble the 2-8 (4-6 with two forfeits) record it posted last year. So… what happened to cause the 34-16 loss? Here are my first thoughts:
- – Cornerback play – One of the best Division II guys I’ve watched, maybe the best at CB is Jamoral Graham, who basically eliminated Del’Michel High, the leading returning receiver in the LSC. Graham held High to just one reception for 26 yards, and later moved over and slowed the big numbers Jeff Thomas was putting up.
- – Coernerback play – Nope not a repeat, just a second corner to talk about. Devontae Wilson intercepted a pass in the back of the end zone that turned an almost eight-minute opening drive by Tarleton into a 109 (officially 100, but trust me, it was 109) yard interception return for a Delta State touchdown. Wilson also committed a smart – yes, smart – pass interference penalty later in the first half, keeping Thomas from getting open for a touchdown. The Texans settled for a field goal. So Wilson had a play that swung 14 points and one that took four Texan points off the board. He swung 18 points in DSU’s favor and the Statesmen led by 17 at the half.
- Gotta finish – As you can take from both points above, Tarleton has to finish better at the end of promising scoring drives and plays. At least they did finish the game better. Zed Woerner came in to fire two touchdown passes, passing Steve Kelly (1999-2001) for No. 2 on the Tarleton list of passing touchdowns in a career. Will Woerner be the guy moving forward, or will the Texans stick with Derek Kiser? Seeing that question answered over the coming weeks will certainly be interesting.