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PUTTING IT ON THE LINE: Tarleton State seeks redemption in second FCS clash against Dixie State; Division III features Howard Payne visiting ASC West leader Hardin-Simmons

During the unprecedented college spring football season, the unusual has become the norm. Headlining this week’s NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) slate of games, the Tarleton State Texans head to Utah aiming to avenge a disappointing 26-14 loss just two weeks ago to FCS Independent and future Western Athletic Conference rival Dixie State.

That’s right, spring football fans, the Texans (2-2) will face the Trailblazers (1-1) for the second time this season at 8 p.m. Saturday at Greater Zion Stadium in St. George.

After suffering just its third home loss since the beginning of 2018, Tarleton rebounded last Saturday afternoon with a dominating 39-14 victory over the Mississippi College Choctaws. This marks the first time that Tarleton has scheduled the same team in the regular season twice since 1990. The Texans have played the same opponent in the same season since then on multiple occasions in seeded, playoff settings.

In a key NCAA Division III showdown in the American Southwest Conference West, Hardin-Simmons (2-0) hosts Howard Payne (1-1) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Shelton Stadium in Abilene.

The Cowboys can clinch the right to host the American Southwest Conference Championship game with a win on Saturday. Under new head coach Jason Bachtel, Howard Payne comes into the game leading the ASC in scoring with 45.5 points per game, while Hardin-Simmons leads the ASC defensively by allowing just 10.5 points per game.

Throughout the spring, THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus prognosticators will select NCAA FCS and Division III college football games featuring Texas teams.

Other FCS games feature Lamar (0-2) at McNeese State (0-2), Sam Houston State (1-0) hosting Nicholls State (2-0), and Prairie View A&M (1-0) making up its clash with Grambling State (0-1).

In Division III, the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) features Austin College (1-2) hosts Centre (Kan.) (1-2), Trinity (Tx) (2-1) travels to Birmingham-Southern (Ark.) (2-1), while the ASC offers Southwestern (0-2) visits Louisiana College (1-1), and Texas Lutheran (2-1) takes on McMurry (1-1).

This season, THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel consists of newcomer Don Nicholas, Field Representative for U.S. Congressman Roger Williams (TX-25), while Meridian Yellowjacket football head coach Wade Morton, The Sports Buzz photographer David Harding and The Sports Buzz’ Brett Voss return from last year.

For the record, Gridiron Gurus’ friendly battle for bragging right during the “real” fall football season came down to the final game of the season, the Super Bowl. With both Wade and Brett amazingly tied after picking 245 games going into Super Bowl LV, Wade correctly picked Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to upset Brett’s choice and favorites, the Kansas City Chiefs. Congrats, Wade.

Join us every Thursday throughout the 2021 spring football season as THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick their winners for the unprecedented spring football games.

Be sure to make your picks as well!

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