Lion Football Opponent 4 Look-Eastern New Mexico Greyhouds

September 24, 2014
A very tough Eastern New Mexico Greyhound Team hosts the Lions at the Blackwater Draw this Saturday. The Hounds got the best of the Lions last year, 42-35, by making plays like this one.

A very tough Eastern New Mexico Greyhound Team hosts the Lions at the Blackwater Draw this Saturday. The Hounds got the best of the Lions last year, 42-35, by making plays like this one.

Opponent: Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds

Where: Greyhound Stadium, Portales, NM

When: Saturday, September 27, 2014 Kickoff at 4 PM

Overall thoughts: Last year, ENMU was picked to be the celler dweller in the LSC along with TAMUC. Luckily the pundits were wrong and Eastern won the conference outright and we got a bowl invite. They also got royally hosed by the committee selecting West Texas to go the playoffs rather than the Hounds, but that is in the past. The Greyhouds come with a 2-1 record and conference play 0-1, getting drubbed by Midwestern State Saturday in Arlington, 42-14. This game has huge implications, so what are the question marks heading into the game? Let’s take a look.

A Triple Option-

ENMU runs a broken bone/option better than just about anyone on any level that I had ever seen when I saw them run it last year. What scared me is the fact they had a very robust passing game, and when they had to pass, they were not just good at it, they were very good at it. Jeremy Burrman, the ENMU QB was solid and when he had to pass he fired passes that were typically not passes thrown by run first QB’s. The kid can play, do not let the last performance fool you. He has to be stopped and thrown out of rhythm.

Puttin’ it away……fast- It is going to be crucial but important to get started fast and make this one quick and demoralizing. ENMU is a clock chewing offense that is not made for the 2 minute drill. They run, run, run until they have to throw, and when they throw, they make it count. The Lions need to start fast and go hard and put the game away quickly.

Assignment Football-Defending the triple option is all about going to make plays against the person you have to stop. If you have the pitchman or the QB, you take him, and let the guy responsible for taking the tailback out get him. Often times these offenses will kill you because you are taught to just “follow the ball” when any coach tells you its all about defending your man or defending your zone. Long story short, you know whats coming, so playing where the defense is supposed to be is going to be crucial.

Winning on the Road-Lets face it, last Saturday was a defacto home game for us. SFA was the only true road test for us, and that was a 3 hour trip southeast. Now, we play a team that plays in a very old and very intimidating venue. There is something about West Texas/Eastern New Mexico that makes those venues intimidating. I cannot think of enough upsets pulled by teams that went into Lubbock, Canyon, Portales, Alpine, or San Angelo. The Wind? The distance from anything? Who knows, but it goes back to mentality. You have to win in this conference, and we have the hardest road trips of any of the schools as we are the furthest East and closest to civilization

Doing the little things-You have to do the little things right. Blocking, tackling, throwing, catching, and just playing where you are supposed to. If you cannot do that, you greatly increase the chances of losing. You have to do the little things. I remember the first time I spoke to HC Carthel, he said he emphasized the little things on and off the field. His theory was a common one, but very correct one, do the little things, and the big things will take care of themselves. Do the little things, do them right.

Texas A&M-Commerce 55, Texas A&M-Kingsville 20, Post Mortem

September 22, 2014
5 Thoughts, Grades, and MVP's from a very nice win.

5 Thoughts, Grades, and MVP’s from a very nice win.

As I said yesterday, this was a great win for the program. It is a defacto home game to start with, the closest team that would make it a true neutral site game would be if we ever played Tarleton, but I know that both schools want to keep those matchups home and home, so there goes that. Anyway, overall this was a very good game for us, and yet again, as well as we played, we can play better still. So, lets get to it.

1. Joe Bergeron and Richard Cooper-These guys played very well yesterday. Both of them just gashed the Hoggie defense and as took a lot of pressure off Rollison to try to be the playmaker, and they both had a very calming influence on the offense and after the rushing got going, the whole unit started to click. Everyone just started to do their jobs and make routine plays, but the two headed rushing monster that we are seeing evolve might give us what we need to take a win next Saturday at Blackwater Draw.

2. Defense-Had there not been two turnovers deep in our in territory, this could have been a 55-7 win, or better yet, a shutout. The defense played so well yesterday, and there is noticeable improvement against the passing game. There was a gameplan of jamming the REC’s and putting heat on the QB and the backfield.

3. Mentatlity- Kicking off at 10 AM must have been very tough. I was a spectator and I needed coffee until 11 AM, so that should tell you something. Also, our first offensive possession resulted in a blocked punt that resulted in a TAMUK touchdown. I was starting to wonder if the hangover from SFA had not worn off quite yet, until we blocked their PAT attempt and scored on our next possession by just running and then you saw the same group from the ETBU game. Confident, aggressive, and smart.

4. Stepping up-Gage Windsor, who I had been told had really been an up and coming guy really played well and was all over the field helping and assisting in tackles. Ronald Fields, the guy that we know and love came back and he made some just outstanding plays on defense. Steven Baker stepped up at the safety position and played well. You are going to see in the next few months these guys play hard, and that is the kind of player that Carthel recruits, refines, and puts on the field. Props to the guys.

