Home Local News TEXAS A&M-COMMERCE FOOTBALL PREVIEW: No. 20 Lions host Midwestern State in Division II Showcase national broadcast

TEXAS A&M-COMMERCE FOOTBALL PREVIEW: No. 20 Lions host Midwestern State in Division II Showcase national broadcast




No. 20 Lions host Midwestern State in Division II Showcase national broadcast

COMMERCE – The No. 20 Texas A&M University-Commerce football team plays its first of four televised games this Saturday, hosting Midwestern State University in the NCAA Division II Showcase game nationally televised on ESPN3.

WHO: Midwestern State University at Texas A&M University-Commerce
WHERE: Commerce | Ernest Hawkins Field at Memorial Stadium
WHEN: 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 12
RECORDS: A&M-Commerce is 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the Lone Star Conference after defeating A&M-Kingsville, 33-6, winning the Chennault Cup for the eighth-consecutive season. Midwestern State is 3-2 overall and 1-2 in the LSC after falling to Eastern New Mexico, 27-24
RANKINGS: A&M-Commerce is ranked No. 20 in the AFCA Coaches’ Poll and the D2Football.com Media Poll. Midwestern State is receiving votes in the AFCA Coaches’ Poll.

LIVE AUDIO: Lion Sports Network — KETR 88.9 FM, Commerce (http://www.ketr.org)
LIVE VIDEO: ESPN3 – http://lives.watch/MSUTAMC
LIVE STATS: http://www.statbroadcast.com/events/statbroadcast.php?t=1&gid=tame

• This is one of four television games for the Lions in the final six weeks of the season. This is the first on ESPN3 as part of the Division II Showcase Series, which has featured the Lions a lot in the last few years.
• The Lions have had at least one nationally televised game in each of the last five seasons.
• This is the second time the TAMUC/MSU game has been the Division II Showcase game. The Mustangs were 26-25 victors in that game.

• In the 2018 meeting between these teams, No. 9 A&M-Commerce defeated No. 4 Midwestern State, 20-19, in a game which spanned two days and two stadiums.
• The game started in Wichita Falls and was originally delayed at the start for approximately 45 minutes.
• The game was tied 10-10 when a second line of thunderstorms hit. The game was unable to be completed in Wichita Falls that evening.
• After lengthy consultation with both coaches and administrations, just before 1 a.m. Sunday morning, the schools were able to jointly announce the resumption of the game at North Texas’ Apogee Stadium in Denton at 2 p.m. Sunday.
• MSU was able to wear its home black uniforms in both halves of the game. The A&M-Commerce squad wore its white away uniforms in Wichita Falls, and its gold alternate uniforms in Denton.
• The Lions took a 20-17 lead with 11:22 to play after a 13-play, 98-yard touchdown drive.
• An errant punt snap was downed for a safety with 8:53 to play, allowing MSU to cut the lead to 20-19.
• Brandon Bascue blocked a 39-yard MSU field goal attempt with 3:15 to play, and the Mustangs’ game-winning field goal attempt from 30 yards out went wide right as time expired.

• The Lions lead the all-time series, 13-11.
• A&M-Commerce has an 8-4 lead in games played in Commerce.
• Of the last seven meetings, six have been decided by one score.
• The last two games have been started in Wichita Falls.
• Three straight games were played in Commerce in 2015 and 2016.
• Since the resumption of the series in 2011 after a brief hiatus, MSU is 7-2.
• The Lions’ win in the 2018 Sunday Special snapped a three-game Mustang win streak.
• Including this game, the last nine matchups have featured at least one nationally-ranked team.
• This is the first time since the 2014 game that MSU is unranked in this game.
• The series dates back to 1947, when East Texas State defeated Hardin College, 20-7, in Commerce.
• The Lions won the first 10 games in the series.

• Lion Football head coach David Bailiff was hired in December 2018 as the 20th head football coach at A&M-Commerce.
• Since East Texas joined the Lone Star Conference as charter members in 1931, Bailiff is the 13th head coach of the Lions.
• He has won all four of his “firsts” games at A&M-Commerce

