MSU-Tarleton Rivalry

Edward Grisham

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MSU-Tarleton Rivalry from MWSU Campus Watch on Vimeo.

In college sports, rivalries are the driving force behind the passion exhibited by the students of each university. At MSU, it is clear who the Mustangs consider their biggest rival — Tarleton State University. When the Tarleton Texans come into town, it makes the game even more special.

“It’s really intense. We just know going into it that the whole school is supporting us. We are expected to win and we just have to come and deliver,” Lisa Hampton, a junior guard on the women’s basketball team, said.

On January 15th, the Texans defeated both the men’s and women’s basketball teams by a combined eight points. Although the Mustangs lost, Tarleton is still chasing after MSU’s past success. The MSU men’s teamappeared in the Elite Eight three consecutive times spanning from 2010-2012, and the women’s team is coming off of a conference championship season.

Basketball is not the only sport the rivalry exists either.

Malik Tipler, a freshman cornerback on the football team, said. “We don’t want to lose to Tarleton. We have lost the last two years and it hurts. They were close games and we felt like we should have won.”

In 2013, the football team played Tarleton at the Lone Star Conference Football Festival in AT&T stadium and lost 27-24 to Texans who have won three of the last five match-ups against the Mustangs.

“It’s really a rivalry when they win a couple times and we win a couple of times,” Tipler, a exercise physiology major, said. “It’s not really a rivalry if we are always winning.”

The MSU-Tarleton rivalry began in 1925 when the two schools faced off for the first time on the football field. Since then, the combined head-to-head records of the football, men’s and women’s basketball, and volleyball teams show MSU leading the rivalry 106-93.

The rivalry continues Feb. 5 when the basketball teams both travel to Stephenville to take on the Texans.

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