McNeese hosts Texas A&M-Commerce in first-conference meeting Saturday
McNeese (1-4, 0-1 SLC) vs. Texas A&M-Commerce (3-2, 1-0 SLC)
Saturday, October 15, 2022 • 7 p.m.
Louis Bonnette Field at Cowboy Stadium (20,000) • Lake Charles, La.
TV: ESPN3 LINK
Radio: 92.9 The Lake
Audio Stream: 929thelake.com
Live Stats: LINK
LAKE CHARLES – McNeese returns home on Saturday in what will be the first of four home games over the remaining six contests when it hosts Southland Conference newcomer Texas A&M-Commerce.
McNeese (1-4, 0-1 SLC) was open last weekend while Commerce (3-2, 1-0) stunned preseason favorite Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond.
Saturday’s 7 p.m. kickoff will broadcast live on ESPN3. To obtain, fans must log-in using their TV provider credentials, not the ESPN+ username and password.
The game has also been declared the annual Breast Cancer Awareness game as the Cowboys will be donning special pink decals on their helmets for the contest.
- McNeese: Gary Goff (1st season at McNeese, 1-4; 11th season overall, 61-57)
- TAMU-Commerce: David Bailiff (3rd season at TAMUC, 21-9; 17th season overall 99-104)
COWBOYS AND LIONS
- McNeese and Texas A&M-Commerce will tangle for the first time in 51 years when the two meet on Saturday in Southland Conference action in Cowboy Stadium.
- Texas A&M-Commerce is formerly East Texas State.
- The two first met on Sept. 12, 1970 in Commerce with the Lions winning 57-26 in the season opener.
- McNeese returned the favor the next year with a 47-3 win in Cowboy Stadium.
- Lions head coach David Bailiff is no stranger to McNeese… as head coach at Texas State (2004-06), Bailiff posted a 3-0 record against the Cowboys, including a 2-0 mark in Cowboy Stadium.
Series: 3rd Meeting
Series tied 1-1 (1-0 at home; 0-1 on road)
Texas A&M-Commerce was known as East Texas State the previous two meetings
1971 at McNeese 47, TAMUC 3
1970 at TAMUC 57, McNeese 26
NOTES ON THE COWBOYS
- McNeese is coming off a bye week last Saturday.
- The Cowboys are 7-3 the last 10 seasons when coming off an open week.
- Head Coach Gary Goff recorded his first Division I win as a head coach against Mississippi College on September 24 by a 32-17 score.
- Those 32 points were the most points scored this season and the Cowboys have won three straight when scoring 30 or more in a game going back to last season.
- Coach Goff is 41-8 in his career when his teams score 30 or more in a game, including 20-2 his last three seasons (19-2 at Valdosta, 1-0 at McNeese).
- McNeese is ranked No. 1 in the SLC in four categories – rushing offense (184.0), first downs defense (121), punt return defense (3.0), fewest penalties (22).
- The Cowboys are 2nd in the league in fewest penalties per game (4.4), fewest penalty yards (234), fewest penalty yards per game (46.8), fumbles recovered (8), passing yards allowed per game (215.2).
- RB Deonta McMahon is No. 1 in the SLC in total rushing yards (494), rushing yards per game (98.8), rushing yards per carry (9.5), all-purpose yards per game (146.0).
- LB Kordell Williams is No. 1 in SLC in solo tackles per game (6.8) and is No. 2 in total tackles (55) and tackles per game (11.0).
- FS Enos Lewis ranks No. 1 in the SLC and NCAA with 3 fumble recoveries.
- K Garrison Smith is No. 1 in SLC in FG percentage at 85.7%.
ABOUT THE LIONS
- Texas A&M-Commerce is in its first season as a Division I program and the Southland Conference after spending the last 90 years in the Lone Star Conference at the Division II level.
- TAMUC is not eligible to win the automatic berth into the FCS playoff but are allowed to win the regular season league title.
- The Lions won the 2017 NCAA Division II National Championship.
- Formerly known as East Texas State until 1996 when it joined the Texas A&M University System.
- Won its debut game in the Southland Conference last Saturday, defeating preseason favorite Southeastern by a 31-28 score.
- WR Andrew Armstrong leads the FCS with nine touchdown catches.
- QB Eric Rodriguez completed 26 of 38 passes for 374 yards and four touchdowns against SLU… he also ran for 35 yards on nine carries to compile 409 total offensive yards.
