STEPHENVILLE – Following the program’s first-ever NCAA top-10 showdown with MSU Texas last weekend that saw Tarleton come out on top 35-34 in overtime, the Texans held on to their No. 8 standing in the latest national poll by the American Football Coaches Association Monday morning.
Tarleton’s victory secured the Lone Star Conference Football Championship for the fourth time in school history and gives Tarleton a chance to join the 2001 team as the only teams to win the trophy outright when they host Western New Mexico on Saturday, November 10 at 2 p.m. in Stephenville. Tarleton won co-championships in 2009 and 2013 to go along with divisional titles in 2002, 2003, and 2006. It also brought the program’s all-time record back to an even .500 at 480-480-33.
Tarleton improved to 8-0 on the season, which ties the second-longest unbeaten start to a season in program history (2007). Only the 1990 team (11-0) had a longer run. The Texans outlasted No. 10 MSU Texas 35-34 on the road in overtime to spoil the Mustangs’ homecoming. Senior running back Xavier Turner recorded the 11th 200-yard rushing performance in program history with 214 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries.
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 92nd week in Tarleton’s NCAA history the Texans have been ranked, including the sixth straight this year. It is the 16th week in program history that Tarleton has been a national top-10 team, 11 of which have now come under Whitten’s guidance.
Tarleton will be back home in Stephenville for the final two games of the regular season. The Texans will take a break from LSC play to host Lincoln (Mo.) Saturday at 2 p.m. and then close out the regular season against Western New Mexico on Nov. 10 at 2 p.m.