Already undersized and underdogs, Texas College barks up an even larger tree today.

The Steers move up in class to take on Division I Lamar in Beaumont. The contest marks the first of two against Division Is for TC, which has one just once in its last 22 games.

Fellow NAIA Belhaven blasted Texas College 47-3 in last week’s opener in Jackson, Miss. The Steers suited up a shell of the players who practiced during the week due to uncertainty regarding eligibility.

TC hopes to have more in uniform and avoid getting outclassed again, as it has been by 40 points or more in 13 of its last 22 games. Only 27 players participated in the Steers’ opener.

The Steers progressively tired out last week, letting a 12-point halftime deficit triple in the second half. TC mustered only 69 yards of offense.

While TC continues to go backward since restarting its program in 2003 after putting it on pause in the early 1960s, Lamar looks to go forward. Lamar fielded its first team since the late 1980s last year, finishing 5-6. The Southland Conference members return 21 of 22 starters.

“Lamar will be a big challenge,” first-year TC head coach George Cumby said. “The type of level they’re on, it will let us know where we are, playing the heavyweights.”  

Texas College at Lamar

Records: Texas College 0-1; Lamar 0-0.

When: 7:30 p.m. today.

Where: Provost Umphrey Stadium, Beaumont (16,000).

Series Record: First meeting.

What’s At Stake?

Starting with TC, the opportunity to be competitive as more players figure be on hand to help. TC last won against a Division I in 2003 at Prairie View A&M. Lamar eyes the chance to start the season strong in what appears to be the Cardinals’ most-winnable game on the schedule.

Key Matchup

Texas College WRs vs. Lamar WRs. TC dropped the ball — literally — in the passing game last week. Belhaven passed for 314 yards and held TC to 18 yards.  TC threw nearly as many interceptions (three) as completions (seven).

Players To Watch

Texas College: DE Marcus Brown (6-1, 255, Jr., Houston). Brown proved a bright spot on an otherwise dark day against Belhaven. Brown totaled 10 tackles, (three for loss), recovered two fumbles, forced another fumble and notched 1.5 sacks.  

Lamar: WR Marcus Jackson (6-1, 195, Sr., Tyler). Jackson led Lamar in receiving last year with 52 catches for 745 yards and six TDs. Jackson is one of three East Texans on Lamar’s roster, along with FS Tim Hayter (6-0, 180, Sr., Tyler), who shared the team lead last year with three interceptions, and DT Adren Dorsey (6-3, 315, Jr., Tyler), who started his career at Texas A&M before transferring.

Facts & Figures

Lamar played its first season of football since 1989 last year. Jackson scored the team’s first TD in 21 years on a 26-yarder in the opener against McNeese State. Texas College kicked off its ninth season of football last week since suspending the program from 1961-2002. Lamar enrolls more than 14,000 students, compared to around 700 for Texas College. 

Next Up: Texas College at Arkansas-Monticello (Sept. 10); Lamar at South Alabama (Sept. 10).   

 

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