The Wildcats are making their return home after two straight road games on Nov. 13 to face the Tarleton State University Texans.
This will be the first time the foes will face off since 2013 when the Texans edged out the Wildcats 41-34 in a double overtime thriller. It will also be the first time the Texans will make the trip to Abilene since 2010 in the Wildcats 65-3 win over the Texans.
“Since Tarleton made the jump to Div. I as well, it’s gonna be a renewed big rivalry hopefully and I think our guys understand that,” head coach Adam Dorrel said. “There’s just so many of our guys that know their guys and vice versa and I think that really helps lend that rivalry feel.”
The Wildcats are entering the game 4-5 overall and 1-4 in WAC/ASUN Challenge play. Their last win was Oct. 16 versus Lamar, since then the Wildcats have dropped two straight to Stephen F. Austin and Jacksonville State.
The game against Jacksonville State was another showing of the Wildcat’s recent struggles on both sides of the ball. In that matchup, the Wildcat’s defense gave up 40 points and 497 yards of offense.
On the offensive side of the ball redshirt sophomore Quarterback Peyton Mansell from Belton, threw for 301 yards while giving up 3 interceptions.
The Texans however are on the upswing having won three of their last four games. Including last week’s thrashing of the Lamar Cardinals, 42-21.
Despite the standing of both teams entering the game, Dorrel feels that the Wildcats have the pieces to get the job done.
“I think we are playing really good special teams and I think we have consistently the whole year,” Dorrel said. “Just top to bottom we’ve been really good on special teams, and it’s given us a chance with field position”
Along with good special teams, the Wildcat’s defense is going to have to work hard to minimize an explosive and diverse Tarleton offense.
“They have a really good quarterback, they’re really derived by RPOs he’s really good at late mesh and pulling it out and throwing a post route,” Dorrel said. “They mix up their routes they’ll do some hitches and then combine it with kinda posts and go, so I think they’re very dynamic on offense, really good at the receiver spot as well.”
The Wildcats will face the Texans Nov. 13 at Wildcat Stadium with kickoff at 1 p.m. with the game streaming on ESPN+.