- Selected for a sixth place finish in the league preseason poll.
McMAHON LEADS SLC IN RUSHING
- Senior RB Deonta McMahon leads the Southland Conference in four categories: total rushing yards (494, 22nd FCS), rushing yards per game (98.8, 15th FCS), yards per carry (9.5, 2nd FCS), and all-purpose yards per game (146.0, 9th FCS).
- He rushed for a career-high 138 yards in the Sept. 24 win over Mississippi College to mark his 3rd straight 100-yard rushing game, fourth on the season and 6th in his career.
- Had his streak snapped at UIW where he ran for 88 yards and had a 17-yard rush called back late due to a holding penalty, which would have put him over 100 again.
- His six 100-yard career games ranks 14th on the McNeese list for most in a career.
- To date, McMahon has rushed for 1,241 yards in his career, needing 232 yards to move into 30th on the school’s career list.
McMahon 100-Yard Career Rushing Games:
138 (12 carries) vs. Mississippi College (Sept. 24, 2022)
102 (10 carries) vs. Alcorn State (Sept. 17, 2022)
101 (5 carries) at Rice (Sept. 10, 2022)
111 (17 carries) vs. Northwestern State (Nov. 20, 2021)
124 (23 carries) at HBU (Nov. 13, 2021)
111 (11 carries) vs. Nicholls (Apr. 3, 2021)
LB WILLIAMS = TACKLING MACHINE
- Fresh off a season-best 100 tackles in 2021, Cowboy senior linebacker Kordell Williams is already almost halfway to that mark through the first four games.
- Williams, a Carencro native, leads the Cowboys and is ranked No. 2 in the SLC with 54 total tackles.
- He’s 2nd in SLC and 5th FCS with 10.8 tackles per game.
- Three 10-tackle games on the season.
- 274 tackles in his career, ranking him 17th on the school’s career list.
- Recorded 10 or more tackles 11 times in his career and since recording his first 10-tackle game, has posted 10 or more in 11 of his last 17 games going back to the 2021 spring season.
WILLIAMS 10+ TACKLE GAMES
TKLS Opponent Date
12 vs. Mississippi College 9/24/22
15 vs. Alcorn State 9/17/22
12 at Rice 9/10/22
11 vs. Nicholls 11/6/21
12 at Southeastern 10/30/21
11 vs. UIW 10/23/21
17 vs. Southeastern 10/2/21
10 at UIW 9/25/21
11 at Southern 9/18/21
10 at LSU 9/11/21
13 at Sam Houston 4/10/21
TEAM AND PLAYER NOTES
- Only once this year have the Cowboys used a different starting lineup on the offensive line, that changing from game 1 as the last 4 games have seen the same starters.
- All-conference right guard Caron Colemen could make his season debut Saturday. Coleman missed the first five games due to a concussion.
- McNeese has won 3 straight games when scoring 30 or more points and 8 of last 10.
- Through the first three games of the season, McNeese converted on just 4 of 31 (13%) on 3rd downs… since then, last two games, the Cowboys have converted on 15 of 26 for 57%.
- The Cowboys scored on all the red-zone chances against UIW (2 TDs, 1 FG).
- With 494 rushing yards, RB Deonta McMahon is looking to become the first 1,000-yard rusher since the 2013 season (Marcus Wiltz 1,287).
- In addition to him leading the league in rushing and all-purpose yards, McMahon is ranked 3rd in the SLC in kickoff return average at 22.9 yards.
- QB Knox Kadum has throw 32 consecutive passes without an interception.
- WR Zach Hayes made his first career start and caught his first career pass at UIW in team’s last outing.
- LB Micah Davey has recorded at least one TFL in four straight games (5 TFL on the season).
- WR Mason Pierce leads the team with 24 catches, six short of his season-best of 30 catches made last season.
- Pierce has 737 receiving yards, 263 short of becoming just the 27th player in school history to reach the 1,000-yard milestone.
- OL Calvin Barkat has started 21 straight games.
- K Garrison Smith is tied for 2nd in the SLC with 6 FG made.
- Smith’s 47-yard FG at UIW was the 8th longest in school history (54 is the record by Eric Roberts vs. Northern Iowa in 1991).
- P Callum Eddings is tied for 3rd in the league with 7 punts downed inside the 20.
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