The Javelinas entered 2008 optimistic, despite coming off of consecutive 3-8 seasons. The season didn't start off well, as TAMK lost 40-14 at North Dakota, but the Javs turned it around winning 7 games on the season, and finishing in the seventh spot in the final NCAA regional rankings, just missing out on the playoffs. The Javs lost to WT, ACU and MSU, and had big wins at Tarleton State, at UCO and at home vs. TAMC.
The offense enjoyed Illinois transfer, Billy Garza at QB. Garza set team records for completions, yards and TDs for a season. The return of Jareko Taylor was also important - Taylor set a team record for receptions with 66, and had 1,090 yds and 11 TDs. Billy Martin enjoyed a solid senior season, leading the team with 730 yds rushing and 5 TDs. Youth also chipped in - Ryan Lincoln, Damian Couthren and Darryl Malone, all sophs, combined for 106 receptions for over 1,500 yards and 9 TDs, and the offensive line had 3 Jrs and 2 Sophs starting most of the year. The team gained 113 yds and scored 11.8 points more per game than 2007.
Jabir Perkins was the biggest newcomer on defense. Perkins was second on the team in tackles and led in interceptions, but also averaged 36.6 yds per kick return and had 2 TDs. The run defenes led the LSC, with Mike Martinez, John Reeves, Jimmy Saddler-McQueen, Tyrell Herndon and Jimmy Lugo leading the way. The team was only 11th in pass defense, but returns 3 starters in the secondary for next year, after starting a new unit last year. Overall, the defense improved by 7 points and 74 yards fewer per game than in 2007.
2008 Statistical Rankings
#3 Scoring Offense
#3 Total Offense
#4 Rushing Offense
#4 Passing Offense
#3 3rd Down Conversion Offense
#3 Red Zone Offense
#1 Kick Returns
#1 Rushing Defense
#5 Scoring Defense
#6 Total Defense
#9 Turnover Margin
#10 Red Zone Defense
#11 Passing Defense
#11 3rd Down Conversion Defense
QB Billy Garza - HM LSC-South; 2,787 yds, 23 TDs, 133.8 QB rating.
RB Billy Martin - HM LSC-South; 730 yds, 5 TD rush, 210 yds receiving, 4 TD
WR Jareko Taylor - 1st LSC-South; 66 recs, 1,090 yds, 11 TDs
WR Ryan Lincoln - 2nd LSC-South; 48 recs, 740 yds, 4 TDs
WR Damian Couthren - 2nd LSC-South; 38 recs, 606 yds, 5 TDs
OL Markeith Wesley - 1st LSC-South;
OL Jorge Guerra - HM LSC-South;
DL Jimmy Saddler-McQueen 2nd LSC-South, LSC South Lineman of Year; 43 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 3 sacks, 7 passes broken up
DL Jimmy Lugo - HM LSC-South; 31 tackles, 13 TFL, 5 sacks, 3 passes broken up
DL Tyrell Herndon - HM LSC-South; 33 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 1 Int
LB Mike Martinez - 2nd LSC-South; 87 tackles, 7 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 2 passes broken up
LB John Reeves - 2nd LSC-South; 51 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 Int, 4 passes broken up
DB/RS Jabir Perkins - 1st LSC-South (DB), HM LSC-South (RS), 1st Daktronics All Region Team; 61 tackles, 5 TFL, 1 Sack, 5 Ints, 2 passes broken up, 36.6 avg kick return, 2 TDs
DB - Derrick Thomas - HM LSC-South; 52 tackles, 1 Int, 5 passes broken up
DB - Eric John - HM LSC-South; 45 tackles, 4 Int, 4 passes broken up
RS Clavens Charles - HM LSC-South; 8.5 avg punt return, 23.1 avg. kick return
P Cody Smith - 1st LSC-South, 2nd Daktronics All Region Team; 43.0 punting average
Seniors moving on
RB Billy Martin - HM All-LSC South in 2008; 956 yds, 6 TDs rushing, 223 yds, 2 TDs receiving.
RB Ray Hudson - 104 yds, 2 TDs rushing in 2 seasons
WR Clavens Charles - HM All-LSC South in 2007; 1,687 total yards in 2 seasons;
WR Jareko Taylor - 1st All-LSC South in 2008, 2nd All-LSC South in 2006; 120 catches for 1,833 yds and 19 TDs in 2 seasons
WR Dante Higgins - 18 catches for 166 yds and 3 TDs in 2 seasons
TE Chase Nesbitt - 12 catches for 164 yds and 3 TDs in 2 seasons
DE Tyrell Herndon - HM All-LSC South 2008; 68 tackles, 15 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 1 Int in 2 seasons
LB Mike Martinez - 2nd team All-LSC South 2008; 270 Tackles, 18 TFL, 4.5 Sacks, 2 Int for career; three-time team captain
LB Arlen Childress - 120 tackles, 18.5 TFL, 4 sacks, 7 passes broken up in 2 seasons
LB Alex Lozano - 64 career tackles
DB Jabir Perkins - 1st All-LSC South and Defensive back of the year 2008, Daktronics 1st team all region 2008; 61 tackles, 5 TFL, 5 Int, 36.6 yd KR avg, 2 TDs
DB Derrick Carter - 21 tackles, 2 TFL in 2008; 24 receptions for 246 yds, 1 TD in 2007 at WR.
Best Case Scenario 7-4
The offense continues its late season performance, defense plays like they did early last year. Another year of experience eliminates youthful mistakes.
Worst Case Scenario 4-7
Running game does not improve, forcing offense to be one dimensional. Defense, especially run defense, remains in bottom half of LSC. Turnover margin and time of possession remain in favor of opposition.
Actual Record 7-4. The team exceeded expectations - How many people would have picked the Javelinas to finish just one spot out of the playoffs?