Tarleton State prediction

Hard to believe UNA will be playing game No. 9 on Saturday when the Lions host Tarleton State. Remember, it’s a 3 p.m. kickoff and the final home game of the season.

It has been 16 days since the Lions last played, but the sting of that 38-23 loss to West Alabama is still felt by the team. It was the second loss in a row for UNA and it cost the Lions a chance to play for a share of the Gulf South Conference championship next week against West Alabama.

How will the Lions bounce back Saturday? Nobody knows for sure, but having the week off last week had to help this team. The team had been going since early August without a break and UNA was a tired and beaten up football team two weeks ago. Having some fresh legs and getting a couple of key players back healthy should give the Lions a boost.

Tarleton State has a 4-4 record, but the Texans are a good football team. They opened the season with a victory over Midwestern State, which beat West Alabama a few weeks ago, so the Texans are certainly no pushover. Tarleton State is especially good offensively, averaging 31 points per game. The Texas will go against a UNA defense that had its worst performance of the season in its last outing against West Georgia. The Wolves basically just whipped the Lions up front and ran the ball at will. If that happens again Saturday, UNA will likely lose its third straight.

I expect the defense to bounce back with a much better performance. The time off has give the players time to heal and the coaching staff a chance to evaluate what they have been doing. It will be another big test for the defense and I believe it is up for the challenge.

UNA’s offense should be able to put up some points against the Texans. Freshman quarterback Luke Wingo has given the Lions a solid passing game and senior wide receiver Brian Sutherland is expected to return today after missing the last five games. The key for the Lions is getting their running game going again. I expect Lamonte Thompson to bounce back with a big game today and for the Lions to grab the lead early and hang on for a win, keeping their playoff hopes alive.

UNA 31, Tarleton State 24

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