West Texas A&M has been riding high on momentum of late thanks to its first three-game win streak in two years.

Since dropping a 44-7 decision to Lone Star Conference rival Tarleton on Sept. 15, the Buffs have picked themselves up, showing much improvement over the past three weeks.

With that said, WT will be tested in a crucial LSC matchup on the road at Angelo State at 4 p.m. today at LeGrand Stadium in San Angleo.

WT is 4-2 overall but more importantly boast a 2-1 conference mark. ASU is 3-3 overall, with a 2-2 mark.

This is a game WT has quietly had circled on the calendar for some time. To say the Rams have had the Buffs number of late is an understatement.

Last season, ASU embarrassed an injury riddled WT team, 51-3, in San Angelo. In 2016, ASU came to Kimbrough Stadium and shut the Buffs down in a rain soaked game 28-6.
Since the Buffs were able to win eight straight in this series from 2006-13, WT has dropped three straight games, being outscored 114-26.

"We left there (San Angelo) last year with a bitter taste in our mouth," WT second-year head coach Hunter Hughes said. "I’m excited we get this chance to go back there and see how this team performs there. I don’t think our players need to be reminded of last year. We just talk about last years game and who we had playing at that time. We gave them a lot of field position and we didn't stop them."

The WT defense will have to continue to play at the level they've played at all season. The Buffs rank fourth in total defense in the LSC, allowing 389 yards a game. They are second against the run behind Tarleton, allowing only 136 yards rushing a game.

They will be tested, going against an ASU offense that is 22nd nationally in total offense. Quarterback Payton Sullins has been the key of late. Since taking over the full-time job as signal caller, Sullins has led the high-octane offense with 896 yards and seven TD tosses.

“Angelo State is very athletic on both sides of the ball," Hughes said. "They are up tempo, and run 100 plays a game if they can. They don’t huddle, they lineup and go at you. They can attack in multiple ways. We need to keep our offense on the field, and keep them one dimensional."

THREE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

THE DUKE IS LOOSE

WT running back Duke Carter IV leads the LSC with 714 rushing yards. Those yards rank Carter fifth among all running backs in Division II. During a 42-21 win against UT Permian Basin last Saturday, Carter rushed for 140 yards and became the first Buffs' running back to run for four TDs in a game since Khiry Robinson in 2012.

 

A STAR IN THE MAKING

WT true freshman Tobias Harris 600 combined kick return yards rank first in the LSC and second in Division II. The freshman also ranks 10th in punt return average (16.0). Harris needs only 97 more punt return yards to break Curley Watters record set back in 1966.

Defensively, Harris has recorded a team-high five interceptions, three shy of Chis Lacy's freshman record. His 0.8 interceptions per game is the fourth-best in the nation.

 

STELLAR SPECIAL TEAMS

Senior punter John Cummings is having himself an impressive season with 36 punts for 1,154 yards for an average of 42.1 which ranks him 29th in the nation. But what is more impressive is that half (18 of 36) of his punts have landed inside the opposing teams 20-yard line.

 

Lone Star Conference Standings

Team;LSC;Overall

Tarleton;4-0;5-0

Texas A&M-Commerce 3-0;5-1

MSU Texas;3-1;5-1

West Texas A&M;2-1;4-2

Angelo State;2-2;3-3

Eastern New Mexico;1-3;1-5

UT Permian Basin;1-5;1-5

Texas A&M-Kingsville;0-3;2-4

Western New Mexico;0-3;0-5

Saturday's games

West Texas A&M at Angelo State, 4 p.m.

Tarleton at Texas A&M-Commerce, 4 p.m.

Humboldt State at UT Permian Basin, 6 p.m.

Midwestern State at Texas A&M-Kingsville, 7 p.m.

Western New Mexico at Eastern New Mexico, 8 p.m.