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No. 15 Lions to host no. 16 Angelo State on the national stage

The Lions will play host to the first nationally broadcast game in Memorial Stadium history on Saturday.
The Lions will play host to the first nationally broadcast game in Memorial Stadium history on Saturday.

Head football coach Colby Carthel called Texas A&M University-Commerce’s huge 63-0 win over rival Tarleton State “the most complete game we’ve played”. This Saturday’s game may be much harder as the no. 15 Lions host the no. 16 Angelo State Rams in a game drawing national attention from ESPN.

A&M-Commerce (4-1, 3-0 Lone Star Conference) notched their first shutout since 2004 with 604 yards of total offense and 5 takeaways. Running backs Richard Cooper and Theo Wofford both gained over 100 yards rushing for the third straight game. Quarterback Harrison Stewart ‘s efficiency was on display yet again as he was 14-20 for 196 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Carthel was very pleased with the way his team played, noting how everything seemed to go right for the team in the outing.

“It was a real team effort on our part.” Carthel said. “A lot of things have to go well for you to get a shutout in today’s college football world.”

         Looking forward, A&M-Commerce will have what many believe to be its biggest challenge yet against Angelo State. The Rams (4-1, 1-1 LSC) come into this game after a 29-20 upset loss to then no. 20 Midwestern State last weekend. The Rams entered that contest ranked no. 6, falling 10 spots in the polls for this week.  Angelo State leads the all-time series with the Lions at 28-15-2, as well as winning six out of the last seven meetings. The Lions have kept things close in recent seasons, with the last four contests between these two teams being decided by a combined nine points.

The Rams currently have the best total offense in NCAA Division II, averaging 563.8 yards per game. On top of that, this game will pit A&M-Commerce’s Conference-leading scoring offense (46.8 points per game) against Angelo State’s top scoring defense (19.4 points per game).

Probably the biggest threat to a Lions win would be Angelo State’s star quarterback Kyle Washington. The senior out of Humble, Texas currently holds school records for passing touchdowns and total offense- a category Washington is also currently ranked 5th in for all of Division II this season.  and is number five in that particular category in all of Division II for this season.

Carthel is well aware of the impact Washington makes on the football field.

“These guys have got one of the top players in the nation in Kyle Washington.” Carthel said. “He’s a great athlete, a great student, and a great individual, and he’s probably worth the price of a ticket just to watch him play.”

This game will also carry the distinction of being the ESPN’s Division II game of the week. The game will be broadcast on the WatchESPN platform that is available online and on multiple other mobile platforms. This will be the first game at Memorial Stadium to be broadcast by a national network. Carthel believes that the exposure is good for fans and alumni that can’t normally make it to the games.

“It’s good for the families of the players.” Carthel said. “it’s also good for the alumni and friends and former coaches that don’t normally get to watch these guys play. It will mean a lot to them.”

The game is 7pm Saturday, Oct. 10 at Memorial Stadium in Commerce. Fans, Alumni, and students will also be gathering for the Tailgate Party starting at 3pm just south of the stadium. To watch the game fans can log onto espn3.com from their computer or the WatchESPN app from any tablet, smartphone or other streaming device.