NUEVO LEON, MEXICO TIGRES (1-3)
AT
NO. 4 JOHN TYLER LIONS (3-1)

7:30 p.m. Saturday
TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler

Coaches
Nuevo Leon: Carlos Cabral
John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes

Last Week
Nuevo Leon: def. Lovington, N.M., 28-7
John Tyler: def. Mesquite Horn, 35-30

Next Week
Nuevo Leon: Idle
John Tyler: Idle

Playmakers
Nuevo Leon

  • QB Jorge Chavez, Jr., 5-10, 165
  • WR Gerardo Cortes, Sr., 5-10, 170
  • RB Gustavo Gonzalez, Sr., 5-10, 190

John Tyler

  • QB Greg Ward, Sr., 5-10, 160 (53 of 85, 872 yards, 11 TDs, 0 INTs; 59 carries, 162 yards, 2 TDs; committed to Houston)
  • WR Fred Ross, Sr., 6-1, 185 (16 catches, 314 yards, 6 TDs; 13 carries, 91 yards, 1 TD; committed to Oklahoma State)
  • WR/DB Darion Flowers, Sr., 6-0, 165 (19 catches, 276 yards, 1 TD)
  • ATH Tyus Bowser, Sr., 6-3, 205 (36 passing yards, 14 rushing yards, 39 receiving yards with TD; 15 tackles, 2 sacks)
  • DT Chris Mobley, Sr., 6-1, 235 (28 tackles, 2 QB pressures)
  • DB Elliot Hart, Sr., 5-11, 175 (19 tackles, 2 INTs)
  • LB Richard Gipson, Sr., 6-1, 205 (21 tackles, 1 forced fumble)

Just the facts

  • Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon Autenticos Tigres are playing the final game of their U.S. tour on Saturday.
  • UANL opened the season with three consecutive losses to Barbers Hill (37-13), Killeen Shoemaker (38-24) and Copperas Cove (54-7) before earning its first win of the season last week against Lovington, N.M. (28-7).
  • UANL is a college prep school located in Monterrey, Mexico. The Tigres have won the last four youth division national championships.
  • This is the first time John Tyler has faced a team from outside the U.S. The Lions have played five games against teams from out of state, the last of which was a 42-14 victory over West Monroe, La., in 1999.
  • While JT's offensive numbers are down compared to last year, the defense has made a sizable improvement. Last season, the Lions averaged 43 points per game as opposed to 28 per game in 2012. The defense, however, is giving up just 19.2 per game after allowing more than 28.7 in 2011.
  • The Lions are averaging 359.5 yards per game, 63 percent of which is through the air.
John Tyler ATH Tyus Bowser. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)
John Tyler WR/DB Darion Flowers. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: John Tyler passing game vs. UANL secondary. If the Tigres are to compete Saturday night, they will need to find a way to slow down Greg Ward and the JT passing game. Ward, despite being banged up in each of the last two weeks, has led the Lions to back-to-back wins over Tyler Lee and Mesquite Horn. In those games, Ward has completed 27 of 35 attempts for 348 yards and five touchdowns. While Ross and Flowers have been on the receiving end of most of Ward's passes, JT has nine different players with a reception on the season.

Don't be surprised if: John Tyler has its most lopsided victory of the season. UANL has some talented athletes on the offensive side of the ball, but has struggled to sustain drives early in the season, according to JT coach Ricklan Holmes. The Lions are bigger, stronger and faster than the Tigres, who will need JT to hurt itself with costly turnovers and penalties to hang around.