In terms of the win column, the West Texas A&M Buffaloes don’t have a lot of momentum to take into this afternoon’s 3 p.m. Lone Star Conference game at Texas A&M-Kingsville.


The Buffs hung tough at home last week against Texas A&M-Commerce before a pair of fourth quarter scoring drives decided their fate in a 34-20 loss. That score was a bit misleading considering that WT (6-3, 3-3 LSC) was twice stopped on downs in the Commerce red zone and threw three first half interceptions.


It was that the Buffs were still in the game late despite such mishaps which was the best piece of news they can take into this week.


“I don’t know that it’s a good sign,” WT coach Hunter Hughes said of last week’s outcome. “When you get through the game and know the opportunity to win after all those mistakes was there, the positive is that it says you’re not going to quit.”


The Buffs took a 7-0 lead on a 2-yard scoring run by Logan Vallo, who had been out with a knee injury. But Commerce took the lead with 20 unanswered points, returning an interception for a touchdown and a blocked punt for another.


WT bounced back to tie the game late in the third quarter and had the ball for what appeared to be a first-and-goal at the Commerce 5-yard line. But a post-play personal foul penalty, a sack of Nick Gerber and an illegal motion penalty forced them into a fourth-and-17 from the Commerce 27.


The Buffs decided to forego the field goal into the wind and go for it, but Gerber was chased out of the pocket and tackled after a nine-yard gain, giving Commerce the momentum.


“We knew playing (Commerce) that it would come down to who makes the fewest mistakes and we made more mistakes,” Hughes said. “We and an interception and a punt block returned for a touchdown and it’s hard to get things like that back against a good team.”


The best news for WT offensively against Commerce was the production of the running game, which had 203 yards and ran a season high 50 times, led by Duke Carter IV with 89. That’s the style Hughes seems to prefer offensively.


While that’s a more deliberate tempo, the Buffs have often been successful this season running an uptempo offense featuring the passing game. Hughes wants to keep both methods as part of a game plan.


“It all depends on the time of the game,” Hughes said. “We like to go fast when it keeps people off balance. We also like to line up and see what the defense offers and snap the ball from there.”


WT will be facing a defense in Kingsville (2-7, 1-5) which is giving up 36.8 points a game so the Buffs will have an opportunity to find out how they want to attack the Javelinas. Kingsville finally broke into the win column in the LSC by beating Western New Mexico 44-30 last weekend.


The Javelinas have a familiar name at quarterback in Koy Detmer Jr., the nephew of Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer. Koy has thrown for 746 yards and five touchdowns in the last two games, and receivers Darrian Hambrick and Devin Millburn have combined for over 1,089 yards in receptions this season.


Hughes is as concerned about hitting the road as anything, as Kingsville is the southernmost destination in the LSC.


“It’s a long trip and it’s one you’ve got to mentally prepare for just being on the bus that long,” Hughes said.


The Buffs early Friday for Kingsville and stopped in San Angelo to do walkthroughs.


This is WT’s last scheduled regular season road game and the Buffs have some obstacles of they’re to make the playoffs. They’re fourth in the LSC so winning the final two games is crucial if they’re going to move up in the region rankings and keep playing past mid-November.


Hughes is optimistic yet realistic about postseason prospects.


“There’s a lot of football left,” Hughes said. “We have a slim shot of making the playoffs and that means we have to win out. If we’re 8-3 that’s a heck of a long way from where we were three years ago.”