Lion Football: Looking ahead vs. Midwestern State

October 22, 2014
Texas A&M-Commerce Lions

Texas A&M-Commerce Lions

Versus

Midwestern State Mustangs

Midwestern State Mustangs

Storylines-

Well, this is again a huge game. This is the last of them for the regular season, but then there is that nifty little conference tournament that we have at the end year that is such a wonderful idea. (Sarcasm drips) Anyway, here is what we are looking at. We need this win to go unbeaten in the regular season in conference and MSU is a quality opponent.

MSU on Offense:

They run the ball. A lot. Their style is not like Eastern New Mexico, it is just straight run it up the middle. And they score a lot as well. They average 37.3 points per game, and average 262 yards per game on the ground and a 228 passing yards per game. Balance is the key, but they are not equipped to run against a shoot out, so starting out on offense quickly will be key for the Lions. MSU is no pushover on offense and it would be to our detriment to ignore them, but how well we handle the run is going to be key. They are also a team that needs a consistent passer, Jake Glover is a 50 percent passer. Forcing these guys into throwing will be a big deal to help us.

MSU on Defense:

MSU has a pretty good defense, and they only allow 220 passing yards per game, but they also allow 218 yards on the ground. This could be where Joe Bergeron and Richard Cooper really are a part of the offensive game plan, but then again, the Mustangs have not faced a passing team quite like the Lions. It will be interesting to see what happens.

MSU on Special Teams:

The Mustangs kickers are above average and they are 70 percent on field goals, so there is no guarantee they will make the most of their kicks, but based on that, expect to see them going for it on 4th down a lot. MSU is not a team that scores a ton of points, but is one that will wear you down. I remember watching them back in 2011 when we played them at Cowboys Stadium and they were so balanced on offense. That has it’s drawbacks, and this is another game where the Lions hit hard, and hit fast.


PLN’s the Daily Roar

October 21, 2014

So, getting so caught up in the Football team’s success….I have neglected to mention the other sports and I really believe that I have done a disservice to the student athletes who do not play football, with that said, this post is all about them, so lets get to it.

Lady Lion Soccer-

Texas A&M-Commerce Lad y Lions Soccer

Texas A&M-Commerce Lad y Lions Soccer

The Lady Lions took back their rightful place on Senior day in Commerce where they took down 19th ranked Angelo State, 1-0. Senior Cadie Arenett shared the sentiments that so many of us have had when we know we are playing our last game at home.

Snip-

“It’s bittersweet knowing this was my last game, it was kind of sad,” said Cadie Arnett, who had three shots for the Lions on the day, “We (my sister and I) always have a hand shake we do before games, and we were about to do it, and (Callie) said ‘This is the last one at home,’ and that was very depressing. It almost made me want to cry. But I’m glad we won, I liked that.”

That, said, the Ladies will be competing in the LSC Conference tournament and also head to Denton to play Texas Woman’s and then have 3 more games to wrap up the regular season, all on the road against Southern Nazarene, West Texas A&M, and Eastern New Mexico. Conference regular season standings and seeding will all be in play, so this is a crucial stretch for the Lady Lions.

Cross Country-

The Men’s team continues to have great season, ranking 8th currently, heading into Friday’s meet at East Central University in Ada, OK. The Women are also having a fine season, notching one victory, one second place meet finish, and an 8th place finish at the University of Arkansas meet that featured 25 teams. The Ladies, like the Men’s team, head to Ada, OK for the East Central Classic meet this Friday.

Volleyball-

Sigh. This is one of those years where you just scratch your head and just wonder why. The V-Ball team is really struggling, and what makes this odd is the great season they had last year, and with the great coaching staff they have in HC Craig Case and Assistant HC Sarah Carthel. The Ladies Host Southeastern Oklahoma State tonight at the Fieldhouse, and are hoping to get into the win column. Things can’t do anything but go up from here, in my opinion.

Softball-

Ok, now this is cool. Check out this live feed of the construction of the Lady Lions Softball complex.

Link-http://www.lionathletics.com/news/2014/8/15/SB_0815143915.aspx


Post Mortem-# 23 Texas A&M-Commerce Lions-48, West Texas A&M Buffaloes-21

October 19, 2014
Another night....another signature win.

Another night….another signature win.