First Game NUEVO LEON Sept. 7 W 83-0
First Road Game at Western Oregon Sept. 14 W 34-27
First LSC Game EASTERN N.M. Sept. 21 W 45-27
First LSC Road Game at Tex. A&M-Kingsville Oct. 5 W 33-6
First National TV Game MIDWESTERN ST. Oct. 12
First Regional TV Game WESTERN N.M. Oct. 26
  • Bailiff was the head coach at Texas State University from 2004-06 and at Rice University from 2007-17. The Lions’ 2019 season will be Bailiff’s 15th season as a collegiate head coach.
    • As a collegiate head coach, Bailiff has led a team to the NCAA Division I National Semifinals and has made five total postseason appearances with a 5-2 postseason record.
    • The 2005 Texas State Bobcats were Division I National Semifinalists, and Bailiff led the Rice Owls to four bowls with a 3-1 record in those games.
    • Bailiff has led teams to 10-win seasons in three seasons (one at Texas State, two at Rice). Under his watch, the Owls had the most wins in school history over a two (18), three (25), and four (30) year periods. Rice’s 18-9 mark from 2013-14 was the second-best of any FBS program in Texas.


Year Coach Overall LSC
2019 David Bailiff 4-1 2-0
2013 Colby Carthel 7-5 2-4
2009 Guy Morriss 5-5 5-4
2004 Scotty Conley 4-6 4-5
1999 Eddie Brister 4-7 4-5
1986 Eddie Vowell 2-9 1-5
1964 Ernest Hawkins 2-7 1-5
1954 J.V. Sikes 6-3-1 5-0-1
1951 M.A. “Catfish” Smith 9-2 5-0
1946 Bob Berry 2nd Stint 5-2-2 3-1-1
1942 Dennis Vinzant Only Season 4-3-1 2-0-1
1935 Bob Berry 1st Stint 6-2-1 3-1
1931 J.W. Rollins 3-6

• By qualifying for their fourth straight NCAA Division II Playoff berth in 2018, the Lions have the third-longest active playoff streak in the nation.
• Only Northwest Missouri State (15 straight) and Ferris State (five straight) have longer active playoff streaks than A&M-Commerce.
• In Lone Star Conference history, only A&M-Kingsville (1992-98, 7 straight) has a streak of more than four appearances.
• The Lions have also advanced to the regional semifinal round for three consecutive seasons. National runner-up Ferris State has reached the regional semifinal four times in a row.

• The Lions moved up one spot to No. 21 nationally in the 2019 American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches’ Poll released Monday.
• A&M-Commerce has been ranked in 59 consecutive AFCA polls, dating back to the 2015 preseason poll.
• This is A&M-Commerce’s 65th all-time appearance in the AFCA poll since its inception in 2000.
• In the polls recognized by Division II as the top rating system, the Lions have been recognized as a nationally ranked team 114 times since joining Division II in 1981.

• The 2018 senior class claimed sole possession of the school record for wins in a four-year period with 43.
• The 2019 senior class is already on pace to challenge that record, with a record of 42-7 through 49 games.
• They are four games away from tying the school record for most games played by a senior class.

Years Record
2015-18 43-10
2014-17 42-10
2016-19 42-7
1951-54 36-5-2
2013-16 35-14
1957-60 34-7
1972-75 32-13-1
1936-39 31-8
1990-93 31-16-1

• Quarterback Miklo Smalls has established himself as one of the most accurate efficient passers in the LSC and Division II.
• His top performance came on Sept. 21, when he won Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors, completing 13-of-15 passes for 243 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.
• His passing efficiency rating of 297.413 in that game is the second-best single-game performance by a quarterback in Division II this season.
•His 86.7 completion percentage in the game is six-best in the nation this year of passers with 15 or more attempts in a game.
•His 72.8 percent (75-of-103) completion percentage for the season ranks fifth in Division II.


Date Game C-A-I Yds TD Effic Comp Pct
9/14 at Western Oregon 24-32-0 240 1 148.31 75.0
9/21 Eastern N.M. 13-15-1 243 4 297.41 86.7
9/28 at CSU-Pueblo 24-36-1 235 0 115.94 66.7
10/5 at Tex. A&M-Kingsville 14-20-0 222 3 212.74 70.0
Total 75-103-2 940 8 171.22 72.8

• Junior return specialist Dominique Ramsey‘s 55-yard punt return for a touchdown in the ENMU game earned him Lone Star Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
• He became the first player in the Lone Star Conference to return a punt for a touchdown this season.
• He averaged 35 yards per punt return in the ENMU game and ranks second in the LSC in both punt and kickoff return average.
• He now has five career returns for touchdowns:

Date Type Opponent Yards
9/21/19 Punt EASTERN N.M. 55
11/17/18 Punt at Minnesota Duluth 79
11/10/18 INT ANGELO ST. 99
10/27/18 INT WEST TEXAS A&M 84
9/22/18 Punt COLORADO ST.-PUEBLO 72
  • He currently ranks third in the LSC and 12th nationally in punt return average at 14.3 yards per return.

