War Hawks Travel to TAMU-Commerce Saturday

Published 10/18 2013 01:22PM

Updated 10/18 2013 01:34PM

Reported by: Dave Beyer, McMurry Sports Information Director

COMMERCE, Texas – McMurry University’s football team will try to snap a two-game skid when it travels to Texas A&M University-Commerce for a Saturday evening tilt (6 p.m.) at Memorial Stadium. The War Hawks (1-5) will be playing their fourth Lone Star Conference opponent when they face the Lions (4-2, 1-2 LSC).

This will be the 15th meeting of the series between these schools. TAMUC holds a 9-5 advantage. These teams last met in 1971 - which was McM’s last year as a member of the Lone Star Conference - and was won by the Lions, 53-6. McMurry fumbled the football a school record nine times - and was intercepted five times.

McM won the first-ever meeting in 1927. This will also be the first time the teams have met since A&M-Commerce has gone by its current school name (TAMUC was previously known as East Texas State University). Of course, McM’s nickname wasn’t the War Hawks back then either (it was the Indians).

After opening the 2013 season with wins over Sul Ross and Delta State, the Lions dropped back-to-back games versus nationally-ranked Lone Star foes West Texas A&M and Midwestern State. After bouncing back with a non-conference road win at Southeastern Oklahoma, TAMUC notched its first LSC win last Saturday at A&M-Kingsville.

Conversely, McM started out its season with losses to a pair of NCAA I FCS foes and to one LSC team. McMurry was finally able to hand head coach Mason Miller his first collegiate coaching victory on September 28, with its 53-27 win over Oklahoma Panhandle State. McM then lost its Homecoming bout on October 5 versus Angelo State, followed by last week’s setback at #25 Midwestern State (both LSC foes, as well).

Texas A&M-Kingsville and Midwestern State are the common opponents, thus far, between McMurry and Texas A&M-Commerce. A&M-Commerce topped the Javlinas, 41-28, last Saturday, while McMurry dropped a 52-32 decision in Kingsville on September 21. Both squads fell at the hands of MSU.

Last week, A&M-Commerce roared out to a commanding 41-7 lead early in the second half behind big plays on all facets of the game, notching its first Lone Star Conference victory of the season with a 41-28 win at rival A&M-Kingsville. The Lions registered their second-straight victory over the Javelinas, notching their first road victory in the state of Texas since 2006.

A&M-Commerce’s defense showed up in a big way against its arch rival, holding A&M-Kingsville to just 198 total yards while stifling the vaunted Javelina rushing attack, holding them to -14 yards rushing on the night. The Lions generated seven sacks on the night.

Midwestern State University showed why it was the No. 25-ranked team in NCAA Division II, running over McMurry University, 66-20, in Wichita Falls. The Mustangs out-gained the War Hawks in total offense – 668 to 407 – with 476 yards coming on the ground.

On the night, McM quarterback Gabe Rodriguez was 27-of-47 for 248 yards and the three TD throws. He was also intercepted twice.

Greg Livingston caught 12 passes for 80 yards. Jeret Smith had a total of eight catches for 120 yards and was the recipient of all three TD passes thrown in the game by McM.

Defensively, Desmond Guy had a career-high 18 tackles to go along with a fumble recovery. Markell Rice and Jonathan Blair each added nine tackles. Blair had his team’s lone sack in the game, as well.

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