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Courtesy: Brian Blalock/SHSU
Bearkats finding success with up-tempo play
Release: 09/02/2014
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Head coach K. C. Keeler and the Bearkats were excited Saturday night after their victory over Alabama State in the home opener at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium

“It was exciting  to get that first win,” Keeler said. “The locker room was great afterwards. One of the things I really missed about coaching last season was that experience in the locker room with the players and coaches when they feel really good about what they accomplished out on the field. That was a good football team we beat.”

The Sam Houston offense broke two school records (105 plays and 685 yards total offense) and tied another (34 first downs) with their up-tempo offense.

“The game was a great chance for the home crowd to see what we do,” Keeler said. “The tempo we play is entertaining. When you have the kind of depth we do this year at the skill positions, it’s the best offense to have.”

Keeler points to the fact that his running backs and his wide receivers get more opportunities to get the ball in their hands.

“Everyone knows they are going to get their opportunity,” Keeler said. “Ricky Smith, our number three X (wide receiver) caught six passes.  Eleven different receivers had a pass reception.”

Bearkat starting center Zachary Stevens even got into the act, covering a fumble in the Alabama State end zone for the Bearkats’ first touchdown.

“That’s not how the play was designed, but everyone was running and hustling in the right direction,” Keeler said. “Everyone was moving in the right direction.”

The head coach looks to play with even more tempo in future games.

“We had  a 105 snaps for a school record and we slowed it down at times,” Keeler said. “The players like the up-tempo game and it helps us in recruiting more outstanding running backs and receivers as well.”

Sam Houston State faces another challenge on the road this weekend as the Bearkats take on nationally ranked LSU in its first home game at newly enlarged Tiger Stadium. Kickoff Saturday is at 6:39 p.m.

The game will be televised nationally on the new SEC TV network, Sam Houston’s second national telecast in three weeks.

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