SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
The Bearkats also won Southland titles in 1991, 2001, 2004 and 2011. Sam Houston won the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship in 1930 and the Lone Star Conference in 1955, 1956 and 1964.
NCAA DIVISION I PLAYOFFS ANNOUNCEMENT
The complete 20-team field plus playoff seedings and pairings for the 2012 NCAA Division I Football Championship will be announced Sunday No. 18 at 12:30 p.m. on ESPNU. Sam Houston reached the NCAA Division I National Championship game in Frisco last season. The Bearkats were the No. 1 seed in last year's national playoffs.
SEVEN GAME WINNING STREAK
Sam Houston State brings a seven-game winning streak and a No. 3 national ranking to College Station Saturday.
SHSU VERSUS FBS OPPONENTS
A member of the NCAA Div. I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) since 1986, Sam Houston State has faced Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) foes 28 times, rolling up a 3-25 record. SHSU's three FBS wins came in 1999 at La-Lafayette (21-14), in 2001 at La-Monroe (20-9) and last year in overtime at New Mexico (48-45).
Five times the Kats have come within a touchdown of winning over an FBS opponent. Those games include losses of 14-13 to Rice (1993), 34-31 at La-Monroe (1996), 38-34 at Houston (1987), 13-9 at Baylor (1990) and 17-10 at UTEP (1990). All 28 contests with FBS foes have been on the road with the Kats playing in front of several huge crowds. The largest was 88,913 at Texas in 2006.
FOURTH GAME VERSUS NATIONALLY RANKED FBS FOE
Saturday's contest at No. 9 Texas A&M will mark the fourth time the Kats have faced a nationally-ranked NCAA Division I FBS opponent. Texas stood No. 7 in 2006 (the season after their Rose Bowl victory), Texas A&M No. 24 in 1997 and Texas Tech No. 25 in 2005.
KSAM 101.7 FM will broadcast all Sam Houston games home and away again. The broadcast also may be heard anywhere in the world online at www.gobearkats.com.
SERIES WITH TEXAS A&M
Texas A&M holds a 10-0 advantage in the Aggies' meetings with Sam Houston State. The first game between the two came in 1919, Sam Houston's seventh season of football.
KATS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Sam Houston stands No. 3 in both the Sports Network Poll and the NCAA FCS Coaches national rankings this week. SHSU has been in the top 25 in the FCS polls a total of 22 consecutive weeks since debuting in the national poll on Sept. 9, 2011. During an 11-0 regular season, the Kats rose all the way to No. 1 just before the national playoffs. They have ranked among the FCS top 10 for 18 consecutive weeks.
SHSU AMONG NATION'S STATISTICS LEADERS
The Sam Houston offense leads FCS nationally in scoring (46.2) and stands No. 5 in rushing (294.3) and No. 6 in total offense (490.3). The defense's national rankings include No. 3 in rushing defense (68.3) and No. 5 in total defense (283.2). Sam Houston leads the Southland in rushing offense and defense, scoring and rushing defense.
BEARKATS RECORD WATCH
All-America running back and Walter Payton Award candidate Timothy Flanders produced his 22nd career 100-yard rushing performance Saturday, scoring two touchdowns. His 56-yard touchdown marked his ninth TD run of more than 50 yards. In the victory over Southeastern Louisiana, Flanders dashed 71 yards for the longest of his career. The Bearkats' all-time leading rusher now is No. 2 in all-time Southland TDs (54) and in all-time Southland rush TDs (51) and No. 6 in Southland all-time rushing yards (3,679 yards)
Flanders and kicker Miguel Antonio rank as Sam Houston's all-time top scorers with 284 points (43 field goals, 155 PATs). Only Flanders (324 points on 54 touchdowns) has scored more points.
Junior Brian Bell is Sam Houston State's all-time "winningest" quarterback. A starter since SHSU's third game of the 2010 season (33 games), Bell has directed the Kats to 27 wins. Ronnie Choate played in 25 victories for Sam Houston from 1956 to 1959. Bell stands as Sam Houston's all-time leader in career TD passes (45). He ranks No. 2 at SHSU in career passing yards (5,333) and total offense (6,124). Rhett Bomar (2007-08) holds both records with 5,964 and 6,160 totals.
