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Game Preview: Texas Lutheran vs. Southwestern - 6 p.m. Saturday in Bulldog Stadium

Game Preview: Texas Lutheran vs. Southwestern - 6 p.m. Saturday in Bulldog Stadium


Game Facts

DATE:  Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019

KICKOFF: 6 p.m.

PLACE:  Seguin, Texas

STADIUM:  Bulldog Stadium (Frank L. Dunne Field)


TLU RADIO:   KWED 1580 AM (Seguin, Texas)





LAST GAME - TEXAS LUTHERAN:  Won - TLU 31, East Texas Baptist 21

Sept. 21, 2019 in Marshall, Texas (Ornelas Stadium)


LAST GAME - SOUTHWESTERN:   Won - Southwestern 50, Louisiana College 3                                                                                         

Sept. 21, 2019 in Georgetown, Texas (Birkelbach Field)


ALL-TIME SERIES:  Southwestern leads Texas Lutheran, 5-3


LAST MEETING:  Southwestern 59, Texas Lutheran 35

Nov. 11, 2018 in Georgetown, Texas (Birkelbach Field)


TLU vs. SOUTHWESTERN STREAK:   Southwestern has won four in a row. 

TLU OVERALL W-L STREAK:  TLU has won one in a row.

SU OVERALL W-L STREAK:  Southwestern has won four in a row (dating back to '18). 


LAST YEAR – TEXAS LUTHERAN:  7-3 overall / 6-3 ASC (T-3rd)

LAST YEAR – SOUTHWESTERN:  6-4 overall / 5-4 ASC (5th)


TLU HEAD COACH:  Carl Gustafson, 3rd season

OVERALL RECORD (TLU):  14-8 (.636) / 13-6 (.684) ASC

OVERALL RECORD (COLLEGE):  14-8 (.636) / 13-6 (.684) ASC



SOUTHWESTERN HEAD COACH:  Joe Austin, 7th season

OVERALL RECORD (SOUTHWESTERN):  31-59 (.344) / 12-7 (.632) ASC

OVERALL RECORD (COLLEGE):  24-37 (.393) / 12-7 (.632) ASC




Texas Lutheran v. Southwestern

(Southwestern leads series, 5-3)

1940 Southwestern 27, Texas Lutheran 9

2013 Texas Lutheran 44, Southwestern 14

2014 Texas Lutheran 41, Southwestern 14

2015 Texas Lutheran 58, Southwestern 3

2016 Southwestern 42, Texas Lutheran 38

2016 Southwestern 35, Texas Lutheran 31

2017 Southwestern 51, Texas Lutheran 33

2018 Southwestern 59, Texas Lutheran 35


Bulldogs out to break skid against SU

The Texas Lutheran Bulldogs looks to break a four-game losing skid to the Southwestern Pirates when the two teams meet Saturday at TLU's Bulldog Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. on Frank L. Dunne Field. TLU lost the last two meetings between the two teams in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (both of those games in 2016), and the Bulldogs have dropped the first two contests in which the teams have been members of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. TLU and Southwestern finished in a tie for third in the 2017 ASC standings. TLU finished a game ahead of Southwestern in the ASC standings in 2018, but the Pirates still captured a win last year - defeating TLU 59-35 in Georgetown.


Bulldogs come off bounce-back victory

After dropping an emotional, last-second home contest against Hendrix in week one, the Bulldogs played a complete game against East Texas Baptist and captured a 31-21 win in Marshall. After squandering a 14-0 lead and after not converting on four plays within the ETBU 3-yard line, TLU regrouped starting with a drive at the end of the first half that went six plays, covered 75 yards, and took just 1:58 off the clock. The drive culminated in a Wade Freeman pass to Mason Perkins for a 13-yard touchdown.


Freeman named Co-ASC Player of Week

After leading Texas Lutheran to a 31-21 road win Saturday at East Texas Baptist, Bulldog sophomore quarterback Wade Freeman was named the American Southwest Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Week. Freeman threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another in the conference-opening victory in Marshall, Texas. Making just his second career start at quarterback, Freeman completed 10 of 14 passes for 151 yards and threw three touchdowns. He twice hooked up with CJ Romero - for scores of 43 and seven yards,  and he connected with Mason Perkins for a 13-yard touchdown. Freeman also scored himself - on a one-yard plunge in the first quarter. He rushed for 58 yards on 12 carries and had an 18-yard rush on fourth down to give TLU a key first down in the final quarter. "Wade, every snap he gets he is growing with confidence," said Carl Gustafson, TLU's head coach. "Obviously, you see the talent. He can really make things happen with his feet. But he can throw the ball well too. He is really doing a good job. I am really proud of him. The supporting cast around him played solid as well. His receivers came up with some huge catches at big times."


