The No. 7-seeded Texas A&M University-Commerce Lions won their biggest game of the season last weekend, knocking off previously-undefeated Tarleton State in the first round of the playoffs. But they have another huge test on Saturday as they travel northwest to face Colorado School of Mines.
The Lions stunned the crowd at Memorial Stadium in Stephenville last Saturday with a 23-16 victory over the Texans, who had steamrolled through the Lone Star Conference this season and had won three-straight against A&M-Commerce.
In the game, Quarterback Miklo Smalls helped spur the Lions on to victory with 197 passing yards and 126 rushing yards, while the defense suffocated Tarleton for their lowest scoring output of the season.
The win propels A&M-Commerce, now with a record of 9-2, to the second round of the postseason for the fourth consecutive year, where they will square off against Colorado School of Mines.
This will be the first meeting in football between the two teams. The Lions have faced teams from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference four times in the last five seasons, and have a record of 2-2 in those games.
Mines comes into this game with a record of 12-0 this season, and have won 10 of those games by double digits. The Orediggers were down 21-7 in the second half of their opening playoff game against Sioux Falls last week, but mounted a comeback effort that culminated in a last-second field goal to win 24-21.
Mines is averaging 43.5 points per game while allowing just 16.25. They are led on the ground by redshirt sophomore Michael Zeman, who has accumulated 1,370 and scored 12 touchdowns. Both Cameron Mayberry and quarterback John Matocha have more than 600 rushing yards. Mayberry has 654 and eight scores, while Matocha has gained 604 yards and has 11 rushing touchdowns.
Matocha has completed 73 percent of his passes for 2,617 yards, 29 touchdowns and just five interceptions. His favorite target has been Josh Johnston, who has caught 55 passes for 901 yards and 14 scores.
Defensively, Kobe Brewster has a team-high 70 tackles and has picked off four passes. Luke Jeter leads the squad with 12 tackles for a loss and Nolan Reeve has 7.5 sacks.
A&M-Commerce will face Colorado School of Mines on Nov. 30 at Marv Kay Stadium in Golden, Colorado. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Central Time.