Tarleton earns first Division I national ranking by Stats Perform FCS

Burston, Douglas, team earn national weekly honors


STEPHENVILLE – It was a big week for Tarleton Football and yesterday’s thrashing of FBS New Mexico State opened the eyes of national voters as the Texans debuted at No. 22 in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 ranking for the first time in school history.

In addition to the national ranking, Tarleton was named the Stats Perform FCS National Team of the Week and QB Cameron Burston was selected as the National Offensive Player of the Week. Gabe Douglas was an honorable mention selection for the offensive honor.

Burston was a spark plug for the Texans after being elevated to the starting QB position hours before kickoff when five Tarleton offensive starters were held out due to COVID-19 safety protocols. In his first career start, the senior from Vallejo, California wasted no time making his presence felt.

He took a QB keeper around the left side for a 70-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage. On Tarleton’s second drive, he connected with Douglas on an 86-yard touchdown pass on the first play again. For the day, Burston threw for 252 yards and two scores while rushing for 79 more with a pair of touchdowns. He accounted for four Tarleton touchdowns in the 43-17 rout.

Meanwhile, Douglas was the primary beneficiary of Burston’s career performance.

The junior wide receiver welcomed himself to Texan Nation with a seven-catch, 190-yard afternoon with two touchdowns. All career highs for the junior wideout in his second game at Tarleton.

Tarleton earned their first win as a Division I institution and their first win ever against an FBS-level opponent. The Texans totaled 501 yards of offense while the Texan defense held New Mexico State to 241 yards for the afternoon. Tarleton forced three interceptions – two by Donovan Banks and one from Benjie Franklin on the opening drive of the second half.

In the national rankings, Tarleton joins the ranks of FCS elite – including a familiar foe, McNeese State, who debuted at No. 19.

The complete Stats Perform FCS Top 25 Ranking is as follows:

RankSchool (First)RecordVotes
1North Dakota State (40)2-01,000
2James Madison1-0952
3South Dakota State1-0918
4Weber State0-0882
5Northern Iowa0-1785
7Illinois State0-0730
8Kennesaw State0-0686
12Eastern Washington0-0502
14North Dakota1-0401
15New Hampshire0-0392
16Jacksonville State3-1347
17Sam Houston State0-0326
18Southeastern Louisiana0-0322
19McNeese State1-0220
21Southeast Mississippi0-1161
23Tennessee Tech1-0132

Tarleton will return to action against fellow FCS transition member, Dixie State, this Saturday in Stephenville at 2 p.m. CT. Tickets must be purchased in advance this season at TarletonSports.com/tickets. No walk-up tickets sales will be permitted this spring.

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