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Game Preview - Texas Lutheran at Sul Ross State - 6 p.m. Saturday at Jackson Field (Alpine, Texas)

Game Preview - Texas Lutheran at Sul Ross State - 6 p.m. Saturday at Jackson Field (Alpine, Texas)

 

Live VideoLive StatsFull Preview (pdf) • KWED 1580 AM (audio-only)

 

Game-By-Game

Texas Lutheran v. Sul Ross State

(Sul Ross State leads series 18-17)

1946 Sul Ross 32, Texas Lutheran 0

1953 Sul Ross 39, Texas Lutheran 0

1954 Sul Ross 18, Texas Lutheran 12

1955 Sul Ross 27, Texas Lutheran 14

1956 Texas Lutheran 46, Sul Ross 10

1957 Sul Ross 12, Texas Lutheran 9

1960 Sul Ross 16, Texas Lutheran 14

1961 Texas Lutheran 33, Sul Ross 14

1962 Sul Ross 28, Texas Lutheran 14

1964 Texas Lutheran 7, Sul Ross 6

1965 Sul Ross 13, Texas Lutheran 0

1966 Sul Ross 13, Texas Lutheran 3

1986 Sul Ross 27, Texas Lutheran 3

1998 Texas Lutheran 29, Sul Ross 27

1999 Sul Ross 44, Texas Lutheran 40

2000 Texas Lutheran 23, Sul Ross 21

2001 Sul Ross 37, Texas Lutheran 23

2002 Texas Lutheran 24, Sul Ross 21

2003 Texas Lutheran 29, Sul Ross 21

2004 Texas Lutheran 38, Sul Ross 14

2005 Sul Ross 29, Texas Lutheran 28

2006 Sul Ross 31, Texas Lutheran 10

2007 Sul Ross 33, Texas Lutheran 31

2007 Sul Ross 45, Texas Lutheran 42 (3OT)

2008 Texas Lutheran 34, Sul Ross 27 (OT)

2008 Texas Lutheran 24, Sul Ross 14

2009 Sul Ross 35, Texas Lutheran 7

2010 Texas Lutheran 28, Sul Ross 11

2011 Texas Lutheran 43, Sul Ross 26

2012 Sul Ross 70, Texas Lutheran 65

2013 Texas Lutheran 41, Sul Ross 16

2014 Texas Lutheran 61, Sul Ross 15

2015 Texas Lutheran 44, Sul Ross 27

2017 Texas Lutheran 40, Sul Ross 14

2018 Texas Lutheran 63, Sul Ross 20

 

TLU seeks sixth straight vs. Sul Ross State

Texas Lutheran ventures to West Texas for Saturday night's 6 p.m. kickoff against American Southwest Conference rival Sul Ross State. Pre-game coverage on TLU's KWED 1580 AM, tlubulldogs.com, and seguintoday.com begins at 5:30 p.m. from Jackson Field in Alpine. TLU has won the last five meetings and has closed the all-time series record to an 18-17 advantage for the Lobos. In addition to five in a row, the Bulldogs have won nine of the last 11.

 

Bulldogs still perfect in ASC in 2019

Along with Mary Hardin-Baylor, the No. 1-ranked NCAA Division III team in the land, the Bulldogs are undefeated in American Southwest Conference play at 5-0. The Bulldogs are 5-0 in the ASC for the first time in TLU's football history. A win Saturday in Alpine will move TLU within one victory of tying the school record for consecutive ASC victories in a single season. In the 2004 season, the Bulldogs lost their first conference game (against then No. 9 Mary Hardin-Baylor, 36-27) before reeling off seven straight wins in the heart of the ASC schedule.

 

TLU No. 2 in D3 in turnover margin

Texas Lutheran is ranked second in all of NCAA Division III in turnover margin. The Bulldogs average plus 2.5 per game in turnover margin. Only Hope College (Mich.) has a better turnover margin per game. Hope is at plus 2.67 per contest. In six games, Hope has 17 turnovers gained and just one lost. In six games, TLU has 19 turnovers gained and only four lost. The Bulldogs are tied with Redlands (Calif.) at plus 2.50 turnovers gained per game. Redlands has 20 take-aways and has turned it over five times. TLU is fifth in DIII for turnovers lost. The Bulldogs have lost only four fumbles this year and have yet to throw an interception. TLU sits top the national rankings in fewest interceptions thrown. The team is tied with four other teams (including Hope) that have yet to throw a pick. 

