The 2015 season for the Tarleton State football team doesnít have any easy blips.
After two tough tests and close losses against the University of Findlay and West Texas A&M, the Texans will face their second Lone Star Conference opponent in Midwestern State (3-0; 1-0 in LSC play) Saturday in Wichita Falls.
The Mustangs come into their game against Tarleton coming off of an LSC conference victory Saturday at AT&T Stadium against Eastern New Mexico 28-24. They also have recorded a 31-3 win over Truman State and a 16-13 overtime victory against Colorado Mesa.
In their LSC showdown against the Greyhounds, Midwestern showed that their offense strives to be balanced. They posted a total of 400 offensive yards, including 27 first downs, with 207 yards coming through the air and 193 on the ground.
Another notable trend about the Mustangs Saturday is that they used a two quarterback system. Hagen Hutchinson received the start, but was later substituted by junior Quade Coward. Just how much the two will be used Saturday against Tarleton is still up in the air, but itís worth noting that Hutchinson only recorded nine completions Saturday for 75 yards, with 49 of those coming on a trick play that saw Coward complete a lateral to Hutchinson who found a receiver deep for a score.
The Texans, who are coming off a 52-38 loss to West Texas A&M in which they at one point held a 14-point lead, will need to stiffen up on the defensive side of the ball to notch their first win of the year in conference play.
Theyíll look to defensive lineman Chase Varnado, who had a 49-yard scoop and score fumble Saturday, to once again make his mark from in the trenches. Redshirt freshman defensive back Kevin Baker led the team with 18 tackles, an accolade that head coach Cary Fowler likely isnít fond of a defensive hold claiming.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Texans would likely think that posting 499 yards of total offense and 31 first downs would be enough to bring home a win, but three costly failed fourth down conversions stopped possible scoring drives short, something that will need to be limited moving forward.
Last week coach Cary Fowler mentioned that it would also be key for other receivers than LeíNard Meyers and Bubba Tandy to step up and produce - well he got that Saturday in Cooper Cole who posted a career best with seven receptions for 83 yards. Moving forward, heíll hope to continue to get production from others to help keep the pressure off of Meyers and Tandy.