Romero, Perkins among WR play-makers

Two of the Bulldogs Carl Gustafson singled-out as helping out quarterback Wade Freeman were redshirt junior receiver Mason Perkins and senior receiver CJ Romero. Romero caught three passes for 57 yards and had two receiving TDs, going for 43 and 7 yards. Romero's 7-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter gave TLU a 31-14 lead with 10:47 to play. Perkins scored on a 13-yard pass from Freeman with 15 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Perkins finished the contest with four catches for 76 yards, an average of 19.0 yards per catch. Perkins has 151 yards receiving on nine catches in his first two games of 2019. Romero also averaged 19.0 yards per grab against ETBU. Freshman Caleb Cervenka also was key. He caught a 22-yard pass on a key third down in the first half.


Running game still strong for TLU

The Bulldogs stayed true to their method of operation against East Texas Baptist and other high-octane opponents by playing a bit of keep-away. If the Bulldog offense keeps possession of the football and moves down the field to score, there isn't anything opposing offenses can do about that. Against Hendrix, TLU held the ball for 36:21, ran 84 plays, and rushed for 310 yards. Against East Texas Baptist, the Bulldogs held the ball for 36:49, ran 77 plays, and rushed for 273 yards. The Bulldogs average 5.2 yards per rush and average 291.5 rushing yards per contest.


Three backs share the load

The Bulldogs are blessed with three standout running backs to share the rushing load. Junior Christopher Monroe and seniors Ian Leslie and Austin Mathews combine to give the Bulldogs speed, power, durability, and agility. Leslie has rushed for 177 yards on 38 carries and averages 4.7 yards per carry. Monroe has rushed 25 times for 167 yards and averages 6.7 yards per rush. He has one touchdown. Matthews, TLU's leading rusher a year ago, has 163 yards on 28 carries. He averages 5.8 yards per rush. Throw in Wade Freeman at quarterback, and the Bulldogs have four players averaging more than 4.5 per rush.


Another field goal for Ocampo

Sophomore place-kicker Juan Ocampo made another more field goal last week against East Texas Baptist, bringing his career total to 12 made field goals on 14 career attempts. Ocampo connected from 21 yards out against the Tigers. The sophomore also was a perfect 3-for-3 on extra points, bringing his career PAT mark to 51-for-51.


Dakwa Davis tackling machine

Dakwa Davis leads the Bulldogs with 26 tackles over the first two games. Davis also currently leads the team in tackles, with 2.5 totaling six yards lost. Davis also has the team's only interception, which he returned for 25 yards last week in the road win at East Texas Baptist.


Freshman standout Diaku at DE

Jeff Francis Diaku has risen up to the task on the Bulldogs defensive line in his first year. The freshman received significant playing time over the first two contests, and he was a disruptive force against the high-powered East Texas Baptist offense a week ago. He has already totaled nine tackles with two tackles for loss coming at a total loss of six yards.


Manny Longoria's impact

Longoria has been identified by opposing offenses as the man to block in the passing game, which has allowed his teammates to get into the backfield for pressure throughout the first two games. The Bulldogs have 12 tackles for loss this season, with three of those being sacks. Though TLU's all-time leading sacker has yet to bring the quarterback down in 2019, he still has eight tackles with one for a loss and four QB hurries


Third-Down stoppers at TLU

The Bulldogs have been successful at forcing teams to kick the ball by stopping opposing offenses on third down. Opponents have a third-down conversion rate of a mere 31 percent. This has helped the Bulldogs get possession for an average of 60 percent of the game over their first two contests.


James Bell making plays at safety

Preseason All-American James Bell continues to be the steady hand in the Bulldog secondary. Bell is second on the team in total tackles, with 14, having secured six total tackles in the season-opening loss against Hendrix and making eight total tackles in the road win over East Texas Baptist. Bell now has 111 total tackles in just over two seasons with the Bulldogs. He has put up the 111 total tackles in 20 games played.


Holman makes game, contributes big

Junior linebacker Keyshawn Holman was a late addition to the Bulldog lineup last Saturday against East Texas Baptist. With a death in the family, Holman was scheduled to miss the ETBU game because of the funeral. With weather in the East Texas and Gulf Coast area hampering many things, the funeral was rescheduled, and Holman opted to play. Riding with the TLU radio and sports information crew on Saturday morning, Holman met the team in Tyler and prepared for the conference-opener. Holman made an impact for the TLU Defense. He was credited with eight total tackles and had a tackle for loss of four yards. Holman has 10 total tackles through two games and 1.5 tackles for loss. He has also broken up a pass.