For today’s post mortem, I am not going to give out grades. I am not going to select MVP’s. I am not really going to do that much of a game analysis other than those that are incidental. I am just going to share what last night meant to me watching the game and seeing what I saw last night.

First off, I cannot believe in all honesty that we are this good this quickly. We are not a team that was on the fence of being somewhat good. We had not been decent since 2009 before the horrid stretch that was 2010, 2011, and 2012. A lot of times it hard to imagine that we had two North Division Championships before in 2007 and 2009. Those do not mean much of anything however, as you basically get a trophy but not much else. Nothing else to play for. I remember back in 2007 making the trip to Oklahoma to see us clinch the North Division. Sure there was some joy that we won a Championship of SOME KIND, but not like the adulation that was last night. As the Lions were just pouring it on, we were witnessing something. We were seeing a once proud Football program, one of the best small college programs in all of America be resurrected to its glory. We will never the the best every year, there will be down years like there has been with every Coach our program has ever had, (with the very notable exception of Milburn Smith, who only had 3 seasons). The mediocrity seems to have just melted in a very fast and quick exit. That all has to do with leadership.

President Daniel Jones is a great University president. His hire of Ryan Ivey might be the best thing to happen to this school in the past 20 years. The one thing about Ryan is that he refuses to settle for good, or even better. He takes what he has and makes the best of it. I remember as an undergraduate, people were yelling to demolish Memorial stadium and build a smaller, but nicer stadium on Highway 224, just west of town. Ryan is of the school of thought that restoring tradition with current tools is the way to go, and I am with him. His hire of Colby Carthel could not have been better.

I remember when the HC position opened, I was yelling for Hal Mumme to get the job. I wanted a guy like Hal who was a complete off the cuff, throw the ball like crazy, score as much as you can coach. What I did not realize is that what we needed is a man like Colby Carthel. He is a man who purged the program of the attitudes and players that were here to use up a scholarship or the school’s financial aid to party in Commerce for 4-5 years. No way to that. It becomes an addition by subtraction way of recruiting, or a “back door revival” as my Dad would call it. Coach Carthel cut the team from 90 players to 35, and added players that wanted to be good players, good students, and good Men.

Last night was the very quick accumulation of those things. Ulitmately it was the players that made it happen. Tyrick Rollison was supposed to have quit Football by now, but he is the best passer maybe in the entire nation. Deric Davis was supposed to have quit after losing the starting job, but he stayed and set school records……..as a backup! Joe Bergeron was supposed to have been run off any team, but he is going to graduate from College and get a degree, and lord knows Commerce was never supposed to host another LSC title game, but it has.

To the Players, their families, administrators, and coaches, I salute you all and say thank you for your hard work, and congratulations on your well deserved Championship.


Final-Texas A&M-Commerce Lions-48, West Texas A&M Buffaloes 21

October 19, 2014
For the first time since 1991, the Texas A&M Commerce Lions capture a share of the Lone Star Conference Championship by drubbing West Texas A&M.

For the first time since 1991, the Texas A&M Commerce Lions capture a share of the Lone Star Conference Championship by drubbing West Texas A&M.

Initial Response-Yeah Baby yeah! Words cannot describe how happy I was to watch on the TV as we just routed a team and a program that has been the gold standard in LSC Football for the past decade. We were the better team and we expected to kick WT’s butt, and that is what we did. Our Offense was better. Everyone was saying that Preston Rabb, WT’s QB would shoot it out with Tyrick Rollison. No offense to Rabb, but he and Rollison should not even be mentioned in the same breath. Rollison and the Lion offense are head and shoulders above WT. That is just a fact and it was proven tonight. The crowd was huge tonight.

As I was sitting there watching the game, I remember 2 years ago when the Buffs came to Commerce and wiped the floor with the Lions my final year in grad school. There MIGHT have been 100 fans in the stands after the half, and Carthel was on the Buffalo sideline kicking our tail. How just two years makes a huge difference.

Now, it is rant time. Whether he wants to admit it or not, this was a personal win for Colby Carthel. The rubes and yokles who run West Texas A&M fired and lied about a good man in Don Carthel. I know this much, if some institution did that to my Dad, I would do everything in my power to run it up and rub their nose in it. Human pride sings a vengeful song, and you know Coach Carthel is happy that he was not only able to win this game big time, but that he was able to do it in Commerce, with his Dad by his side, and clinch a share of the conference championship, one that will not be shared with West Texas A&M.

