WTAMU Buffs set for final home opener at Kimbrough

West Texas A&M opens up their final season at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m. CT against Oklahoma Panhandle State. The Buffs will look to bounce back after a 17-7 loss to Azusa Pacific this past Saturday in Glendora, Calif.

West Texas A&M returns home in search of their first win of the season after dropping last week's season opener to Azusa Pacific, 17-7. The Buffs defense forced four Cougar turnovers, including two interceptions by freshman Tobias Harris. Mitch Hood got into a groove in the second half to throw for 229 yards completing 23 of 39 passes. He also had a 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

The Buffs are 16-1 all-time against Oklahoma Panhandle State including a 42-14 victory in their last meeting on Oct. 15, 2016. Saturday's game will be the first meeting between the two programs in Canyon since 2003. Overall, WT has outscored OPSU 736-153 in the series including a 104-13 decision in their first meeting back in 1922.

Oklahoma Panhandle State allowed 438 total yards against Hastings College in their season opener including 186 yards on the ground.  The Buffs will rely heavily on the two-man backfield of Duke Carter IV and Logan Vallo to exploit the Aggies defense and take pressure off redshirt junior quarterback Mitch Hood.

Freshman Tobias Harris had quite the debut for the Buffs on Saturday with a pair of interceptions and seven tackles, five solo. The Pflugerville, Texas product recorded his first career interception in the final minute of the first half before picking off Azusa Pacific's Tyrone Williams Jr. again in the fourth quarter.

The duo of Markel Steward and Semaj Mitchell combined for 149 yards receiving on 14 receptions in Saturday's season opener against Azusa Pacific. Mitchell had a team-high eight catches for 64 yards while Steward pulled in 85 yards on six catches including a 24-yard reception in the second quarter that set up the Buffs first touchdown.

The Aggies enter this week's matchup 0-1 on the season after losing their season opener to Hastings College on Sept. 1. The Aggies led by as much as 14 in the second quarter after returning a blocked field goal 70-yards for a touchdown. But the Broncos stormed back in the second half scoring 23 unanswered points.

Oklahoma Panhandle State is led by Russell Gaskamp who is now in his seventh season with the Aggies. In 2017, he led his team to a 7-3 record with wins over No. 16 Arizona Christian and securing four Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) top-ten rankings.

Brandon Ramon went 10 of 30 for 142 yards with a touchdown in the season opener while four running backs combined for 133 yards on the ground. Defensively, DeAdryelle Fites had 17 tackles, 11 of those solo and a tackle for a loss.

The Buffs have dominated the all-time series winning 16 of the 17 games including the past seven. Saturday's game will be their first meeting at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium since Aug. 30, 2003.

After allowing 13 points in their first ever meeting, the Buffs held the OPSU for the next games while outscoring them 313-0.

WT is 3-0 against the Aggies at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium including a 69-8 win in their first meeting back in Sept. 18, 1993.

After a 33-0 victory in 1937, the two teams didn't play for the next 55 years until playing on Nov. 14, 1992 in Goodwell, Okla.

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