The Texans bolted out of the gates quickly, going 5-0 with a stifling defense (225 yds and 13 pts per game) and a productive offense (400 yds and 39 pts per game). After 5 games, the Texans were ranked #13 in the AFCA coaches poll. The final six games saw Tarleton go 3-3, with the defense (398 yds and 29 pts per game) and the offense (355 yds and 24 points per game) both to blame. So what caused such a dramatic downturn? The fact that the first 5 games were all agains LSC North teams and the final six were against LSC South teams has a lot to do with it.
Overall, the offense was down a bit from 2007, scoring was down almost 7 points per game, and yardage was down almost 80 per contest. The running game was effective, despite the absence of Michael Sampson. Roderick Smith cracked the 1,000 yd barrier, and Travis Evans chipped in with almost 7oo yds of his own. The passing game took a step back, averaging almost 90 fewer yards per game and 11 fewer TD passes than in 2007. Eric Foreman and Devin Guinn combined for 76 catches and over 1,100 yds receiving.
The defense was solid, even improved a bit statistically over 2007. Scoring was down about 1.5 pts per game and them team allowed 45 fewer yds per contest as well. However, against the LSC South the Texans allowed 174 more yds and 16 more points per game.
2008 LSC Statistical Rankings
#1 Scoring Defense
#1 Passing Defense
#2 Total Defense
#2 Rushing Offense
#3 Red Zone Defense
#4 Scoring Offense
#4 Total Offense
#7 Red Zone Offense
#9 Rushing Defense
#11 Passing Offense
#13 Opponents 4th Down Conversions
RB Roderick Smith - 1st All-LSC South - 137-1,024-13 rushing
RB Travis Evans - HM All-LSC South - 133-680-6 rushing
FB George Murray- 2nd All-LSC South
TE Tanner Maher - 2nd All-LSC South
OG Devin Livingston - 1st All-LSC South, 2nd Daktronics Super Region 4
C Dustin Washburn - HM All-LSC South
K Garrett Lindholm - 1st All-LSC South
P Kyle Hopf - HM All-LSC South
DE Jamaal Steamer - 2nd All-LSC South - 52 tackles, 18 TFL, 4.5 sacks
DE Alonzo Horton - HM All-LSC South - 36 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks
LB Marcus Phillips - 1st All-LSC South - 66 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 Int, 4 pass broken up
CB Tremaine Wright - 1st All-LSC South, 2nd Daktronics Super Region 4 - 34 tackles, 2 Int, 4 pass broken up
Seniors moving on
FB - George Murray - 2nd LSC South in 2007 & 2008
WR - Shamarr Prentice - 2nd LSC South in 2007 - 54 receptions for 968 yds and 7 TDs in 2 seasons
OL - Greg Dolan
OL - Devin Livingston - 1st LSC South in 2008, HM LSC South in 2007
LB - Cortney Vincent - 23 tackles, 3 TFL in 1 season (Clemson transfer)
LB - Antone Saulsberry - 22 tackles, 2 TFL in 1 season (Arizona State transfer)
DB - O'Lindsay Brown - 66 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 passes broken up in 1 season (Tulane transfer)
DB - Tramaine Wright - 1st LSC South in 2008, 2nd Daktronics Regional 2008 - 59 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 3 Int, 10 passes broken up in 2 seasons
DB - Will Hedrick - 40 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 5 passes broken up
DB - Keon Perry - 54 tackles, 3 Int, 3 passes broken up in 2 seasons
These players were listed as seniors, but did not play in 2008, maybe back in 2009?
RB - Michael Sampson - 1st LSC South and Off. Back of Year in 2006, 2nd LSC South in 2007 - rushed for 1,369 yds and 17 TDs in 2 seasons
OL - Jimmy Fox - 1st LSC South in 2006 & 2007
LB - Segun Olomojobi
K - Tom Feild
LSC Scoop Preseason Predictions
#3 in Initial Power Poll
Best Case Scenario 11-0
The offense is actually better than last year, and the defense, with solid newcomers, has time to gel. The schedule lends itself to building the team early in the year and peaking at the end of the season. Senior leadership is instrumental in pulling out close games.
Worst Case Scenario 7-4
With so many newcomers, the defense never develops chemistry, and the Texans are forced to win games with only offense.
8-3, fourth in our final power poll and eighth in the final regional rankings, receiving votes in the AFCA coaches poll after being ranked up until the final week. A solid season, but not making the playoffs makes it somewhat of a letdown, especially considering preseason expectations.