Finally, even though WT has been the power team in the conference the past decade, we lead the all time series 15-14. How many can say that? Few, if any. We have many more conference championships and a National Title. So to all the talking heads, we have a tradition that WT will take many more years to build.

Tomorrow I will have post-mortem where I evaluate the game. Everyone have a great night!


Halftime-Texas A&M-Commerce 24 West Texas A&M Buffaloes 14

October 19, 2014

So far, so good. It’s clear to me that we are just a better team than WT, but the game is only half over and there is a 10 point deficit, which isn’t much. Gotta keep it up.


A very Overdue recap of Angelo State and preview of West Texas A&M

October 18, 2014

First, my apologies for the lack of writing the past week and a half. I recently moved from Dallas to Lewisville, and last weekend I was without cable and internet, so I had to listen to the Game on my IPhone, which was amazing to listen to. Anyway, lets get right to it.

We were very fortunate to get out of San Angelo with a win last week. We had made way too many mistakes and still played well enough to win. That is encouraging. There is also the deal with Joe Bergeron. That is the past. Tomorrow we have a huge game and we have to show up and play big time. WTAMU will be ready. We need to be to. Let’s go.

West Texas A&M Buffalos

West Texas A&M Buffaloes

Versus

Texas A&M-Commerce Lions

Texas A&M-Commerce Lions

When: Saturday, October 17, 7 PM

Where: Texas A&M University-Commerce Memorial Stadium

Weather: 68 Degrees at Kickoff, North Wind at 6 MPH.

Storylines: This is a huge game. Bigger than any we have played so far. We need this do the following.

1. Win the Conference outright for the first time since 1990. (Not Including 1991, 2007, and 2009 when the Lions won the North Division)

2. Lock up a postseason birth, at least a bowl. We have to win to keep our playoff hopes alive.

3. Prove that we are an elite LSC team.

Offensively, we have to hit first and hit hard. Show WTAMU that our offense is not an aberration, and that we are not afraid to issue them a butt whipping. Defensively, I expect to see us blitzing a lot. HC Carthel knows what to expect against Mike Nesbitt, but this year is different. Special teams, I know that we will have a drive or two that will sputter and we need Saul Martinez for field goals and Chase Thrasher to punt well.

Really, this game is the biggest we have played since ASU last year, and we let down the biggest crowd of the year. I really feel that this group will be different than last year.

Key Matchups-

Lion O-Line vs. Buff D-Line

Vernon Johnson and Ricky Collins vs Buff Secondary

Buff REC’s vs Lion D-Backs

Prediction-

Texas A&M-Commerce Lions-37

West Texas A&M Buffaloes-24


Texas A&M-Commerce 53, Tarleton State 25-Post Mortem

October 5, 2014
TAMUC QB Deric Davis had a career night and showed that whoever is pulling the trigger for the offense, it will roll when they execute.

TAMUC QB Deric Davis had a career night and showed that whoever is pulling the trigger for the offense, it will roll when they execute.

1. Fast Start again. I was not at the game, I was watching it at home as I was unable to make it, but yet again, the offense got off to a fast start and never looked back.

2. Slowing Tarleton-TSU is a team that can and will score. Last night the defense played very well and frustrated TSU’s offense and just drilled their defense.

3. Special Teams-Another blocked kick and/or punt which resulted in a score, great kickoff coverage, and Saul Martinez continues to just get better and better as a field goal kicker.  Chase Thrasher might be the best kickoff guy in the entire league. From top to bottom, the special teams are fantastic.

Grades-

Offense- A. Just a solid A. Could not have done much better.

Defense-A plus-Tarleton could not score more than 10 points against a our first string offense, and the only reason 25 were scored were due to TSU leaving in their first string offense and continuing to fire away on the Lions second string group.

Special Teams-A Plus. Great kicking and coverage and the punt return for a touchdown.

Coaching-A Plus- Carthel and Co. and the team ready yet again.

MVPS-

Offense-Deric Davis- 24 out of 32 for 324 yards. Yeah, that will do the trick.

Defense-Toni Pulu. He was very involved in making life very complicated for Texans QB’s and the backfield overall.

Special Teams- Chase Thrasher. He continues to get better and better every week as a placekicker and having a good kicker to boot the ball deep and give the coverage units time to get down there is critical, and Thrasher’s role has been critical in the improvement of the coverage team.

Defense.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.