 

QB Wade Freeman remains very effective

With a 67 percent completion percentage through six games, TLU sophomore quarterback Wade Freeman is ranked 19th in the nation and first in conference in completion percentage. His quarterback efficiency ratio is currently at 164.3, putting him 31st in the nation and first in conference. After throwing for three scores and rushing for another last week in the road win over Howard Payne, Freeman is 82nd nationally in points responsible for (84 points) and in points responsible for per game (14.0). He also ranks 61st in yards per pass attempt (8.16) and in rushing yards per carry (5.67).

 

Charles Robinson back in the endzone

After an injury in the last game in 2018, Charles Robinson returned to form last week against Howard Payne with four catches for 57 yards and a 39-yard touchdown reception. Robinson had great 2018 up to the injury, catching 47 passes for 688 yards and two scores. Robinson had his first four catches this year in last week's game. He is scheduled to start at receiver for a second straight week when the Bulldogs face Sul Ross State.

 

Bulldogs or Ball Hogs?

Coming in ranked 12th in the nation and first in conference for time of possession, the Bulldogs on average have the ball for 34 minutes and four seconds per game. In their last outing against Howard Payne, the Bulldogs had the ball for over 37 minutes. TLU is just nine seconds per game outside of the NCAA D3 top 10 for time of possession. National leader Claremont-Mudd-Scripps holds the ball for 36:13 per game, but CMS is 2-4 overall. Chapman is No. 2 nationally at 36:12 per game, and the Panthers are 5-0. National power Mount Union (6-0) averages 35:23.

  

Rushing attack ranked 14th in the nation

Averaging 262.8 yards per game on the ground, the Bulldogs rushing attack is one to be feared. TLU averages 5.12 yards per carry and has 1,577 total rushing yards on 308 carries. The running game naturally is a big part of the Bulldogs' total offense, which is 61st in D3. TLU has three backs - Chris Monroe, Wade Freeman, and Austin Mathews - in the top 200 nationally for rushing yards per game. Monroe, coming off a 20-carry, 132-yard performance in the road win over Howard Payne, is 123rd nationally with 69.3 yards per game.

 

Bulldogs tied for No. 1 in defensive TDs

TLU did not have a defensive TD last week in its win over Howard Payne, but the Bulldogs still sit atop the NCAA D3 rankings for defensive touchdowns, with four. The Bulldogs are tied with four other teams in the nation for the top spot. The Bulldogs have two fumble returns for touchdowns and two interception returns for scores.

 

Daniel Enriquez coming off big game

In the last week's win against Howard Payne, TLU freshman safety Daniel Enriquez was able to break up three pass attempts and record a pair of tackles. Plus, in the second quarter, he had one of the key defensive plays of the game. With HPU driving into TLU territory, facing 1st-and-10 at the TLU 29, Enriquez forced a fumble and made the fumble recovery. 

 

Keeping teams out of the red zone

The Bulldogs this year have done a good job of stopping teams from getting to the red zone. Through six games, the Bulldogs have allowed opposing teams only 11 total trips to the red zone. Once teams are there, they have a 55 percent chance of scoring a touchdown, but getting there has been the hard part for opposing offenses. TLU is holding teams to a 30.3 conversion rate on third down. That rate ranks 44th in NCAA D3.

 

Holman into tie for TLU tackle lead

With injuries to DaKwa Davis and Derek Dunn, the Bulldog linebacking corps has had to adapt and still produce. Keyshawn Holman has been at the center of that production. The junior is tied for the tackle lead, with Dunn, at 39 total tackles. Holman has 11 solo tackles and 18 tackle assists. He also had 3.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and two pass break-ups. Holman, a three-year letterman, now has over 100 career tackles. He has 107 (52 solo, 55 tackle assists).

 

Defensive line into opposing backfields

The Bulldogs defensive line has been racking up the tackles for loss. Between Manny Longoria, Jackson Worley, and Brandon Bennett, the Bulldogs have 15.5 tackles for loss for a total of 64 yards lost. Overall in tackles for loss per game, the Bulldogs rank 37th nationally at 8.0 per contest. Eighteen different Bulldogs have at least one tackle for loss. Senior linebacker Derek Dunn leads the Bulldogs with 8.5. Longoria is second with six.

 

Sul Ross 1st in ASC for fewest sacks allowed

Giving up only 1.17 sacks per game, the Sul Ross State offensive line has been the best in the conference at protecting the quarterback. The Lobos have allowed only seven sacks in six games. Only TLU and Southwestern have thrown the ball fewer times than the Lobos. Sul Ross has 130 passing attempts on the season. TLU has 126, and Southwestern has thrown it just 86 times.

