No. 4 Tarleton Texans (7-0, 5-0)
Last Week: Tarleton jumped out to an early 14-point lead and then held the lead throughout as they defeated No. 20 Texas A&M-Commerce, 35-21, Saturday night. Quarterback Ben Holmes completed 14-of-21 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns while Zimari Manning caught seven passes for 131 yards and three touchdowns. Daniel McCants led the rushing attack with 93 yards on 23 carries. Jai Edwards led the defense with 11 tackles, seven solo, and broke up one pass. Click here to read more about this game on texasfootball.com.
The Verdict: The Texans handled their toughest challenge of the regular season last week with the help of an incredible crowd at home. Tarleton is in line to win the Lone Star Conference title and host some playoff games. They have a distinct home advantage with their electric atmosphere.
This Week: Tarleton travels to play Texas A&M-Kingsville on Saturday night at 7 p.m.
No. 22 Angelo State Rams (6-1, 4-1)
Last Week: ASU needed only two plays to regain the lead Saturday then held on for a huge 17-14 win on the road over West Texas A&M. Quarterback Payne Sullins completed 17-of-28 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown while Austin Landry led the receivers with 81 yards and a touchdown on three receptions. Daven Manning gained 60 yards rushing on 21 carries. Josh Quinton led the Rams defense with 12 tackles while Hunter Kyle added 11 tackles.
The Verdict: The Rams went into what has been one of the toughest places to play this year and left with a hard-fought win to keep their playoff hopes alive. ASU returns home this week but then face a tough two-game road trip before finishing at home against Texas A&M-Commerce.
This Week: ASU returns home to play UT Permian Basin at 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
No. 23 Texas A&M-Commerce Lions (4-2, 3-1)
Last Week: Texas A&M-Commerce had costly turnovers and penalties last week as they were unable to overcome an early deficit in a 35-21 road loss to No. 4 Tarleton. Quarterback Miklo Smalls completed 29-of-39 passes for 288 yards with two touchdowns and an interception while leading the Lions with 44 yards rushing on 12 carries. Antonio Lealiiee caught seven passes for 71 yards while Jalon Edwards-Cooper led the defense with 13 tackles, 10 solo, 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack.
The Verdict: Turnovers were costly for the Lions as both of their turnovers resulted in touchdowns for the Texans. However, the first turnover was questionable as the pass was ruled by the officials to be a backward pass leading head coach David Bailiff to advocate for replay in Division II. TAMUC can still earn a spot in the playoffs by winning their final four games of the regular season.
This Week: TAMUC returns home to play Western New Mexico at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. The game will be broadcast by Nexstar.
West Texas A&M Buffaloes (5-2, 2-2)
Last Week: WT was able to come back from a halftime deficit to take the lead in the third quarter but was unable to hold off Angelo State as they dropped a 17-14 decision at home last Saturday night. Quarterback Nick Gerber completed 16-of-41 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns while Semaj Mitchell was outstanding with 123 yards receiving and two touchdowns on six receptions. Hayden Dennis recorded 10 tackles, one tackle for loss, one quarterback hurry and broke up one pass.
The Verdict: Another slow offensive start was costly for the Buffs this time as they suffered their first loss in their brand-new stadium. The Buffs next two games will be tough beginning this week with the annual Wagon Wheel Game on the road.
This Week: The Buffs travel to play Eastern New Mexico on Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Midwestern State Mustangs (4-3, 2-3)
Last Week: MSU-Texas found its offensive groove last Saturday night as they defeated Texas A&M-Kingsville 70-35 at home. Quarterback Triston Williams completed 13-of-21 passes for 354 yards and tied a school record with six touchdown passes. Justin Jones, Lazarus Fisher, Jerome Johnson and Quinton Childs each recorded a rushing touchdown for the Mustangs. Kylan Harrison had 119 yards receiving and two touchdowns on three catches while Xavier Land added 104 yards and a touchdown on four receptions. Deven Smith led the defense with nine tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss.
The Verdict: The Mustangs needed a victory in a big way, and they earned a big win to break a three-game conference losing streak. The good news is that the Mustangs won, the bad news is that they have three of their next four games on the road beginning with a long trip this week.
This Week: MSU-Texas begins a two-game road trip as they travel to Monmouth, Ore. to play Western Oregon at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
UT Permian Basin Falcons (2-5, 0-4)
Last Week: UTPB rallied to pull within six points late in the third quarter but was unable to complete the comeback as they were defeated 43-21 by Chadron State on the road last Saturday afternoon. Quarterback Kameron Mathis completed 20-of-30 passes for 247 yards with two touchdowns and an interception and added a rushing touchdown. Kobe Robinson and Jeremiah Cooley each caught a touchdown pass for the Falcons. Donta Stuart led UTPB with 11 tackles, eight solo, while Chris Hoad had 10 tackles, eight solo, and one tackle for loss.
The Verdict: The good news for the Falcons was the return of quarterback Kameron Mathis. The bad news for the Falcons is they have lost five straight games after opening the season with two victories. The schedule does not get any easier this week for UTPB.
This Week: UTPB concludes a two-game road trip as they play No. 25 Angelo State at 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas (1-6, 0-4)
Last Week: Texas A&M-Kingsville was unable to keep up offensively last Saturday night as they fell 70-35 on the road to Midwestern State. Running back Kris Barnes gained 130 yards rushing and a touchdown on 13 carries. Quarterback Cade Dyal completed 16-of-37 passes for 166 yards and two interceptions. Amos Coleman III and Tre’Michael Tutt led the Javelinas defense as each registered eight tackles.
The Verdict: Early turnovers proved costly again as the Javelinas fell behind and could never catch up on the scoreboard. TAMUK has lost five straight games and return home this week to play one of the best teams in the country.
This Week: TAMUK returns home to play No. 4 Tarleton on Saturday night at 7 p.m.