No. 21 Tarleton is back home at Memorial Stadium this weekend and will welcome Lone Star Conference rival, Eastern New Mexico at 7 p.m.
It’s the annual ‘Pink Out’ Day for football and volleyball. Fans are encouraged to fill the stadium pink in support of breast cancer awareness. Tarleton Athletics will be passing out free rally towels to the fans while supplies last.
Tarleton is back in the national top 25 in the AFCA Coaches Poll and the D2Football.com Media Poll. Tarleton took over the AFCA No. 25 spot two weeks ago and made the largest jump in the country last week by moving up four spots to No. 21 entering today’s game. Tarleton started receiving national votes in the poll since defeating Delta State 44-13 in the season opener and finally received enough to crack the rankings following a 35-13 thumping of UT Permian Basin in Stephenville. This marks the fifth different season that Tarleton has been ranked under head coach Todd Whitten. The ninth-year leader of the Texans led Tarleton to its first national ranking in 2001 and took them as high as No. 6 in the nation during the 2002 season. This is the 88th week in Tarleton’s NCAA history the Texans have been ranked. Tarleton is also ranked No. 20 in the nation by D2Football.com.
A complete broadcast of today’s game can be seen and 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. Live Stats and a video stream can be found on the football schedule of TarletonSports.com.
Single-game reserved tickets are $15 while general admission tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students. All Stephenville-Campus Tarleton students with a valid ID receive free admission. There will be three ticket booths available to fans, one each on the North and South ends of the stadium and a third under the current press box on the east side. All gates will open at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. The ticket booth under the press box on the east side is home to visitor will call tickets while the south end by the Tarleton Field House will host the home will call tickets.
There will be $10 parking spots available on the Harbin Street lots while spaces last. Parking across Washington Street at the baseball and softball fields are free of charge.
While the new stadium continues to be built, seating for the home fans will continue as in years past on the east side of Memorial Stadium. Temporary bleachers will be available for visiting fans on the west side.
ABOUT THE TEXANS
Texan Football continued its unbeaten start to the season with a road rout of Angelo State Saturday night. Ben Holmes enjoyed a career night throwing the ball as the Orchard Park, New York native tossed his first career 300-yard passing game. Holmes threw for 305 on 17-28 passing with three touchdowns. Manning was his primary target, going for 126 yards and two scores on five catches. Meanwhile, the ground game continued its dominance with 281 yards on the ground led by Daniel McCants’ 177. Xavier Turner (60), D’Anthony Hopkins (37), and Adam Berryman (15) also contributed key roles in the Tarleton ground game. Devin Hafford led the defense with two interceptions, including one for a touchdown, while the Texan defense held the Rams below 100 yards rushing. It’s the fourth straight game Tarleton has held its opponent below 100 yards on the ground, matching the most recent feat in 2009. On the year, Tarleton is scoring 44.3 points per game and holding opponents to 16.5. McCants leads the ground attack with 535 yards on 65 carries while QB Ben Holmes leads the way through the air with 891 yards and eight touchdowns on 55-84 passing. Zimari Manning has six receiving scores with 418 receiving yards. Defensively, the Texans are led by 25 tackles from Ed Hayes, Jai Edwards, and Ronnell Wilson while Prince Robinson leads the team with four interceptions. The Texan defensive front has held every opponent this season below 100 yards rushing.
ABOUT THE GREYHOUNDS
A perennial powerhouse in the ground game, Eastern New Mexico has struggled in finding a replacement for the 2017 LSC Offensive Back of the Year, Kamal Cass. The Greyhounds enter the game with a 1-4 record, including a 1-2 mark in league play, and have four rushers with at least 200 yards this season. Paul Terry leads the team with 428 rushing yards and four touchdowns while Wyatt Strand has thrown for 259 yards and two scores on 51 attempts. Defensively, Brad Hardin leads the way with 38 tackles, including 4.0 for a loss, while Charles Countee has a team-high two interceptions.
This is the 27th career meeting between Tarleton and Eastern New Mexico dating back to 1961. The Greyhounds lead the all-time series 15-11 but the Texans have dominated the series since 2001. A 55-14 win over Eastern New Mexico in Stephenville in 2001 started a run of 11 wins over the next 14 meetings, entering tonight’s game.
UP NEXT FOR TARLETON
Tarleton will hit the road for its first AFCA Top 25 showdown since September 13, 2014 when the Texans visit No. 9 Texas A&M-Commerce at 4 p.m. It will be the first time in Tarleton’s NCAA history the Texans will play the defending Division II National Champions from the previous season.