DCTF College Football Previews: UMHB-ETBU clash; Trinity tries to stay perfect; can Tarleton win at home?

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Texas Southern (0-0) at Prairie View A&M (0-0)

When: 7 p.m. Saturday at Panther Stadium in Prairie View, Texas

Broadcast: No broadcast available

The Matchup: The typical Labor Day Classic will be played twice in 2021 with the first meeting this week during the spring season.

Texas Southern was due to open its season last week but was postponed due to the effects of the winter storm and a lack of water pressure at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Tigers shift their focus to this week and renew their rivalry with the Panthers.

Prairie View begins a stretch of six games in seven weeks against its arch rival. The Panthers were 6-5 overall and 4-3 in the SWAC in 2019 and will seek replacements for standout running back Dawonya Tucker and quarterback Jalen Morton.

Players to Watch: 

Texas Southern - Michael Badejo, DL, Sr, Mansfield, Texas (SMU)

Richard Garcia III, K, So, Mesquite, Texas (Horn HS)

Devin Williams, QB, Mansfield, Texas (Blinn)

Prairie View - Danny Garza, OL, Sr, San Antonio, Texas (Harlandale HS)

Jason Dumas, DL, Jr, Vacherie, La. (St. James HS)

Drake Cheatum, DB, Mesquite, Texas (Mesquite HS)

Key to Victory: The rivalry has been one-sided in recent years with PVAMU winning the last five games and have won the last two meetings by a combined 104-37 score. The Tigers will need to play a complete game in all three phases to earn the upset.

PVAMU will need to find production from its offense with the loss of so many key players. The Panthers will rely on their solid defense while the offense finds its footing.

Prediction: Prairie View by 21


UIW (1-0) at Lamar (0-1)

When: 3 p.m. Saturday at Provost Umphrey Stadium in Beaumont, Texas

Broadcast: ESPN+

The Matchup: UIW earned its largest road win under coach Eric Morris last week by dominating McNeese. Freshman quarterback Cameron Ward matched the program’s record for most passing touchdowns in a single game (4) in the victory.

Lamar opened the Blane Morgan era against one of the top teams in the Southland Conference and the country. The Cardinals are a young team who will take some lumps while Morgan rebuilds the program.

Players to Watch: 

UIW - Ce’Cori Tolds, KR, Jr, Houston, Texas (Manvel HS)

Cameron Ward, QB, Fr, West Columbia, Texas (Columbia HS)

Kelechi Anyalebechi, Jr, Pearland, Texas (Shadow Creek HS)

Lamar - Jalen Dummett, QB, Oakland, Calif. (Feather River College)

Aaron Calcote, OLB, Jr, Shreveport, La. (Evangel Christian Academy)

Anthony Ruffin, DB, So, Houma, La. (Terrebonne HS)

Key to Victory: UIW struggled to put together consistent performances in 2019. The Cardinals will need to use this game to provide a springboard for the remainder of the spring where a very tough schedule awaits.

Lamar may not face a deeper or more talented squad than they played last week. The Cardinals will need to correct some mistakes from last week and keep the ball away from the potent UIW offense.

Prediction: UIW by 21


Mississippi College (0-0) at Tarleton (1-2)

When: 2 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Stephenville, Texas

Broadcast: Tarleton Sports Network

The Matchup: Mississippi College plays its first game of the spring season this week. The Choctaws are an NCAA Division II school that finished 5-5 in 2019 and face an angry Tarleton team that had a habit of destroying DII competition last year.

Did I mention the Texans are angry? This week’s practice may have been one of the most intense in recent memory after Tarleton had five turnovers on offense and struggled to stop the run on defense. The Texans have lost their last three home games dating back to 2019.

Players to Watch: 

Tarleton - Ryheem Skinner, RB, Sr, Clinton, N.C. (Clinton HS)

D.J. Harris, LB, So, Houston, Texas (Langham Creek HS)

Jordan Wells, DL, Sr, Navasota, Texas (Navasota HS)

Mississippi College - Jaylin Jones, RB, Sr, Louin, Miss. (Coahoma CC)

Jonathan Jones, LB, Sr, Charleston, Miss. (Southern Miss)

Josh Miller, DB, Sr, Kokomo, Miss. (East Mississippi CC)

Key to Victory: The key to this game begins and ends with Tarleton’s ability to take care of the football and avoid turnovers. The Texans still had chances to win last week even with five turnovers. 