    • The Lions have been exceptional in responding to the rare loss in the last few seasons.
    • The last time A&M-Commerce lost consecutive games was 2016, with a loss in the LSC playoff championship game followed by a loss at Ferris State in the first round of the NCAA playoffs.
    • The last time A&M-Commerce lost consecutive regular season games was in 2013, with losses to No. 4 West Texas A&M and No. 23 Midwestern State in weeks 3 and 4.
    • In the last eight games after a loss, the Lions have picked up a win, dating back to the 2016 season opener after ending the 2015 season at Ferris State.

    • Redshirt junior defensive lineman Jaylon Hodge was a dominant force in the backfield at A&M-Kingsville, as he recorded seven tackles, with two sacks for loss of 26 yards and a pair of forced fumbles.
    • This performance marked career highs in all categories.
    • He leads the nation in forced fumbles per game at 0.67 and second in the LSC and 17th in the nation at 1.00 sacks per contest.

    • Redshirt junior safety Alex Shillow has led the team in tackles in two games and ranks in the top 15 in the LSC in tackles per game at 6.5 stops per contest.
    • The NCAA Division II National SAAC Chair recovered a fumble on kickoff coverage in the first half of the ENMU game to set up a Lion score.
    • He returned a blocked PAT for two points in the late stages of the second quarter at A&M-Kingsville.
    • His 142 career tackles ranks second on the team behind Mark Westbrook.
    • Westbrook has 149 career stops from various linebacker and safety positions over the years.
    • Westbrook reached the 100 career solo tackle mark at A&M-Kingsville.
    • Westbrook also recovered a fumbled punt in the endzone at CSU-Pueblo

    • Junior kicker Jake Viquez extended his career-long in field goals with a 44-yarder at CSU-Pueblo.
    • For the season, he is 5-of-6 on field goal attempts and a perfect 16-of-16 on PAT attempts.
    • His 7.8 kicking points per game are third in the LSC.
    • Including the career of Lion Legend Kristov Martinez, the Lions have now made 119 consecutive PATs, dating back to the Eastern New Mexico game in 2017.
    • The Lions are approaching the NCAA Division II record for most consecutive PATs made. Liberty made 123 PATs from 1976 through September 1983.

    • Junior punter Andrew Gomez ranks first in the LSC and fifth in the nation in punt average at 44.0 yards per boot.
    • The Lion coverage has been excellent as well, as TAMUC ranks 15th in the nation in net punting at 39.31 yards per punt.

    • The Lions will be wearing pink helmet decals and pink accessories in support of breast cancer awareness.
    • October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the United States.
    • Worldwide, breast cancer is the leading type of cancer in women, accounting for 25% of all cases. In 2018 it resulted in 2 million new cases and 627,000 deaths. It is more common in developed countries and is more than 100 times more common in women than in men.

On this date in Texas A&M-Commerce/East Texas State Football (4-6) : 
• 1922 – East Texas plays in its first-ever neutral site game, falling to Grubbs Vocational College (now UT Arlington), 20-2, at the Dallas Fairgrounds. The game was played in the original Fair Park Stadium, which was built the previous year. It was razed in 1930 for construction of the new Fair Park Stadium, which turned into the Cotton Bowl Stadium.
• 1957 – The Lions are tripped up at home by Lamar Tech, 7-6, in their only loss of the season. The Lions would  win the Tangerine Bowl on New Year’s Day.
• 1963 – East Texas heads south and loses to the Texas A&I Javelinas, 17-0.
• 1968 – After a loss the previous week, the Lions host McMurry and pick up a 20-0 shutout victory.
• 1974 – The Lions host Texas A&I and lose a narrow 27-20 decision.
• 1985 – East Texas sees a two-game winning streak snapped with a 41-13 loss to Central State at home.
• 1991 – The Lions pull out an important close win in Kingsville with a 24-22 triumph over Texas A&I.
• 1996 – A&M-Kingsville takes the Chennault Cup in the first game with both teams competing under A&M names, with the Hogs winning 35-28.
• 2002 – A&M-Commerce loses the Chennault Cup after a win the previous season, with the Javelinas taking the decision, 37-15.
• 2013 – The Lions earn their second Chennault Cup in the current eight-game streak with a 41-28 win at A&M-Kingsville.




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