Last Week - Texas Lutheran 31, ETBU 21

After a last-second loss to Hendrix last week, the Texas Lutheran Bulldogs bounced back with a 31-21 road victory over East Texas Baptist in the American Southwest Conference opener for both teams. TLU rushed for 273 yards on 60 carries, ran 77 plays, and held the ball for 36 minutes, 49 seconds. The Bulldogs limited All-ASC quarterback Brian Baca to 162 yards passing and no touchdowns. Baca was picked off once. "It started Monday in film," said Freeman. "We talked about how their defense presses a lot on the receivers, and we wanted to come out and attack their corners, and tell them that they aren't better than us on the presses." Freeman rushed 12 times for 58 yards and had a long of 18, on the play that essentially sealed the win for TLU. The 18-yarder came on a 4th-and-13 from the ETBU 34 with 4:04 to play in the game. A week after committing 14 penalties for 150 yards, TLU committed only three for 17. TLU defeated ETBU for a third straight time and for the ninth time in the last 11 meetings.


Gustafson pleased with progress after win

"I couldn't be more proud of our team," said Carl Gustafson, TLU's head coach. "The sting of last week, that can go one of two ways. You can crawl in a hole and feel sorry for yourself, or you can learn from it and respond. Obviously, I think our guys did that. It's not really a surprise. I'm really glad that we played well enough to win, but these young men handled it better than the coaches did, I tell you that. They showed up on Tuesday ready to go to work, and we got better, and they got the payday."


Garrett Womack gets in the backfield

Pirates' defensive end Garrett Womack has specialized in getting into the opposing teams backfield this season. The Pirates' lineman has four of his 8.5 tackles being for loss with three of those tackles being sacks. Womack was the American Southwest Conference's Player of the Week after a two-sack game against Sewanee on Sept. 7.


Pirates averaging 48.5 points per game

The Southwestern Pirates have had no problem putting points on the scoreboard this year. The team put up 47 points their first week (Sept. 7) against Sewanee in Sewanee, Tenn., and they scored 50 points against Louisiana College last Saturday in Georgetown. Nine of their touchdowns have come on the ground and four more through the air.


Pirates' attack stays consistent with QBs

The Pirates have played three quarterbacks over the first two games. Coleman Kerr has completed 9 of his 14 passes for 177 yards, and he thrown a pair of scores. He has also rushed 21 times for 74 yards and a touchdown. Austin Emery is 6-for-9 for 152 yards with two touchdowns passing and three touchdowns rushing. He has rushed 21 times for 61 yards. Landry Gilpin is just 1-for-2 through the air, but he has gained 162 yards on 16 carries (10.1 yards per carry), and he has scored twice on the ground.


Pirates excel at the ground game

The Pirates' rushing attack has been lethal with 331 rushing yards against Sewanee and 347 yards against Louisiana College. Quarterback Landry Gilpin has rushed 16 times for 162 yards and two scores. Elijah Smith, a running back, has carried the ball 24 times for 125 yards and two scores. Running back/receiver David Brandenburg has rushed 12 times for 81 yards, and quarterback Coleman Kerr has gained 74 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns. As a team, the Pirates average 339 yards per game, 5.4 yards per carry, and they have scored nine rushing touchdowns.


Southwestern's No-Fly Zone

The Pirate's pass defense has excelled in taking the ball away from the offense with four interceptions by three different players in their first two games. Once the ball is intercepted, the Pirates aren't done with the play. They average 23 yards per interception return, with one of the four picks being returned for a 66-yard touchdown by Rosario Hernandez. Opposing passers have also been held to a 48.1 completion percentage and have just one touchdown toss.


Last Week - Southwestern 50, La. College 3

(story courtesy Southwestern Sports Info.)

The Southwestern University Pirates football team unleashed the full range of its depth on the Louisiana College Wildcats, beginning conference play with a 50-3 victory in the Pirates' home opener. Playing without starting quarterback Austin Emery, who was an injury scratch late in the week, the Pirates turned their attack into a committee approach, distributing carries with three players receiving at least 10 touches and six racking up at least 20 yards on the ground. The Pirate defense kept Louisiana College at bay early, producing back-to-back Wildcat three-and-out possessions to open the game while the offense found its footing under the direction of sophomore quarterback Coleman Kerr, making his first career start. Southwestern found its spark on an early third-and-five with a little misdirection, sending Kerr rolling out to his right while tight end Joey Robinson leaked out to the left flat for a pass on a 33-yard play. Smith followed with a nine-yard run to put the Pirates on the board. Southwestern's two young quarterbacks offered contrasting styles with Kerr completing six of his nine passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns and Gilpin running for 91 yards on 11 carries with two touchdowns.