Buffs want to clean up mistakes with looming LSC contest against Western New Mexico
UT permian Basin receiver Jordan Smart goes up and over West Texas A&M defender Ty Dillon for a catch during a Lone Star Conference game last Saturday at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa. [Trevor Fleeman/ Press Pass Sports]
The Lone Star Conference opener didn’t go the way of West Texas A&M as UT Permian Basin picked a part the Buffs defense while capatalizing on costly mistakes during a 42-31 victory in Odessa last Saturday.
WT (1-1 overall) immediately finds itself in a must win situation at 0-1 in the LSC when the Buffs continue conference play hosting Western New Mexico at 7 p.m., Saturday night at Buffaloes Stadium.
“There’s a lot of football left in the season,” WT head coach Hunter Hughes said. “We’re upset, and we made mistakes. We know these are fixable mistakes. So that’s our focus.”
The Falcons (2-0) picked a part the WT defense through big pass plays, going 9-for-15 on third downs, and seeing quarterback Clayton Roberts throw for a school-record six touchdowns. The Buffs offense ran the ball, but had trouble getting open receivers down the field.
“UTPB won the game,” Hughes said. “I’m not taking anything away from them and what they did. But we didn’t help ourselves. We had over 20 missed tackles, and missed opportunities. We dropped two interceptions. We played hard. I like to see that. We battled, we fought, and we never gave up. We just didn’t execute like we’re capable of.”
Hughes says practice has been solid this week as the Buffs feel the urgency of needing a bounce back win so they don’t fall in an 0-2 conference hole.
“We have to play our game this week,” Hughes said. “We don’t need to let the opponent dictate how we play. UTPB did some picky type stuff that I didn’t approve of. That took our guys out of it and they were more worried about that. Then we’re frustrated, and we have to calm them down. We can’t do that again.”
About the Buffs
Despite the loss at UTPB, WT quarterback Nick Gerber finished the night against the Falcons going 25-of-39 thru the air with 261 yards and two touchdowns, but did have a pair of interceptions. Markell Stephens-Peppers grabbed four passes for a team-high 66 yards and a score while Khalil Harris found the end zone twice on the ground, finishing with 94 yards on 21 carries.
About Western New Mexico
The Mustangs are 1-1 under first-year Phillip Vigil.
WNM beat Adams State in its opener before falling to Western Colorado, 49-14, last Saturday.
Mustangs quarterback Devin Larsen went 23-of-50 thru the air for 237 yards and a TD to go along with three interceptions. James Hoben rushed for 83 yards and a score while grabbing eight passes for 90 yards.
The Buffs lead the all-time series against the Mustangs, 7-3, with WT claiming the last two meetings. WNMU is 2-4 all-time in Canyon including 0-1 at Buffalo Stadium as the Buffs took their 2019 meeting, 45-21.
LSC Week 3 Schedule
A&M-Kingsville at E. New Mexico, 1 p.m.
West Florida at A&M-Commerce, 6 p.m.
Midwestern State at Angelo State, 6 p.m.
UT Permian Basin at Abilene Christian, 6 p.m.
W. New Mexico at W. Texas A&M, 7 p.m.