LIBERTY, Missouri – No. 3 Tarleton moved to 10-0 on the season behind a school-record 682 yards of offense in a 58-3 rout on the road against William Jewell.
On an afternoon where numerous school records were tied and broken, the Texans have now won 10 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history. It’s also the 20th straight regular season win and ninth straight regular season road win for the Texans dating back to last season.
The Texans, who came into today’s game ranked No. 2 nationally in offense with 538 yards per game, have now broken the school record for total yards in a game twice this season. After putting up a then-record 673 yards at Stephen F. Austin in week 1, the Texans topped that mark this afternoon with 682 yards – the fourth 600-yard offensive output this season.
The fast-start Texans were at it again in the first quarter as Ben Holmes threw his first of four touchdowns to Camron Lewis for the game’s first points. Holmes has now tied Cliff Watkins’ school record for touchdown passes in a season with 29, which was set back in 2003. Holmes finished the game with 318 yards on 18-of-29 passing and four touchdowns.
With a 14-0 lead after one quarter, Tarleton has now outscored opponents 157-20 in the first quarter this season and hasn’t allowed an opening-quarter touchdown since week 1 at SFA.
Daniel McCants followed with an 84-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, which was the start of a record-setting game for the senior running back from Killeen. McCants finished the game with 225 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns – the second score on a 64-yard touchdown run to open the second half. McCants is the first player in school history to run for 200 yards in three straight games and now has 1,445 yards on the season. McCants will go into next week just 115 yards away from the single-season rushing record and 185 yards from the Tarleton career rushing record.
After setting the single season and career receiving touchdown record last week, Zimari Manning etched his name in another milestone category. With 109 yards on just six catches and two touchdowns, Manning is now the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards in a season with 1,179 yards – passing Will Moody’s 2003 record of 1,140 yards. Manning, the NCAA leader in touchdown receptions, has a jaw-dropping 19 touchdowns on the season.
Six different Texans scored a touchdown today, with Ryheem Skinner punching in his first touchdown as a Texan late in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run. J.F. Thomas also caught a touchdown from Holmes to go with 61 yards on three receptions.
As great as the Texan offense was, the defense had its best performance statistically this season. The Texans held William Jewell to -4 rushing yards and only 163 passing yards for a total of 159 yards.
Benjie Franklin recorded his second interception return for a touchdown this season on an 83-yard pick six – just five yards away from the longest return in school history. It’s the fourth INT of the season for Franklin, who ties Prince Robinson for the team lead.
B.J. Jefferson came up with his first-career interception as the three-time Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Week continued to build his stats with a team-leading seven tackles, three tackles for a loss, and a sack. Jefferson now has an LSC-leading 21.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks on the year.
Erick Willis and Jordan Wells each had a career-high three sacks, as part of a 10-sack game by the Texan defense. Tavaris Owens, Jordan Phillips, Tank Morgan and Dariet McDuff also had sacks in the game.
Tarleton will travel to Silver City, New Mexico to take on Western New Mexico on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. CST looking to clinch its second straight outright Lone Star Conference championship.