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Concordia takes on Texas Southern

Concordia will take a 12-hour bus ride to Houston to play Football Championship Series (formerly Division 1-AA) opponent Texas Southern on Saturday.

The Hornets’ last contest with an FCS team did not go as planned. They fell to UT-Martin 87-21 on Sept. 11.

“It ain’t gonna be like it was at UT-Martin,” said Concordia coach Shepherd Skanes. “We’ve just got to execute and play mistake-free football. I feel like we’ve got as much talent as they do.”

The Hornets enter this weekend’s contest ranked No. 4 in the nation (in what league?) in the latest HBCU poll and No. 9 according to the TSPN (is this right?) poll.

They are fresh off a 43-27 win over Edward Waters in the South Alabama Heritage Classic, but the win followed the same pattern as their others.

The Hornets were sluggish in one half and lights out the next. Thus, the question remains the same. Will they play two complete halves against the Tigers?

“I pray to God we will play two full halves,” said Skanes.

The Tigers have not fared well since finishing 8-3 and beating Norfolk State in the Gold Coast Classic under Bill Thomas in 2000. Steve Wilson took over in 2004 and guided the Tigers to a 4-40 record before being replaced by Johnnie Cole.

Cole implemented his “HOBO” (high octane big play offense) offense, and has guided the Tigers to a 2-2 record — the most wins they’ve had since going 3-8 in 2006.

“They have a 1-AA dream team coaching staff,” said Skanes.

On offense, the Tigers are led by former Oklahoma State quarterback Bobby Reid (580 passing yards and four touchdowns), running back Lucas Caparelli (150 yards and one touchdown) and receiver William Osbourne (23 receptions for 276 yards and two touchdowns).

A win would give the Hornets their first win over an FCS team and the best record after six games in program history at 5-1.

Such a scenario often adds urgency to a team attempting to establish itself, but Skanes does not sense any extra pressure in his team.

“We don’t have pressure on us. We’re going to stay playing relaxed, free football,” said Skanes. “Any given night, that ball can bounce your way. We’re just ready to get there.”