Javelinas ready for Abilene Christian, big-game atmosphere - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller
KINGSVILLE — A smile crosses the face of senior safety DeIra Glover when he is asked about what the atmosphere might be like Saturday night when two of the nation's top Division II football teams tangle at Javelina Stadium.
"I can't imagine it right now. This is going to be one of my biggest games ever since I've been here," said Glover, who along with his Texas A&M-Kingsville teammates host Abilene Christian. "I'm ready to see the crowd, I'm ready to see the fans and the hype for the game. It's going to be good."
That would be the billing for this Lone Star Conference clash -- good and big.
The Wildcats are ranked fifth nationally and the Javelinas sixth, and they are two of four LSC teams rated in the top 10 in the American Football Coaches Association poll. They are longtime rivals that have 4-0 records, 3-0 in the LSC and 1-0 in the South Division. They both harbor hopes of winning the LSC and national championships.
"Abilene and ourselves have put each other in position where this is one of those matchups that guys dream about growing up, playing in the big game, two teams in the top 10 going at it," Javelinas coach Bo Atterberry said, "and it's at Javelina Stadium. I can't think of a better place to be for it to all happen."
For football players and coaches, every ballgame is big, especially against a conference opponent. But the ramifications of this one could rumble later in the season when, and if, both teams are seeking entrance into the Division II playoffs.
"It's big because you hope at some point down the line in the season that it factors into playoff positioning," said ACU coach Chris Thomsen, whose Wildcats have won the past six games against the Javelinas. "Whatever the outcome of the game, you hope both teams continue to progress and do great because that builds your strength of schedule either way. So it's obviously more significant in some ways, but in some ways it's just the next game. They're all significant," Thomsen said. "You don't try to put a lot of pressure on yourself or your players because it's really the next game."
Battle of Top-10 teams, top-ranked defenses - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
What’s riding on this game: This is one of the biggest games in Division II this week, with two top-10 teams squaring off in a battle that not only has big implications in the Lone Star Conference but in the region. If the winner of this game runs the table, it will likely be the No. 1-ranked team in the region and get a first-round bye in the playoffs and homefield advantage through the region finals. Kingsville leads the series 31-13-1, but ACU has won the past six games.
ACU meets up with Kingsville in a top-10 tilt - Nathan Wright, San Angelo Standard Times
SAN ANGELO, Texas — The first Lone Star Conference South Division matchup between two Top-10 teams takes place today in Kingsville.
Before we get to that, however, here is a quick wrapup of last weekend’s conference action:
In the South, Texas A&M-Kingsville defeated Incarnate Word 37-9. Abilene Christian routed Tarleton State 65-3 and West Texas A&M got past Angelo State 37-27.
In the North, Northeastern State defeated Southeastern Oklahoma 26-24. East Central shut out Southwestern Oklahoma 23-0 and Eastern New Mexico topped Texas A&M-Commerce 44-21.
In the only crossover game last week, Midwestern State held off Central Oklahoma 30-24.
None of the results was a surprise, really. Tarleton State continued to struggle, and it showed in a big way as the Texans allowed 65 points and scored just three against Abilene Christian.
Incarnate Word was brought back down to earth by Texas A&M-Kingsville. A week after winning their first-ever LSC game, the Cardinals had to face the sixth-ranked Javelinas, who defeated them by 28 points.
At San Angelo Stadium, West Texas A&M outscored Angelo State 21-0 during a four-minute, 20-second stretch at the end of the first half to take a 37-13 lead over ASU at halftime. The Rams came back and outscored the Buffs 14-0 in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the 24-point deficit they faced at the break.
ASU FOOTBALL: Rivals face off - Nathan Wright, San Angelo Standard Times
SAN ANGELO, Texas — Angelo State University head coach Dale Carr and his football team will not be taking 0-4 Tarleton State lightly when the two teams meet in Lone Star Conference South Division play today in Stephenville.
Sure, the Texans have scored only 61 points this season (15.2 per game) and have allowed 150 (37.5 per contest). And they were blown out by Abilene Christian 65-3 last week.
But Carr’s theory is that the Texans are in a situation similar to the one ASU found itself in two years ago. TSU lost a highly touted quarterback in its season opener against Northeastern State and has since lost a backup QB as well.
No. 2 and counting - Amarillo Globe News
Analysis, statistics, strategies, quotes and numbers about today’s Lone Star Conference game between No. 9 West Texas A&M (3-1 overall, 3-0 in the LSC) and Northeastern Oklahoma State (2-2, 2-1), Noon, Doc Wadley Stadium, Tahlequah, Okla.
1st and goal: The Buffs usually dominate LSC North opponents (16-1 against the LSC North under head coach Don Carthel), but will need to avoid overlooking the improving RiverHawks. NEOSU does have a win this season against the LSC South, knocking off struggling Tarleton State, 31-23, to open the season. For motivation, the Buffs have not scored in the past two quarters (a drought by WT standards) and failed to throw a TD pass last week against Angelo State. “We’ve had our times where we have fallen off, but for the most part we’ve been running on all four wheels,” said Buffs center Hector Rodriguez. “I predict a pretty big game this weekend.”
Getting personal with ... Tommy Hampton - Amarillo Globe News
(Junior college transfer running back from Bronx, N.Y., scored an 80-yard touchdown on his first carry at WT)
Describe how you got to WT (Hampton attended Lehman HS in the Bronx and Los Medanos Junior College in California): "It started with (WT offensive coordinator) Coach (Mike) Nesbitt calling me up. He called before anybody really started recruiting me. WT was the first school that started talking to me. As last season went on, other schools started calling. Coach Nesbitt came and visited me in California when my dad was visiting. The three of us sat down and talked, and that was a big influence on me. It was my decision, but my dad liked what he saw."
Coach Speak...Kenny Evans - Amarillo Globe News
Northeastern State head coach Kenny Evans
Evans is in his third season at NSU, 4-21 overall.
Evans is a 1982 NSU grad and is 0-2 against WT since taking over at NSU.
Evans has been a coach for almost 30 years, including stops at OU, Florida and North Texas.
"West Texas A&M has one of the top offenses in the nation and their quarterback is one of the best in the nation. They always do a good job. For us the key is the same thing as always - limit turnovers and control the ball."
West Texas A&M head coach Don Carthel
Carthel needs one win for sole possession of second place on WT's all-time victory list (55).
Carthel is 4-0 against NSU, with an average margin of victory of 44-10.
Under Carthel, the Buffs are 9-0 on the road against LSC North opponents.
"Northeastern has a lot of tradition, and they're trying to get this thing going. Almost all their starters from last year are with them this year. They are starting to get some continuity in the program, and they'll be lurking for the Buffaloes."
UIW Cardinals talk tough before game with MSU - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
As a second-year program, the Incarnate Word Cardinals are still lacking a few things as they begin competition in the always tough Lone Star Conference South Division.
But one thing they aren’t lacking is confidence.
UIW team members were quoted as saying they “scared” the Mustangs last year despite losing 49-7 and they felt they played with No. 6 Texas A&M-Kingsville last week in a 37-9 setback.
The confident Cardinals will make their first visit to Memorial Stadium tonight to face the 10th-ranked Mustangs in a 7 o’clock game.