Tarleton will enjoy its first mid-week home opener since 2010 tonight as the Texans play host to Delta State at 7 p.m. to begin its 25th season of NCAA competition.
In keeping with Tarleton State University's 'Purple Thursday' tradition, the game will be a 'Purple Out' game. All fans are encouraged to pack the stadium purple. There will also be free football posters given away while supplies last, courtesy of The Pizza Place.
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.
Reserved season tickets are still on sale for $75 and can be purchased by calling the Tarleton Ticket Office at (254) 968-1832. Single game tickets for Delta State can only be purchased at the gate, beginning at 5:30 p.m., and online sales for the remaining home games will begin after the opener. 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
Tarleton enters the third season of the third head coaching stint of Todd Whitten with high hopes after earning an invitation to the fifth bowl game in program history last year. The Texans ended the season with a hard-fought showdown against Central Oklahoma in the inaugural Corsicana Bowl. Tarleton returns several key playmakers on each side of the ball, including RBs Xavier Turner(149 carries, 765 yards, 11 TDs), Adam Berryman (72 carries, 365 yards, 5 TDs) and Daniel McCants (61 carries, 306 yards, 2 TDs) on the offensive side. Defensively, Tarleton has all-conference CB Devin Hafford (76 tkls, 2 INT), LB EJ Speed (41 tkls, 8.5 TFL), and All-American DT Tyrell Thompson (57 tkls, 10.0 TFL, 4.5 sacks). Tarleton also returns five starting offensive linemen from a year ago - Deon Sheppard, Jovan Pruitt, Noah Perez, Cody Hayes, and Wesley Hooks.
ABOUT THE STATESMEN
Delta State is coming off a 9-4 season that saw the Statesmen earn their ninth NCAA playoff berth in program history. The Statesmen advanced to the second round of the national playoffs after defeating Bowie State in the opening game. They would go on to bow out of the tournament following a 27-20 loss to West Alabama. The Statesmen have been picked to finish fourth in the preseason Gulf South Conference poll.
Tarleton and Delta State have met three times since the series began in 2012 and the Statesmen have won all three. Tarleton lost the first two meetings in 2012 (38-35) and 2013 (38-36) by a combined five points. Delta State won last year's season opener in Cleveland, Mississippi 34-16.
UP NEXT FOR TARLETON
The Texans will head to Nacogdoches next Saturday, Sept. 8 for a showdown against NCAA Division I Stephen F Austin. The Texans and Lumberjacks will kick-off at 6 p.m. at Homer Bryce Stadium.