By Channing Flatt—
The Tarleton State University Texans beat the seventh ranked and defending national champion, Texas A&M Commerce Lions 47-21 last Saturday in Commerce, Texas.
This win vaulted the Texans seven spots to number nine in the American Football Coaches Association Poll. This is the first time in nearly a decade that the Texans have been ranked in the top 10. The Texans (5-0) now sit first in the Lone Star Conference standings followed by Midwestern State (4-1) in second with A&M Commerce and West Texas A&M (Both 3-1) tied for third.
“To go on the road and play these guys is a big challenge. Hopefully we’ll be ready,” said Texan Head Coach Todd Whitten.
The Texans were more than ready for the defending national champs.
The Texan offense couldn’t be contained by the Commerce defense as they recorded nearly 500 yards of total offense, compared to the 360 yards of offense that Commerce recorded. Xavier Turner led the team for the Texan ground game with 166 yards and two touchdowns. The Texans went on to record 282 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
Texan signal caller Ben Holmes, was near perfect on the night with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Holmes went on to throw for 203 yards on 16 completions. Holmes connected with his top target of the night, Zimari Manning, for two of his three touchdowns. Manning finished the night with eight receptions for 71 yards and two touchdowns.
This win marks the sixth time this season that the Texans have won by a margin of 20 points or more. So far this season, the Texans have been averaging over 500 yards of offense per game, while the defense has limited opponents to just 317 yards of offense.
One key factor for the Texans success this season is their highly improved ground attack. The Texans are rushing for an average of 283 yards per game this season, which is 150 more yards per game compared to the 130 yards per game they averaged last season.
The Texans will continue conference play as they take on the Texas A&M Kingsville Javelina’s this Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Stephenville.