Game 5 - Mary Hardin-Baylor
1 p.m. CT | Oct. 7, 2017 | Shelton Stadium
An HSU Win Would
► Push the Cowboys to 5-0 for the third straight season.
► Make the Cowboys 7-17 all-time against UMHB.
► Give the Cowboys two wins in the last four games of the series.
► Push the Cowboys record to 22-2 in the last three regular seasons.
► Give HSU its first-ever win over a No. 1 ranked team.
► Give the Cowboys sole possession of first-place in the ASC.
Last Time Out
HSU continued its offensive onslaught with 806 yards and 80 points in an 80-42 win over East Texas Baptist in Marshall. Jaquan Hemphill set the HSU rushing record with 293 yards and he scored eight times. Mary Hardin-Baylor beat Southwestern, 44-10, last week in Georgetown.
The Cowboys close out a three-game stretch against the top teams in the ASC with a trip to Sul Ross State for a 6 p.m. game in Alpine. Mary Hardin-Baylor will host Howard Payne next week in Belton.
In The Polls
Both teams come into the contest ranked in the top five in the nation. The Cru is the defending national champion and ranked No. 1 in both national polls. The Cowboys moved up another spot to No. 5 this week in both polls.
On the Air
You can listen to Cowboy football on 100.7 in Abilene and on the internet at www. hsuathletics.com. You can also listen on your mobile phone using the HSU Athletics app. Al Pickett is in his 12th season in the Cowboys' play-by-play chair and 14th overall on the broadcast team. Former Cowboy quarterback Travis Jones will handle the color commentary duties for home games and director of athletic communications Chad Grubbs will handle the color analysis for the road games.
Hemphill's Big Night
Hardin-Simmons junior running back Jaquan Hemphill ran for a school-record 293 yards and scored eight touchdowns against East Texas Baptist. He had seven rushing touchdowns on runs of (1, 4, 1, 4, 89, 3 and 78 yards) and added a 64-yard touchdown reception. His eight TDs tied the school and ASC record and his 48 points tied the NCAA record of 48. The seven rush TDs was a school and ASC record. His 357 total yards broke his old school record of 342. In all, he broke or tied 11 HSU, ASC and NCAA records. He was featured on ESPN's College Football Final, was part of the D3football.com Play of the Week, was featured in a column by D3football.com, was a guest on KTXS' Sports Sunday show and was part of the Around the Nation Podcast. He also was named to ASC player of the week and named to the D3football.com team of the week.
Pound The Rock
The Cowboys have used a punishing offensive line to pave the way to 345.3 yards per game on the ground. HSU ranks fifth nationally in rushing. The Cowboys are averaging an even eight yards per carry and have scored 22 touchdowns on the ground. Jaquan Hemphill leads the nation in rushing yards per carry at 11.2 (among RBs with 10 or more carries per game) and he ranks fifth nationally at 165 yards per contest. Xavier Jones doesn't have enough carries to qualify but his is averaging 13.4 yards per rush on the year.
Don't Think We Have Become Run First
HSU's long-time reputation offensively has been the passing game and even though the Cowboys are dominating on the ground the passing threat is still there. As a group, the Cowboys have completed 73.9 percent of their passes for 1,356 yards and 15 touchdowns with just three interceptions. Ty Hooper is 40-of-51 for 637 yards and six scores. HSU is averaging 339 yards per contest, which is 13th nationally. The Cowboys are No. 1 in completion percentage and No. 2 in passing efficiency. HSU is averaging 16.5 yards per completion.
Offense, Offense, Offense
The Cowboys lead the nation in total offense and are averaging 684.3 yards per contest, which is 117 yards more than second-place Lakeland in the NCAA standings. HSU ranks first in scoring offense at 68 points a game, which is 11.7 points more than second-place Mount Union.
Just A Bump In The Road
Despite a rough week at East Texas Baptist, the Cowboys still have a very good defense. The Cowboys rank 25th nationally allowing just 13.8 points per game and are allowing 314.8 yards per contest which is 64th nationally. HSU allowed just 91 yards per game on the ground. HSU allowed a school-record 524 yards through the air to the Tigers.
Dedrick Strambler had his second interception of the season in the game against ETBU and he returned it 15 yards for a touchdown. Tim Ismail also had an interception and returned his 52 yards. The Cowboys have forced five turnovers so far on the year and four of them have eventually led to HSU touchdowns.
Block That Kick
Senior defensive end Donavon Hailey recorded his second career blocked field goal when he knocked down an ETBU field goal attempt in the first quarter.
The Cowboys are 3-for-4 on field goals so far this season. Luis Diaz is 2-for-3 and Chance Reneau is 1-for-1. Except for a few low kicks against Howard Payne the placekicking has been superb, going 30-for-33 on PATs. Diaz has also been a weapon on kickoffs as he is averaging 59.3 yards per kickoff and has nine touchbacks. His height on the kickoffs has also allowed for good coverage as opponents are averaging 19.8 yards per return on 35 returns.
