Opponent info: East Texas Baptist University
Location: Marshall, Texas
Enrollment: 1,645 (Undergraduate Only, Graduates Unknown)
Conference/Division-Division III, American Southwest Conference
Head Coach: Joshua Eargle
Offensive Scheme: Spread
Defensive Scheme: Multiple 4-2-5
2013 Record: 3-7, 1-5 in Conference
Synopsis: I love this game match up for several reasons. Reason one is that this is a Thursday night game on campus, and with the success of the team last year, expect there to be a lot of people there to open up the season. Marshall, which is about 15 minutes from the Louisiana border, is a 3 plus hour drive, but do not expect that to deter ETBU fans from showing up, there will be plenty.
Storylines: We both beat a mutual opponent from the 2013 season. Sul Ross State came to Commerce and got hammered 51-6, and ETBU played the Lobos and beat them 34-32. Their offense scored almost as many on them as ours did, as 7 of our 51 came off a pick 6. Also, there are two coaches that will be of big time importance. HC Josh Eargle was Southeastern Oklahoma State’s defensive coordinator in 2012, a year in which they held our offense to 6 points and led the Great American Conference in passing defense and was number 11 in the entire country. Also, ETBU’s offensive coordinator Scotty Waldren was the OC at Sul Ross State in 2012, the year they had the best offense in the entire nation in DIII Football. So we have two coaches who are familiar with how to compete with us.
ETBU has a ton of players from DFW, so expect a lot of families to make the hour drive to Commerce to see their kids and friends play. This was smart by AD Ryan Ivey and HC Carthel to get these guys on the schedule, and I think this is going to be not just a cupcake to munch on, but a team that could be the type to walk in and give us a good game, much like McMurry did last year. I want that even if they are out of conference, and what the best thing that it does is that it gives us an opportunity to show off our campus to out of conference opponents and drive the local economy. That is what college athletics is all about from an economic standpoint, making money.
Ignore the 3-7 record, I expect them to be much better this coming season.