Texans aim to continue response trend under Whitten in trip to Dixie State
Under the winningest head coach in Tarleton football history Todd Whitten, the Texans haven't had to respond to losses very often. However, when necessary, Tarleton has consistently responded well following a loss, avoiding consecutive losses in a single-season since 2017.
On Saturday, the Texans will head to Dixie State to take on the Trailblazers at Greater Zion Stadium at 8 p.m. CT.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN+, with Devin Dixon and Andy Thompson 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.
About the matchup
This is Tarleton's second WAC game of the season, its first since the season-opener against Stephen F. Austin. This is Dixie State's first conference game of the year, the first of three in a four-week stretch.
Tarleton and Dixie State squared off twice last season in their first ever meetings. The Trailblazers won the first battle in Stephenville 26-14, as they forced five Texan turnovers. Tarleton got its vengeance at St. George later in the year 37-15, racking up 514 total yards.
DSU is 0-5 this season and has been outscored 206-58 (losing by 29.6 PPG). Four losses have come to teams in the AFCA FCS Coaches' Top 25 Poll.
• Tarleton had its first scheduled regular season bye week since 2007 this past week.
• The Texans have not lost or won consecutive games yet this season. They lost their most recent game.
• Since 2018, this is the seventh time the Texans have faced an opponent riding a five-game losing streak or worse. Tarleton is 6-0 in such games, outscoring its opponents 275-73 (33.7 average margin of victory).
• With a win against Dixie State, Tarleton would improve back to .500 on the season. Tarleton hasn't fallen more than a game below .500 since 2016.
• In the last game, Devin Hafford had an interception, marking his fifth takeaway of the season. That's tied for the most takeaways across the entire FCS (Western Illinois' Michael Lawson also has five). Across NCAA Division I football, Hafford has the tied-second most takeaways — Illinois' Kerby Joseph is the only player with six in the FBS.
• With just four tackles against Dixie State, Ronnell Wilson (325 tackles) will surpass Marquis Wadley (328 tackles, 2011-13) for third on Tarleton's all-time tackles leaderboard. Wilson is 15 tackles short of surpassing Robert Ivey (339 tackles, 1985-88) for second-most. Tally Neal (1975-78) is first in Tarleton history at 613.
Round mound of rebound
Under Whitten, the Texans have not let losses fester. Tarleton has not lost consecutive games in a single-season since 2017, last doing so to end the year in which the team played No. 4 ranked Midwestern State, No. 8 ranked Texas A&M- Commerce, and Central Oklahoma in the Corsicana Bowl. Since that span, the Texans have always responded to a loss with a dominant win in the next game, when given the chance to in the same season.
This season, Tarleton has followed up both losses with a 54-7 win against Fort Lewis and a 40-21 win over New Mexico Highlands. Looking at games following in-season losses since 2018, the Texans rebound by winning by 29.3 points on average. Tarleton will look to continue that trend on Saturday at Dixie State.
The Texans haven't lost consecutive road games since their season finale in 2016 and their season opener in 2017. It hasn't been since the start of 2016 that they've lost consecutive road games in a single season, and not since 2011 that they've been swept on a multi-game road trip. Tarleton hasn't fallen more than a game below .500 since early 2016, in which the Texans began 0-2 and 1-3.