HARDIN-SIMMONS (2-0, 1-0 ASC) vs. Howard Payne (2-0, 1-0 ASC)
Sept. 21, 2019 - 1 p.m. - Brownwood, Texas
Gordon Wood Stadium - 100.7 FM
Inside The Series
Overall: HSU leads 41-24-4
Streak: HSU, Won 11
Last Meeting: HSU won 65-14 in Abilene in 2019
Hardin-Simmons won the last meeting 65-14 at Shelton Stadium. Jaquan Hemphill ran for 225 and four scores and Ty Hooper completed 18-of-24 passes for 292 yards as the Cowboys rolled up 820 yards of total offense, including 473 yards on the ground. HSU averaged 10.4 yards per play on 79 offensive snaps. It was the first game under the new lights at Shelton Stadium.
Series Notes: The Cowboys have won 11 straight in the series...HSU has scored at least 51 points in the last seven meetings...HSU has won 15 of the last 16 meetings...The last HPU win came in 2007 when the Cowboys missed an extra point in overtime.
Setting The Scene
HSU will travel to Brownwood for the second conference game of the season...HSU and Howard Payne are the only 2-0 teams in the conference heading to week three...Howard Payne comes into the game with great momentum after back-to-back wins under third-year head coach Braxton Harris...Howard Payne has won back-to-back games for the first time since winning three straight to start the 2014 season...The Yellow Jackets two wins mark the first time that they have won two games in a season since that 2014 season...HSU is coming off of a 16-10 win over Trinity. It was just the second time in the Burleson era that the Cowboys won a game in which it trailed at halftime.
What Gives - The Yellow Jackets come into the game with the No. 1 offense in the conference averaging 582 yards per game and is second with 52 points per contest. The Cowboys have the No. 1 defense in the conference allowing just five points and 149 yards per game. Which unit comes out and shows off its dominance?
Continue The Trend - HSU has had the number of the Yellow Jackets for several years and Howard Payne is showing signs of taking strides with its program. HSU has won the last five games in Brownwood by an average score of 57.2 - 9.2. It will be the first home game for Howard Payne this season and the home crowd should be amped up. How will the Cowboys handle the environment?
On The AIr
Hardin-Simmons Football will once again be broadcast locally on 100.7 FM. Video broadcasts with full production will be available for all home games. Most road games will have a video broadcast produced by the home team. There will be links available on www.hsuathletics.com for each game. You can also listen on your mobile phone using the HSU Athletics app. Al Pickett is in his 15th season in the Cowboys' play-by-play chair and 16th 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.
HSU remains on the road next week as it travels to Louisiana College for a noon game in Pineville.
In The Polls
HSU is No. 7 in the D3football.com poll. The AFCA poll will start after this week's games. The Cowboys have now been ranked 48 straight weeks in the in-season D3football.com poll. HSU has been ranked inside the top 10 for 27 of those weeks and haven't been lower than No. 13 since week No. 8 of the 2015 season.
An HSU Win Would
▶ Give HSU 12 straight wins against Howard Payne.
▶ Give HSU eight straight wins in Brownwood.
▶ Push the Cowboys streak to 25 in a row against ASC opponents other than Mary Hardin-Baylor.
▶ Give HSU a 3-0 start for the fifth straight season.
HSU came away with a 16-10 win over a talented Trinity team at Shelton Stadium. The Cowboy defense, after giving up a touchdown on the first drive of the game allowed just three points the rest of the way and the offense was efficient enough to pull out the 16-10 win. The win gave HSU 14 straight wins in non-conference action. HSU is now 23-1 in the last 24 games at Shelton Stadium and won its home opener for the sixth straight year.
Pogue Earns Player of the Week (2)
Junior kicker Jamie Pogue banged home three field goals for the second straight week and was named the ASC Special Teams Player of the Week. He also earned the award the last week of the regular season last year, so technically is on a three-game streak of winning the award. He is 6-for-7 on field goals on the season and has moved to fifth all-time at HSU with 11 field goals.
Rolling Down Hill
Once the defense got rolling Saturday, they really limited the Tigers' offense. Trinity's Tommy Levine made two spectacular catches on the first drive to give Trinity a quick 7-0 lead. After that the defense was dominant. Trinity only managed 15 yards the rest of the first half. In the second half, Trinity went 65 yards in 12 plays and kicked a field goal. Other than that, Trinity managed just 56 yards the rest of the half. The defense allowed Trinity just 1.6 yards per rush and 42 yards on 27 carries. For the night, the Tigers had 202 yards. On the season, opponents are averaging 149 yards and five points per game.
The bad is HSU has turned the ball over five times (three fumbles, two interceptions) in the first two games. The good is the Cowboys have done a good job defensively on the sudden change. In the five series after the turnovers, the opponents have ended the next drive via punt, punt, fumble, downs and punt on the next series after the turnover and have totaled just 37 yards on those five drives.
Rare Comeback Win
One of the statistical oddities for the Cowboys in the Jesse Burleson era has been the final score compared to the halftime score. HSU is 57-6 when leading at halftime under Burleson and just 2-17 when trailing at halftime. HSU is also 1-2 when tied at halftime. Last week the Cowboys overcame a 7-6 halftime deficit. The only other halftime deficit the Cowboys have overcome was a 9-7 deficit in the 2015 win over Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Coming In Hot
Hunter Creasey had 1.5 sacks last week and that moved him past Undra Hendrix and Anthony Christian to seventh overall in sacks in a career. He now has 16.5 for his career and is 7.5 away from tying Scott Forbes and Ryne Lewis' career record. Next up on the list are Hank Hornsby and Jacob Freeman, who had 17.5 sacks for their careers.
Two former Wylie Bulldogs combined on an interception on Saturday. Strong safety Cam Hanna hit Trinity quarterback Wyatt Messex forcing a badly underthrown ball and Blake Johnston was right there to make a diving catch for the interception. It led to Jamie Pogue's first field goal of the night.
McGee Forces and Recovers Fumble
Kelton McGee made one of the top plays of the night when it looked like Trinity was putting together a drive that could give the Tigers the fourth-quarter lead. McGee punched the ball away from Tommy Lavine who had just caught a 21-yard pass to the Cowboys 20-yard line when McGee punched it away from behind and was able to recover the ball.
Finish Off Drives
The Cowboys have done a good job of moving the ball and last week had an 18-play, 65-yard drive, 12-play, 65-yard drive and a 10-play, 77-yard drive that did not produce a touchdown. HSU has scored touchdowns on just 5-of-13 trips to the red zone this season. For comparison sake, last year the Cowboys scored a touchdown on 41-of-55 drives (75 percent).
Barker Makes Punting Debut
Freshman Brooks Barker has taken over as the Cowboys' primary punter and he had a solid first game. He averaged 42.3 yards on his three punts. He had good hang time and was able to get the ball off under a heavy rush.
Call Me Captain
The Cowboys vote on their captains in the spring and name two offensive, two