Chris Brannick, Direcotr of Sports Media Relations
CORSICANA, Texas – The University of Central Oklahoma Sunday accepted an invitation to play in the inaugural Corsicana Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 2 against former Lone Star Conference foe Tarleton State, setting up the Bronchos to play in their third bowl game in four years.
UCO finished the 2017 regular season Saturday with a 62-21 win over Northeastern State. It was the fifth consecutive win for the Bronchos, who ended the season with a 7-4 record. UCO’s four losses were by a combined 21 points this season, with none by more than seven.
“Anytime you can extend your season, that’s a good thing,” UCO head coach Nick Bobeck said. “We get basically the equivalent of spring ball now, and that means more time on the practice field for our guys. That’s a good thing.
“I’m also happy about the chance our seniors have to play in one more game,” Bobeck continued. “That group went to a bowl game as freshmen, and again as sophomores, and now will get to one more time. That’s awesome for them. I’m really happy they get that chance.”
The inaugural bowl game is slated to kickoff at noon on Saturday, Dec. 7 from Tiger Stadium in Corsicana. The 10,000-seat facility is home to Corsicana High School athletics, as well as Navarro Junior College, where Bobeck coached for four seasons, going 42-5 and capturing the 2010 national title.
Tarleton State, led by head coach Todd Whitten, will enter next month’s bowl game with a 6-5 record. The Texans went 4-4 in Lone Star Conference play.
Tarleton scored 29.8 points per game this season behind an offense that averaged 237 yards per game through the air and 126 yards per game on the ground. TSU’s defense allowed just 26.8 points per game, giving up 272 passing yards per game and 168 rushing. Tarleton’s 440 yards allowed average was eighth out of nine Lone Star teams.
Central owns a 6-4 advantage in the all-time series with Tarleton State. The Bronchos won the first four meetings from 1995-98 before the Texans took 2 of 3 from 2002-04 and 2 of 3 again from 2008-10. UCO won the most recent meeting, a 37-21 decision at Wantland Stadium in September of 2010.
The Bronchos look to continue their winning ways. UCO has won five in a row behind a stifling defense that has come up with 17 turnovers (11 interceptions, six fumble recoveries) during the run. UCO is allowing 21 points per game during that same stretch, but is scoring 45 points per game.
UCO is led by senior QB Chas Stallard, who owns more than a dozen school records. Stallard will get one more game in a Broncho uniform. He’ll enter the Corsicana Bowl looking to improve on his 3,209 yards passing and 28 touchdowns this season.