Senior safety and last year's Southland "Defensive Player of the Year" Darnell Taylor is the fourth Bearkat defender to chalk up more than 200 career solo stops. Taylor has 214 solo tackles. The school career record is 215 by Stan Blinka (1975-78).
Junior cornerback Bookie Sneed snapped a Sam Houston record that had stood since 1968 with his 92-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter of the SFA game Saturday. Paul Wenzel returned an interception 90 yards against Sul Ross for the Kat mark that stood for 44 years. Sneed has picked off four interceptions this year and eight in his career.
Senior cornerback Dax Swanson intercepted passes against Baylor and Texas Southern to up his career total to 12 interceptions. Ronnie Choate (1955-59) holds the SHSU career interception record with 13. Gary Kimble (1981-84) and Mark Hughes (2001-04) also picked off 12 career interceptions.
Junior Preston Sanders blocked a field goal and an extra point to move into fourth place in career blocks with five. Four of the five blocks have been field goals, a school mark.
Senior Kenneth Jenkins picked up Sanders' PAT block after Texas Southern's only TD and returned it for a defensive PAT return, only the second in SHSU school history. The first was by Courtney Boston against Mississippi Valley State in 2001.
The 70-0 victory over Southeastern Louisiana marked Sam Houston's second shutout this season and the defense's third in two years. The 70 points are the most for the Bearkats in a Southland Conference game. SHSU defeated Nicholls 69-17 in 1999. The scoring output marked Sam Houston's fifth highest point total ever. The school record is 83 points in a shutout of Brooke Medical in 1949.
Sam Houston's 45-10 victory over McNeese marked the first time in the Kats have defeated the Cowboys in back-to-back calendar years. The win was SHSU's ninth over McNeese in 34 meetings. The 35-point margin also was a record in series history.
Reserve running back Keyshawn Hill ranks seventh in the Southland in rushing with 49.8 yards per game and six touchdowns.
Last year's "Offensive Player of the Year" Richard Sincere threw his second touchdown pass in a three-year career in the Wild Bearkat formation at Lamar.
Sam Houston's offensive line has not given up a sack for the last five games. Quarterback Brian Bell has not been caught behind the line of scrimmage since the SFA game Oct. 6
Wide receiver Trey Diller has carried much of the offensive load this season. The senior leads the Bearkats in all-purpose yards (1,388 - 138.8 per game), receiving (45 catches for 671 yards), punt returns (12.4 per return) and kickoff returns (28.8 average).
Wide receiver Chance Nelson, a transfer from Texas A&M, has become a mainstay in the Bearkat offense. Nelson has caught 22 passes for 478 yards and seven TDs. He caught a 61-yard touchdown in the Texas Southern victory and a 70-yard strike against Southeastern La.
SOUTHLAND PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Sam Houston players have received weekly Southland Conference "Player of the Week" honors seven times this year.
Running back Timothy Flanders won the offensive award after running for 131 yards and four TDs in a 56-7 victory over Lamar.
WildKat back Richard Sincere and defensive tackle J. T. Cleveland were the league's offensive and defensive selections, respectively, after the 45-10 win over No. 21 McNeese.
Sincere produced 155 all-purpose yards and scored two rushing TDs while Cleveland posted seven tackles including three for losses.
Linebacker Jesse Beauchamp won the defensive honor after a 41-0 shutout at Nicholls State. Beauchamp recovered two fumbles, both of which set up SHSU touchdowns, and totaled seven tackles including two for losses.
Sam Houston State swept the weekly Southland Conference football player of the week honors after its 51-43 win over SFA.
Junior quarterback Brian Bell was the offensive player of the week, junior cornerback Bookie Sneed won defensive honors and senior punter Matt Foster was the special teams player of the week after the Kats' 51-43 win over rival Stephen F. Austin Oct. 6.
Bell picked up 22nd career victory as starting quarterback for Sam Houston against SFA, directing the offense to 51 points.
Sneed returned an interception 92 yards for touchdown that put SHSU in the lead, 20-14, with 5:55 remaining in 2nd quarter. .
Foster helped Sam Houston win the field position battle with a 45.1 average, including long of 61 yards. The senior from Melbourne, Australia, landed three punts inside the 20.The 56-17 victory over Northwestern State in Natchitoches, La., Saturday earned Sam Houston State its second consecutive Southland Conference football championship. The title is SHSU's fifth as a member of the Southland and ninth overall in 97 years of football