Non-FBS GOTW: Former Graham QB leads Trinity against St. John’s (Minn.)

Photo courtesy Trinity Athletics

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No. 4 Trinity at No. 6 St. John’s (Minn.)

When: Noon Saturday at Clemens Stadium in Collegeville, Minn.

Broadcast: ($15.75)

The Matchup: A sense of finality tends to breed an increased focus and attention to detail. Trinity coach Jerheme Urban has seen a difference from his experienced team.

“We have a lot of returning starters this year,” Urban said. “It’s not like they overlooked last season by any means, but guys many of these guys like Tucker Horn and Caleb Harmel realize this is their last go around.”

While Urban welcomes the increased focus and intensity heading into the 2023 season, he’s also wanting to make sure his 16 super-seniors have fun in their final collegiate season.

“We want to have fun and practice right. Yes, they want to win, but there is such a finite amount of time,” Urban said. “The last thing I want is for them to look back and say, ‘Oh man, that last season could’ve been more fun.’ I want them to enjoy the process and the games, and the wins will take care of themselves.”

The Tigers will be to be focused and prepared when they enter Clemens Stadium on Saturday. St. John’s is a storied program in Division III, and both teams advanced to the second round of the playoffs last year. 

Expectations are high for both teams, with Trinity expected to three-peat in the Southern Athletic Association. The Johnnies are the favorites in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

The winner of this contest will gain a leg up on seeding and an at-large berth to the playoffs if they stumble during conference action. The loser of this game will have a chance to redeem themselves next week when the Tigers host Mary Hardin-Baylor and the Johnnies travel to meet perennial powerhouse Wisconsin-Whitewater.

X-Factor: Tucker Horn, Trinity

The super senior quarterback from Graham has thrown for 4,961 yards with 51 touchdowns and 12 interceptions over the last two seasons while leading the Tigers to back-to-back SAA titles and playoff appearances. The Tigers have talent and experience all over the field, but it’s the experience of the Preseason All-Texas Non-FBS Offensive Player of the Year that will key Trinity to a win in the season opener.

Prediction: Trinity by 3

Best of the Rest:

Prairie View A&M at Texas Southern

When: 7 p.m. Saturday at Shell Energy Stadium in Houston

Broadcast: ESPN+

Prediction: Texas Southern by 3

No. 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor at No. 23 Wisconsin-River Falls

When: 1 p.m. Saturday at Smith Stadium in River Falls, Wisc.


Prediction: UMHB by 7

No. 17 Ottawa (Ariz.) at No. 21 Texas Wesleyan

When: 7 p.m. Saturday at Crowley ISD Multi-Purpose Stadium in Fort Worth


Prediction: TxWes by 1

Other Texas Non-FBS Games:

All times Central

Thursday, August 31


Idaho at Lamar, 7 p.m.

Northern Colorado at Abilene Christian, 7 p.m.

UC Davis at Texas A&M-Commerce, 7 p.m.


Angelo State at West Alabama, 6 p.m.


McMurry vs. Birmingham-Southern, 6 p.m. (Little Rock, Ark.)

East Texas Baptist at Louisiana Christian, 7 p.m.

Friday, September 1


Albright at Hardin-Simmons, 7 p.m.

Saturday, September 2


Stephen F. Austin at Troy, 6 p.m.

Arkansas Baptist at Houston Christian, 6 p.m.

Tarleton at McNeese, 7 p.m.

UIW at UTEP, 8 p.m.


Texas A&M-Kingsville at Colorado Mesa, 2 p.m.

West Texas A&M at Western Colorado, 2 p.m.

Texas College at UTPB, 6 p.m.

Midwestern State at Colorado State-Pueblo, 7 p.m.


Nebraska Wesleyan at Austin College, 1 p.m.

Texas Lutheran at Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 1 p.m.

Southwestern at Cal Lutheran, 3 p.m.

Howard Payne at George Fox, 6 p.m.

Sul Ross State at Western New Mexico, 7 p.m.


North American at Wayland Baptist, 11 a.m.


Gordon Prep at Blinn, 7 p.m.

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