Prediction: Tarleton by 40


Texas A&M-Kingsville (0-0) at Midwestern State (0-0)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls, Texas

Broadcast: LSC Digital Network ($)

The Matchup: The Mike Salinas era begins for the Javelinas this week. Salinas returns to his alma mater and inherits a program that was 2-9 in 2019 and in need of a rebuild. TAMUK only has two games scheduled this spring which Salinas will use as exhibition games.

MSU had a scrimmage last week against Southeastern Oklahoma and began to answer some questions on how the Mustangs will use this spring. The Mustangs is giving playing time to multiple players at every position and using this spring to build depth heading into the fall.

Players to Watch: 

TAMUK - Darrian Hambrick, WR, Sr, Nashville, Tenn. (Mt. San Antonio College)

Jacob Clarkson, DE, Sr, Houston, Texas (Jersey Village HS)

Zadock Dinkleman, QB, So, Somerset, Texas (Somerset)

MSU - Derrick Ponder, QB, Sr, Wichita Falls, Texas (Jackson State)

Trenton Kennedy, RB, Jr, Cypress, Texas (Tyler JC)

Melik Owens, DE, Jr, Houston, Texas (Cypress Ridge HS)

Key to Victory: Sure, Texas A&M-Kingsville wants to win every game since every college athlete and coach has a unique competitive fire. The Javelinas will use their two games this spring to evaluate players and settle some positions on the depth chart.

MSU has expectations to compete for a playoff spot every season and will also use this spring to improve areas of weakness that led to the Mustangs first losing season under coach Bill Maskill. MSU should cruise if they limit turnovers.

Prediction: MSU by 20


Lincoln (Mo.) (0-1) at UT Permian Basin (1-0)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday at Grande Stadium in Midland, Texas

Broadcast: LSC Digital Network

The Matchup: UTPB opened its four-game spring schedule with a nice 33-14 win over Southern Nazarene. Clayton Roberts took hold of the quarterback position tying a single-game program record with four touchdown passes.

Lincoln opened its spring season two weeks ago on the road against No. 9 Nicholls. That ended in an embarrassing 87-3 loss. The Blue Tigers have had two weeks to heal wounds and should be ready to battle this week. 

Players to Watch: 

Lincoln - Desmond Hunter, QB, Sr, Woodville, Miss. (Hinds CC)

Tori Hicks, RB, So, Kansas City, Mo. (Illinois State)

Elliot Albert, LB, Sr, Houston, Texas (Navarro JC)

UTPB - Clayton Roberts, QB, Jr, Houston, Texas (St. Pius X HS)

MJ Link, WR, Jr, Lakeland, Fla. (Garden City CC)

Miquon Mayes, LB, Jr, Dallas, Texas (Duncanville HS)

Key to Victory: Roberts showed he is a true dual-threat last week while passing and rushing for over 100 yards. The Falcons will need someone to step up and help in the rushing attack while Roberts will try and improve his accuracy in the passing game.

Lincoln needs to play with fire and passion after being thoroughly embarrassed against one of the top FCS teams in the country. The Blue Tigers will need to show improvement on both sides of the ball to have a chance at victory.

Prediction: UTPB by 10


Mary Hardin-Baylor (2-0) at East Texas Baptist (2-1)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday at Ornelas Stadium in Marshall, Texas

Broadcast: ETBU Sports Net

The Matchup: The prognosticators thought this game would decide who would win the American Southwest Conference East Division. The prognosticators were wrong. UMHB handled its business in the Crusaders first two games with a familiar formula of a solid running game and a stingy defense.

ETBU did not take care of business last week traveling to Pineville, La., and leaving with a shocking 23-17 loss to Louisiana College. Were the Tigers looking ahead to their big home game this week? We will know the answer following this week’s game. Either way, this matchup lost some of its luster last Saturday.

Players to Watch: 

UMHB - Tommy Bowden, QB, So, Brownwood, Texas (Brownwood HS)

K.J. Miller, WR, Jr, Orange, Texas (West Orange Stark HS)

Sante Parker Jr., DE, Jr, Katy, Texas (Katy HS)

Key to Victory: Five turnovers last week led to the end of the Tigers dream of an undefeated spring. ETBU will need more than the 172 yards passing they are averaging this season to have a chance to stay in the game against the Cru.

UMHB must continue to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The Cru defense is only allowing 20 yards rushing per game. The Cru would like to see more from their passing game than the 175 yards they are averaging through two games.

Prediction: UMHB by 28


Hendrix (2-0) at Trinity (2-0)

When: 10 a.m. Saturday at Trinity Football Stadium in San Antonio, Texas

Broadcast: Tiger Network

The Matchup: This game was originally scheduled for two weeks ago but fell victim to the winter vortex that claimed nearly the entire state of Texas. Hendrix was impressive last week with a dominating 49-31 home win over Austin College.