5. Crowd-Lets face it, this was a game that we were picked to win, and it was an early morning game. The crowd showed up and really encouraged the team. We had probably the biggest crowd there, all things considered, as we should have. A lot of noise, enthusiasm, and when the team came in front of the band, took the Chennault Cup and hoisted it, it was a thrill to just take our place back as an LSC elite conference team. Now, that is what it FELT LIKE, not the way it is quite yet, we will see in the weeks to come.



B Plus. Again, not as good as we are capable of, but still very good and working on some correctable stuff.


A Minus. Created turnovers and the only scores were with TAMUK starting in our territory and the second string getting a lot of playing time.

Special teams-

Thrasher and Saul Martinez are money guys. That said, I have to give a B plus again because it was just a matter of time before we got a punt blocked. We need to work on giving Chase Thrasher plenty of time to get good kicks off. Other than that, excellent tackling and kickoff coverage, good returns by Vernon Johnson, and good punting and placekicking.


I have to give HC Carthel and his group an A. They prepared for a big game in a big environment with a tough start time. They had also talked about learning from SFA, accepting it, and moving on to prepare. The mentality of a team is all on the coaches, and attitudes reflect leadership, so an A goes to the coaching staff.


Offense-Joe Bergeron. He was the X factor and played so well. Carrying, catching, blocking, he did it all. Having him run the ball helped the rest of the group shake off the rust from last week and give the unit what it needed back, its confidence and moxie.

Defense-Tu’u Lui and Charles Woods for Co-MVP’s. Woods was the guy doing the dirty work with leading the team in tackles again, and Lui had two huge picks and harassed the flats for TAMUK all day. Woods made his routine plays, and a lot of them, with Tu’u creates two turnovers, one a pick six. Quality Lui and Quantity from Woods.

Special Teams- Saul Martinez. He was perfect on his PAT attempts and hit a 25 yarder and then a 43 yarder that could have been good from 53 yards. Good to have him back.

Texas A&M-Commerce Lions-55, Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas-20 Quick Hits

September 20, 2014
For the third year in a row, General Chennault's Cup is going to reside in Commerce, Texas.

For the third year in a row, General Chennault’s Cup is going to reside in Commerce, Texas.

Well, I am back in the comfort of my Dallas Apartment and very tired, full of Barbecue, and a lot poorer thanks to some ridiculous prices set by Jerry Jones for my very pleasant experience, and about to take a nice midday nap when the adrenaline wears off. That said, that is what you pay for and I got my monies worth for sure. Got up pretty early to get there for a brunch with some members of the T-Association, then went to the game, and was pretty happy with the performance overall. We just whipped TAMUK’s tail and that is all there is to it. Our offense was better, and we found a way to ground and pound. Our defense played outstanding and could have very easily shut the Javs out had our offense not turned the ball over twice deep in our own territory. TAMUK had one drive, and it was the final drive of the game, where they drove the length of the field and scored. Other than that, it was all us. Tomorrow is when I will do the the post mortem, the 5 thoughts, and give out grades and MVP’s, but overall, I felt mentally Coach Carthel and his crew did a fantastic job preparing the Lions for the game and the way the team responded was great. More tomorrow.

Game Day Open Thread. Lets Do This!

September 20, 2014
Beautiful Day for Football. Hope for an Open Roof at AT&T Stadium.

Beautiful Day for Football. Hope for an Open Roof at AT&T Stadium.

Open Game Day Thread. Post updates and game thoughts in the Comment Section. Lets go get some sausage for Breakfast.

Game 3 Capsule vs. Texas A&M-Kingsville-Predictions and Observations

September 19, 2014
Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas

Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas


Texas A&M-Commerce Lions

Texas A&M-Commerce Lions

When: Saturday, September 20, 10 A.M.

Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

What’s at stake: For both teams, there is a lot at at stake. The first thing is starting off the season with a 1-0 conference play record. The second thing for both is leaving Arlington with a 2-1 record, as the loser leaves with a 1-2 record. The final thing is the rivalry’s prize to the winner, the Chennault Cup. For those who do not know, the Chennault Cup is a traveling trophy between Kingsville and Commerce name in honor of World War II General Claire Chennault. He was born in Commerce and spent a lot of time in Kingsville at the Naval Air Station training pilots. This is a big time rivalry for both of us and a lot of pride is on the line. The difference is both squads are in positions they did not expect to be in. TAMUK had a rough year last year, and TAMUC really feels a pressure to score almost 98 points again. Also, kicking off at 10 AM is something that most teams hate to do, but we have to. So, here are thoughts, and predictions.

TAMUK will win if………..

The Lions turn the ball over, force throws, feel they have to score 98 points, do not adjust on defense and do not apply pressure to TAMUK. TAMUC will need to apply pressure on TAMUK and do what they did last year, apply pressure and force TAMUK into turnovers.

TAMUC will win if……….

