This Saturday, the Southeastern will travel to Texas to take on Texas A&M – Commerce, in a Southland Conference battle of the Lions.
Texas A&M- Commerce is coming off of a 41-21 loss against conference powerhouse Lamar, and these Lions sit at just 1-8, 1-4 in-conference, with their lone win coming in the conference opener against McNeese at home, back on October 7th. Since then, Texas A&M – Commerce has dropped four straight with hopes to defeat another struggling team in their season finale, as the Northwestern State game next weekend was of course cancelled.
The SLU Lions come into this matchup on a two-game winning streak, which so happen to also be their first to wins on the season. SLU sits at 2-7, but only 2-3 in-conference, and has the opportunity to salvage a winning Southland Conference record, albeit in an extremely weak season for the conference. The biggest question surrounding SLU this week is about the availability of Eli Sawyer, who practiced all week as normal but didn’t appear in the victory vs. McNeese this past Saturday. Will Zachary Clement play the whole game again as he did last week, or will Sawyer see at least some of the reps on Saturday?
For Texas A&M – Commerce, they have been led for most of the season by Josh Magana. However, against Lamar, Mirko Martos replaced Magana after a rough start to the game, so it’s unclear who will start at quarterback for this game. Magana leads the quarterback room with 109 completions on 186 attempts, 1,149 yards, and 8 touchdowns against 6 interceptions. Martos has only been sacked 8 times, and the rest of the quarterback room 7 times, so expect this Lion offensive line to protect well against an average SLU defensive line. One of the backup quarterbacks is Peter Parrish, a name some Louisiana residents might recognize, as Parrish is a former LSU Tiger, and Memphis Tiger as well.
Nobody for Texas A&M – Commerce takes a large share of the carries. Three players have each totaled around 50 carries, with Reggie Branch leading the pack with 256 yards and a touchdown, Ra’veion Hargrove not far behind with 220 and two touchdowns, and Shamenski Rucker sitting with 158 yards and a touchdown as well.
Micaleous Elder leads these Lions with 25 catches on the year, and has also accumulated 215 yards with a touchdown as well. Keith Miller is second on the team with 20 catches, but has 268 yards on the season, which is the team lead. Miller, a sophomore, has also caught 4 of the teams 9 passing touchdowns in 2023.
On defense, Daryion Taylor leads this team with 61 tackles, and has three interceptions and 1.5 sacks. Taylor does not lead the team in interceptions, though, as that would be Max Epps with four. Levi Drake Rodriguez is currently the team leader in sacks, with 5.5. The transfer from SAGU has also been a force with tackling, leading the defensive line unit with 42.
Kickoff will take place at Ernest Hawkins Field at Memorial Stadium at 3:30 PM CT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+, and, as always, the Southeastern Sports Radio Network.