The Statesmen are currently 1-3 with an 0-1 mark in the Gulf South Conference. They are coming off a heartbreaking 34-28 loss to the Abilene Christian University Wildcats eight days ago at Travis E. Parker Field at Horace McCool Stadium. Delta State trailed 10-0 early in the game but battled back to take the lead on three occasions but couldn’t hold on for the win.
Delta State will look to reverse its fortunes on Saturday when the Statesmen battle the Tarleton State Texans in Stephenville, Texas. Tarleton State enters the game with a 2-2 overall record which is also the team’s record in the Lone Star Conference.
“We are looking forward to traveling to Texas as a team and trying to get over this last game,” Delta State head football coach Jamey Chadwell said. “I was very disappointed of the way the game turned out. I thought we made a lot of strides in the second and third quarter and played to win and played with a purpose and a passion. I think we’ve got some things to build on and obviously some things to correct.”
Delta State will be battling a Tarleton State team that has a potent offense, scoring 26.8 points per game. The Texans are well balanced as they’ve run the ball 179 times and thrown it 139 times. They are averaging 228.3 yards per game on the ground and 237.5 yards a game in the air.
Chadwell said Tarleton State has the potential to be as tough or tougher than Abilene Christian.
“Athletically, they’re a lot better overall and bigger,” Chadwell said about Tarleton. “I think they have very similar schemes. I think they’ll do a lot of similar things.”
Junior quarterback Aaron Doyle has had a good year for the Texans by completing 91-of-139 passes for 950 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions, and junior running back Vaughn Smith is the Texans’ leading rusher with 341 yards and three touchdowns on 53 carries.
Defense has been an issue for the Texans as they are giving up 28.8 points per game.
The Statesmen’s offense will look to continue their good work of running the football. Rondreas Truesdale rushed for 73 yards with a touchdown on five carries, and Brant Botill rushed for 54 yards on nine carries with a touchdown against ACU. Quarterback Trevor Wooden was DSU’s leading rusher with 88 yards on 18 carries. In the passing game, Wooden also completed 14-of-25 passes for 260 yards with two touchdown passes and threw two interceptions against ACU.
The Statesmen will be looking to cut down on penalties as they’ve committed 24 penalties for 207 yards over the last two games. Penalties have either hampered DSU drives or enabled the opponents to score points.
On defense, junior linebacker Ixavier Triplett has continued to be a strong presence for the Statesmen as he recorded a team-high 14 tackles against Abilene Christian. Triplett currently leads Delta State in tackles with 31 including 3.5 tackles-for-loss.
Kickoff for Saturday’s game is set for 7 p.m.