Moving Up The Charts
Reese Childress had 10 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown against ETBU. It was his 11th career 100-yard game, moving him to a tie for third with Jessie Ramos in career 100-yard games. Only Kirk Rogers with 20 and Collin McCormick with 12 have more. He also went over the 2,000 career receiving yard mark last week. His 2,052 yards places him 10th on the HSU receiving charts. He is now 11th on the receptions list and needs 11 more to pass Jared May for 10th. He also ranks eighth in career receiving touchdowns with 24. He will move all the way to fourth with just three more TDs, passing Mitch Ables, ZaVious Robbins, Brian Rogers and Joe Lemberg.
Getting To The Top 10
Anytime you make the Cowboy top 10 in any category it proves you have had a standout career. Matthew Hawkins has made it to the top 10 in career tackles with 233. He is a four-year starter for the Cowboys and will be making his 35th consecutive start on Saturday.
Junior quarterback Ty Hooper has stepped right in as the starter at quarterback and the offense has stepped it up a few notches. For the year, he is completing 78.4 percent of his passes (40-of-51) and he has six touchdowns and just one interception. He has thrown for 637 yards. The junior from Pampa, making his first real varsity experience this season also has shown the ability to pull the ball down and run at the right times and he is playing with great confidence.
Stable of Receivers
Reese Childress gets the majority of the headlines, but the Cowboys have a talented group of wide receivers that have the ability to make plays. Matt Sandoval had four catches in his first start last week. Devonte' Walker is averaging 27.6 yards per catch and Alex Bell, who missed last week, has 16 catches. Jaquan Hemphill is a threat as a receiver and Colten Kent, Jaxson Money, Tyler Fauver and Travis Wilde have all made plays. Between receiver and running back, the Cowboys may have the most available skill players in the program's history.
Making His Mark
Finally healthy, junior linebacker Chris Miller has turned his potential into some explosive plays in his first season as a starter at linebacker. He had a team-best 12 tackles last week at ETBU.
60-Point Games and 600-Yard Games Under Whitehead
The Cowboys have scored over 60 points three times this season and 14 times under offensive coordinator Jeff Whitehead. The Cowboys lead the nation at 68 points per game. HSU has produced over 600 yards in three games this season and had 598 in the other. HSU has had 11 600-yard outputs under Whitehead and lead the nation at 684.3 yards per contest.
►The Cowboys have scored 25 or more points in 26 of the last 30 games. The only time they didn't score over 25 was 21 in the Mud Bowl loss to ETBU two years ago, twice to Mary Hardin-Baylor and the other was against Linfield in the playoffs last season.
► The Cowboy offense has rushed for over 100 yards in 16 of the last 17 games and has been over 200 yards eight times during that run.
► HSU is 30-3 under Burleson when they win the turnover battle.
► The Cowboys are 32-1 when scoring over 40 points under Burleson and 34-7 when scoring first. HSU is also 43-6 when leading at halftime under Burleson.
About The Cru
► UMHB comes into the game as the defending national champion and is ranked No. 1 in the nation.
► The Cru defense has not allowed more than 16 points in any of its last eight games and that includes a run through the playoffs last season.
► UMHB made a change at quarterback last week going to Kyle Jones as the starter. Jones responded with a 397-yard, four-touchdown performance.
► The Cru ran the ball for just 12 yards in the 44-10 win over Southwestern.
► Markeith Miller leads the team 296 yards rushing and averages 4.6 yards per carry.
► T.J. Josey started the first four games at QB and moved back to wide receiver last week. He had three catches for 130 yards. Bryce Wilkerson leads the team with 19 catches.
► John Mowery is 7-for-7 on field goals and 14-of-16 on PATs.
► The Cru defense is led by Tevin Jones, who has 20 tackles. Ajay Fanene has two of the five sacks for the Cru on the year.
► The team has five forced fumbles and four interceptions on the year.
► Three of the four Cru opponents have been held under 180 yards and Southwestern's 290 yards last week was the most the Cru has allowed.
HSU vs. UMHB
HSU and UMHB will meet for the 24th time on Saturday and it will be the second meeting where both teams were ranked in the top five. In the 2004 meeting, UMHB came in No. 3 and HSU No. 4. UMHB has had its run of success winning 13 in a row before HSU won in 2015 in Abilene. The Cru have won 15 of the last 16 meetings. The winner of this game has won at least a share of every ASC title since 1998. Saturday's matchup will come down as usual to the kicking game and which time can force the other team into a timely mistake. HSU is averaging 345.2 yards per game rushing and the Cru only allows 51.5 yards per game on the ground. Both teams come into the game having allowed just one rushing touchdown on the year.
Inside The Series
Series UMHB leads, 17-6
In Abilene UMHB leads, 8-3
In Belton UMHB leads, 9-3
Neutral Site None
Burleson vs. UMHB 1-6
Current Streak UMHB, 2
Longest HSU Streak 4
Longest UMHB Streak 13
Largest HSU Win, Year 47, 1998
Largest UMHB Win, Year 56, 2013
First Meeting HSU won 56-9 in 1998
Last Meeting UMHB won 20-15 in Belton