No. 7 Lions trek to Portales for LSC opener at Eastern New Mexico — LINK
WHO: Texas A&M University-Commerce at Eastern New Mexico University
WHERE: Portales, N.M. | Greyhound Stadium
WHEN: 1 p.m. MDT (2 p.m. CDT) on Saturday, September 17
RECORDS: Texas A&M-Commerce is 2-0 after a 40-28 win at Delta State. This is the Lions' Lone Star Conference opener. Eastern New Mexico is 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the LSC after a 37-16 win over Western New Mexico.
RANKINGS: Texas A&M-Commerce is ranked No. 7 in the AFCA Coaches' Poll and No. 11 in the D2Football.com Media Poll. ENMU is unranked.
LIVE AUDIO: Lion Sports Network -- KETR 88.9 FM, Commerce (http://www.ketr.org), Thunder Country KRVA 101.7 FM, Sulphur Springs (http://www.mythundercountry.com/)
LIVE VIDEO: http://www.goeasternathletics.com/showcase
LIVE STATS: http://statb.us/b/138919
WEEK 2 AFCA RANKING TIES PROGRAM-BEST
• The Lions are ranked seventh in the nation in Division II according to the American Football Coaches Association Coaches Poll this week.
• The ranking marks the best ranking for A&M-Commerce since the AFCA Division II Poll began in 2000.
• The Lions were previously ranked eighth nationally on October 26, 2015, and last week.
• A&M-Commerce has now been ranked in 16 straight polls, going back to the 2015 preseason poll.
• This is A&M-Commerce's 22nd all-time appearance in the AFCA Top 25.
LIONS ARE LSC PRESEASON FAVORITE
• The Lions have won the last two Lone Star Conference regular season titles and picked up 19 of 28 available first place votes. The Lions' 269 points in the poll placed them above second-ranked Midwestern State with 254 points and eight first place votes.
• Texas A&M-Commerce won all six LSC regular season games last season on the way to the Lions' first NCAA berth since 1995.
• A&M-Commerce has won its last seven regular season LSC games and the last six regular season LSC games played at Memorial Stadium.
MARTINEZ NAMED LSC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
• Sophomore kicker Kristov Martinez has been named the Lone Star Conference Special Teams Player of the Week, as announced by the conference office Monday morning.
• Martinez - a graduate of Edinburg HS - was perfect in his placekicking opportunities in the Lions' 40-28 win at Delta State on Saturday.
• Martinez opened the scoring with a 38-yard field goal on the game's opening drive and extended the A&M-Commerce lead with a 35-yard field goal late in the third quarter.
• Martinez was also a perfect 4-for-4 on PAT opportunities.
BYRD IS NATIONAL TACKLES LEADER
• A&M-Commerce senior linebacker Hatari Byrd is the NCAA Division II leader in solo tackles per game following an outstanding performance at Delta State.
• Byrd made 11 tackles - all solos - in the win over the Statesmen. He also recorded an interception.
• Byrd and Central Washington's Jackson Huerta are tied for the national lead at 11.0 solo tackles per game. No other players in the division are averaging more than 9.5 tackles per contest.
• The next-highest solo tackle per game average in the Lone Star Conference are UTPB's Chris Hoad and Angelo State's Justin Jackson with 7.5 solo stops per contest.
PEREZ HAS IMPRESSIVE STATISTICAL DEBUT
• A&M-Commerce quarterback Luis Perez was impressive in the Delta State game, spreading the ball around and pushing his name to the top of the NCAA statistical rankings in the second week of release.
• Perez is the conference leader in passing yards per completion at 18.94 and ranks third nationally in that category.
• His 322.0 yards passing per game lead the LSC and rank 16th nationally.
• Perez' passer efficency rating of 220.2 is second in the conference and third nationally.
• His 73.9% completion percentage ranks second in the league and sixth in the nation. Texas A&M-Kingsville's Myles Carr leads the nation at 83.3%.
• Perez completed 17 passes to seven different receivers at Delta State.
MY BALL! LIONS LEAD IN TURNOVER MARGIN
• A&M-Commerce intercepted three passes in the win at Delta State and now lead the league in turnover margin at +3.00 turnovers per game.
• The Lions did not turn the ball over in the opening week, contributing to the positive margin.
• Valdosta State and Limestone are tied for the national lead at +4.00 turnovers per game.
EVANS TOPPING THE CHARTS
• A&M-Commerce wide receiver Lance Evans is the Lone Star Conference's leading receiver following the Delta State game.
• The senior caught four passes for 123 yards and a touchdown of 66 yards.
• His 123.0 yards per game average is tops in the league and ranks 15th in the nation in receiving average.
• D'Arthur Cowan is also in the top 10 in the league rankings with his 84.0 yards per game ranking seventh in the conference.
ALL-TIME AGAINST THE GREYHOUNDS
• The Lions and ENMU are meeting for the 30th time in a series that dates back to 1984.
• The Greyhounds have a 15-14 lead in the series, with A&M-Commerce looking to even the total.
• The Lions have won the last two matchups and are aiming for a third win in a row for the second time in series history.
• ETSU/A&M-Commerce won three straight games in the series from 1994-96, with two wins in Commerce and one in Blackwater Draw.
• The home team has a decided advantage in this series, as the Lions have only won at ENMU three times - 1984, 1995, and 2014.
• A Lion win would mark the first time A&M-Commerce has won consecutive trips to visit the Greyhounds.