Thursday night football is finally here. For the Bearkats (1-3), that is a very good thing. SHSU is undefeated at home on Thursdays, while accumulating ten wins and are 13-4 total. The opponent for Thursday, the Tarleton Texans (3-2).
The Bearkats hold a mighty 13-1 record against Tarleton and will hoping to continue the tradition against the one time rival. The last time Tarleton beat SHSU was in 1966.
The two teams met every year from 1963 until1975, forming a healthy rivalry, at least for Sam. The two teams met again back in 2001, when the Bearkats clobbered the Texans 61-10.
Tarleton has looked impressive in their three victories thus far. During the victories the Texans have scored at least 40 points and let up no more than 14.
Last week they passed their way to victory against East Central 41-14. Senior quarterback Cliff Watkins threw three touchdowns passes and for 310 yards.
“Tarleton is a good football team,” said Randleman. “They like to throw the ball a lot. Their main strength has been their offense; our main strength has been our defense, it should be a good ball game.”
The Kats will have some injuries coming into the game but will also be getting some key guys back. Junior linebacker Lance Mutschink will be out along with senior right tackle Travis Maxey. Senior linebacker Devin George and sophomore defensive back John Ainsworh will be back to help on defense while tight end Jarrod Fuller, junior, will back to accompany the offense.
“It’s just good to be back home,” said Randleman. “We have been banged up. Now we just need some of the younger guys to step it up.”
Wade Pate is one of the younger guys that Randleman is asking to step up. The true freshman will be making his start.
Randleman is hopeful that Pate will create a much-needed spark for the offense, both with his arm and his feet.
After three tough losses on the road, the Bearkats are preparing for one of two consecutive Thursday home games.
Still yet to play a conference opponent, playoff hopes are very much alive in Bearkat land as they kick off the second half of the season against Tarleton State Thursday night, 6 p.m., at Bowers Stadium.