Trinity has not played in two weeks. This is one of the most intriguing games this week and could be the game of the week. Each team has played two common opponents, which is a rarity this spring. How will the Tigers vaunted defense fare against the high-scoring Warriors offense?

Players to Watch: 

Hendrix - Miles Thompson, QB, Sr, Lucas, Texas (First Baptist Academy of Dallas)

Kip VanHoose, RB, Sr, Kansas City, Mo. (Conway (Ark.) HS)

Adonnis Butler, DL, Sr, Desoto, Texas (Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill HS)

Trinity - Chris Stewart, WR, Sr, The Woodlands, Texas (Woodlands HS)

Campbell Miller, DL, Sr, Tyler, Texas (Robert E. Lee HS)

Michael Jewett, LB, Jr, Houston, Texas (Strake Jesuit HS)

Key to Victory: Dual-threat standout Jacob Wood saw very little playing time last week. The Hendrix offense was still explosive led by Miles Thompson and Kip VanHoose. Trinity will need to keep the Warriors offense behind the chains regardless of who plays quarterback.

The Tigers will need their two-quarterback system to remain successful. Thus far, Wyatt Messex and Tucker Horn have combined to average 302 yards per game passing. Messex adds a running threat for Trinity and is the team’s second leading rusher.

Prediction: Trinity by 3


Millsaps (0-2) at Austin College (0-2)

When: Noon Saturday at Jerry E. Apple Stadium in Sherman, Texas

Broadcast: College TV Ticket

The Matchup: This is a game between two teams who have played a tough spring schedule. The difference? Millsaps have played both its games at home while the ‘Roos have been on the road for both their contests. 

Austin College has held early leads in both its games, but have faltered as the game progressed. The ‘Roos have shown they can compete against some of the top teams in the Southern Athletic Association. Can the ‘Roos get another early lead and hold on against the Majors?

Players to Watch: 

Millsaps - Amryn Jeffrey, QB, Jr, Houston, Texas (Fort Bend Travis HS)

Austin Russell, WR, Sr, Covington, La. (Covington HS)

Liam Vincifora, DL, Sr, Covington, La. (Covington HS)

AC - Austin Rideaux, WR, Jr, Beaumont, Texas (Forney HS)

Tyler James, QB, Jr, Wills Point, Texas (Wills Point HS)

Jarrett Pleasant, DB, Fr, Magnolia, Texas (Magnolia HS)

Key to Victory: Austin College has proven they can move the ball and score in its first two games. The area the ‘Roos will need to improve the most is on defense which has struggled against the run and the pass this spring.

Millsaps also has a defense that has struggled to stop its opponents allowing 448 total yards per game this year. Another problem facing the Majors is their inability to move the ball averaging only 17 points and 240 total yards per game.

Prediction: Austin College by 10


Howard Payne (0-1) at Sul Ross State (0-2)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday at Jackson Field in Alpine, Texas

Broadcast: No broadcast available

The Matchup: HPU had a nice showing in its first game and was one two-point conversion stop from having a terrific first game. That feels like last year at this point with the Yellow Jackets having their next two games postponed followed by a bye week. HPU’s last game was Feb. 6.

Sul Ross State opened its season with two road losses including a tough road 17-14 loss to McMurry. The Lobos finally have their home opener this week. That is the good news. The bad news for SRSU? The Yellow Jackets are the most improved team in the American Southwest Conference over the past two seasons.

Players to Watch: 

HPU - Landon McKinney, QB, Fr, Liberty City, Texas (Sabine HS)

Jake Parker, WR, Sr, Whitehouse, Texas (Whitehouse HS)

Kyle Bell, DB, Jr, Cypress, Texas (Cy-Fair HS)

SRSU - Ozias Wright, RB, So, Killeen, Texas (Shoemaker HS)

Javeon Moses, OLB, So, Fort Worth, Texas (Arlington Heights HS)

Xavier Minjarez, DB, So, Odessa, Texas (Odessa HS)

Key to Victory: HPU will need to shake off the rust of not playing in the three weeks. If the Yellow Jackets are able to take care of the football again this week, the offense should be able to put up plenty of points. 

SRSU has had a solid rushing attack in its first two games. However, they need to get a lot more from their passing game this week. Controlling the clock and moving the chains will be vital for the Lobos. The defense will need to double cover Jake Parker.

Prediction: HPU by 17

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