 

Lobos offensive line one of the biggest in ASC

The Sul Ross State average starting offensive lineman stands 6-foot-2 and weights 280 pounds. TLU will be giving up between 60 and 70 pounds in the battle between the Bulldogs' defensive line and interior linebackers and the Lobos' offensive line. SRSU right tackle James White is 6-5 and 270 pounds. Left tackle Alex Gillis is 6-2 and 300 pounds. Junior center Bryndon Robles is the smallest starter on the line. He is 6-2 and 270. 

  

Sul Ross averaging 14.8 points per game

Over their first six games, the Lobos have only scored 89 points. They have scored just 10 touchdowns. The Lobos are last in the ASC in scoring offense and last in total offense, at 245.7 yards per contest. Taking away their shutout losses to Hardin-Simmons and Texas A&M-Kingsville in the first two games of 2019, the Lobos have averaged 22.3 points per game in a stretch that has them with three wins in their last four games. The Lobos scored 34 last week in a road win over Louisiana College.

 

Lobos have struggled on third down

Sul Ross has struggled on third down this year by only converting on 15 of their 74 third-down attempts. The 15 conversions are the fewest in the ASC by 11. The conversion percentage on third down is 20.3. In conference play, the conversion rate has stayed exactly the same, 20.3. Though they have had little success on third down, they have converted better on fourth down, where they are four for eight on the year so far. The Lobos are tied for fourth in the ASC in that category. TLU is ninth in the ASC on fourth down conversions, at 28.6 percent (2 for 5).

 

SRSU's Williton Grear is the man to watch

The Lobos' running back Williton Grear has rushed for 643 yards in six games. He currently ranks 27th nationally for rushing yards per game, at 107.2. Grear averages six yards per carry and has scored four touchdowns. His 24 total points scored is 26.97 percent of the team's total points scored and 36.36 of the squad's total touchdowns.

 

Lobos turn to New Braunfels native at QB 

New Braunfels High School product Trey Johns is the starting quarterback for Sul Ross State. Johns, a true freshman, has appeared in all six games, thrown for 387 yards, and tossed three touchdowns. He has thrown three interceptions. In last week's road win over Louisiana College, Johns was 9-for-17 for 150 yards with two touchdowns. His scoring throws went for 22 yards to Dre'Chon Moody and for 49 yards to Elijah Stewart.

 

Lobos 2nd in conference for interceptions

The Sul Ross State defense ranks behind only TLU's defense in total interceptions. The Lobos have nine. The Bulldogs have 10. Sul Ross free safety Isaiah Jacobs is tied with TLU's Daniel Enriquez and ETBU's Grant LaPoint-Teate for the ASC's interception lead. 

 

Isaiah Jacobs does it all for Lobos defense

Free Safety Isaiah Jacobs can do it all for the Lobos' defense. Though second on the team in total tackles with 49, he leads the team with 28 solo tackles and has two tackles for losses of 10 yards total. He also leads the team with three interceptions and has impacted special teams with a blocked kick.

 

Lorenzo Fowler tied for team lead in sacks

With 2.5 sacks for total losses of 13 yards, redshirt freshman Lorenzo Fowler is tied for his team's sacks lead. Fowler does his damage from the defensive end position. Fowler is also second on the team with 4.5 tackles for loss (totaling 18 yards in losses). Fowler only trails freshman Marcus Luna for the team lead in tackles for loss. Luna has six tackles for loss totaling 23 yards lost. Luna also has 2.5 sacks. His sacks have gone for 16 yards in losses.

 

Lobos' foes average 244.8 rushing yards

The Lobos have struggled this year to stop teams from running the ball. That deficiency has left the SRSU offense with little time to work on offense. The Lobos average only 26 minutes, 17 seconds per game for time of possession. Sul Ross has also given up 19 touchdowns on the ground. Those 19 rushing touchdowns allowed are the second-most  in the ASC. Only Louisiana College, with 24 rushing TDs surrendered, has allowed more. Sul Ross allows opposing rushers to gain 5.5 yards per carry. TLU is among the best rushing teams in the conference. The Bulldogs are second in rushing offense, averaging 262.8 yards on the ground per game and 5.1 yards per carry. TLU has scored 14 rushing TDs. The Lobos have allowed 19.