Tarleton set for showdown against future WAC foe Southern Utah

WTAMU Sports Information

Tarleton will make the former home of MLB's Texas Rangers their own home on Saturday at Choctaw Stadium, formerly known as Globe Life Park. The Texans will host the Southern Utah Thunderbirds of the Big Sky Conference, a program slated to be in the Western Athletic Conference next season, at 6 p.m.

Senior wide receiver Tariq Bitson (No. 1) and sophomore linebacker D.J. Harris (No. 18) talk things over during last week's blowout win over Fort Lewis.

The game will be broadcast on ESPN+, with Kyle Youmans and Richard Bartel on the call. The game can be heard on Tarleton Sports Network at 90.5 FM in Stephenville and surrounding areas, with Byron Anderson, Kyle Masters, Kyle Crews and Keltin Wiens leading the broadcast.

Tickets are available through Major League Baseball's website for $15-$20 at www.mlb.com/rangers/ballpark/globe-life-park/events/football.

Game Day festivities

Tarleton Texan Nation is welcome to join fellow defenders of the purple and white for an official pregame party at Texas Live! ahead of the game.

The event will take place at Miller Tavern and Beer Garden inside Texas Live! from 3:30-5:30 p.m. and will be free admission for all fans with a game ticket for the Tarleton-Southern Utah game at 6 p.m. Fans in attendance can check into the Tarleton Fan Rewards program and receive 500 points, along with chances to win official Tarleton gear and prizes.

About the matchup

This is the first ever meeting between Tarleton and Southern Utah, who currently plays in the Big Sky Conference. This is the first of what will be many matchups, as Southern Utah will enter the Western Athletic Conference in 2022.

Southern Utah has lost five straight games. The Thunderbirds went 1-5 last season in the spring, with all five losses one possession affairs, losing by a combined 15 points (3.0 points per loss).

SUU is coming off a bye after starting the year against two FBS teams, losing 45-14 to San Jose State and 41-14 to Arizona State.

Quick hits

The Texans are hosting the Thunderbirds at Choctaw Stadium, formerly known as Globe Life Park and former home of the Texas Rangers. The Rangers called the stadium home for 26 seasons from 1994-2019, last known as Globe Life Park in the span. The stadium hosted 2,081 regular season MLB games, 25 playoff MLB games, and two World Series.

Linebacker D.J. Harris was named the Ticketsmarter WAC Defensive Player of the Week this past week after an incredible game against Fort Lewis, where he posted 13 tackles (six solo), a forced safety, 1.5 sacks, 3.0 tackles for a loss and three quarterback hurries. He leads the WAC with 24 total tackles and 12.0 tackles per game. He's second with 3.5 tackles for a loss, tied for second with a forced fumble, and tied for third with 1.5 sacks.

Last game, Tarleton won 54-7 over Fort Lewis, totaling 598 yards of offense, including 347 yards on the ground. Both marks were fairly close to the Texans' all-time records of 682 total yards (at William Jewell on Nov. 9, 2019) and 406 rushing yards (vs. New Mexico Highlands on Aug. 26, 2004). The William Jewell game had been the last time the Texans hit the 300-yard rushing mark.