The Lion offense moves the ball and executes and out scores TAMUK. It is that simple. If A&MC gets the offense moving like the way it was against East Texas Baptist, it is ball game Commerce, but TAMUK is no pushover. It all depends on how well TAMUC executes, and if they do, they will win. That said, it will not be a perfect game, but TAMUC has too much firepower and will improve some on defense.


Texas A&M-Commerce Lions 38

Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas 17

PLN’s The Daily Roar

September 18, 2014

Football-Per Lion Athletics, the team has been practicing this week at 6 AM to get ready for an opening kickoff Saturday at 10 PM. Honestly, this is a fantastic idea, but I cannot imagine how hard it must be to be playing that early. I remember in High School we had some 8 AM games during Basketball season playing in tournaments, but Football is an entirely different ball game. Practicing in the dark and just getting up that early is necessary for anyones body to adjust to that time. That is one thing that has been worrying me is getting up that early to play, but its good to see the staff adapting to it.

Here are some pictures via instagram and Sidearm Sports-

Volleyball- The Lady Lion V-Ball team continues to have a rough go as they dropped a match to Ouachita Baptist in Arkansas in a very heart breaking fashion, 3 sets to 2. Here is the story per

Random/Other-Found a great video on Youtube, and it features Will Cureton, the QB and Captain of our 1972 National Championship Football team talking about his days in Commerce and also how his education and overall experience has helped him in the endeavors in the life since graduation, going to the NFL, working in Accounting for the distinguished firm Coopers and Lybrand, and now in his Real Estate endeavors.


PLN’s Midweek Roar-A Look ahead vs. Texas A&I Javelinas (AKA A&M-Kingsville)

September 17, 2014
A look at the match ups, mash ups, and things that you make you go HMMMMM for Texas A&M-Commerce vs Texas A&M-Kingsville.

A look at the match ups, mash ups, and things that you make you go HMMMMM for Texas A&M-Commerce vs Texas A&M-Kingsville.

In less than 3 short days, we will return to AT&T Stadium to play against a huge rival in a game that has a lot riding on it. Who will leave Arlington with a winning record, a 1-0 start in conference play, and the Chennault Cup trophy? Lets take a look at what we can look forward to this next week and what we have to do to get back on track.

1. Offense must get back to scoring.- I got a lot of emails in the PLN mailbag asking why I was so hard on Tyrik Rollison. My answer is simple, I expect much more out of him. He is a very good QB, and in all honesty, there is no excuse for the way he played. The guy was going to be the quarterback at Auburn…….in the SEC……in the SEC West……In the NCAA Division I-FBS. He won a State Championship in Texas on the second highest level. The kid is a player, and I expect more than what I saw. Our REC’s do share some of the blame, but overall, the QB gets the glory when you win and the hammer when you lose. Right, wrong, or indifferent, that is just the way it is. He has to command his offense and realize that when the marbles drop, he has to be the saving grace of the offense, that is why having a good QB in the Air Raid Spread Offense is so important. That said, the offense needs to practice this week knowing they need to get back into the habits of scoring and scoring a lot.

2. Defense has to blitz-Having a D-Line like we do is made twice as effective when you blitz. TAMUK is a run first team and when they do pass, they run a lot of bootlegs and bootleg screens. Do not expect them to go into a 4 wide set very often and gun it downfield. Stacking the box last year was very effective and cause them to turn the ball over multiple times, at one point making the game 41-7. Making the TAMUK QB uncomfortable is the first key to this, and by pressuring and hurrying him it will do the job. TAMUK is not a good throwing team, they have only thrown the ball 41 times the entire season, completing 20 of those and averaging 115 YPG through the air, while on the ground they are averaging 160 yards per game. Stack the box and force them to beat you through the air.

3. Keep playing solid special teams- One thing I need to ask is what happened to Saul Martinez last week? Chase Thrasher did a fantastic job kicking, punting, and placing kicking, but if anyone knows what is up with Saul, that would be appreciated. Anyway, Thrasher is doing a great job so far. Our return teams are doing a pretty job in blocking and our kickoff team could use some work, but other than that, keep doing what you are doing.

4.Coaching- Fans like myself are notorious for airing out our gripes with coaching, play calling and overall results of games on blogs and fan sites. That said, I want to clear something up. Colby and the staff are the football guys. For some reason, they saw a lot of things I did not see and did not see a lot of things that I thought I saw. As a blogger, I just provide an opinion and air it. Opinions are like baseball outfielders, some are in right, and some are out in left field. I do know this, CC and his crew saw the same mistakes I did. Poor tackling, misread defense, wrong communications with the players, and I have no doubt that they will correct those things.

Lady Lion Soccer-

Lady Lions defeat Dallas Baptist 2-1 to defeat the second ranked team in less than a week. The Ladies continue to impress me and are indicating that this could be an abnormally strong squad, and given the tradition established in 19 short years, Neil Piper could be looking at a group that could make a very serious run at a National Championship.

Link per Lion Athletics-

University Related- 

John Mark Dempsey has Alumni Association director Darryl Pearce at the Blacklands Cafe where they speak about the events surrounding celebration of the 125 years of the University’s existence, and the 50 years since the school integrated. A very good listen indeed.



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