SAM HOUSTON PLAYS HOST TO INAUGURAL PROGRAM
Sam Houston State will play host to UTSA's inaugural football team Saturday at 6 p.m. at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium. The Roadrunners are competing this year as an NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision independent.
KSAM 101.7 FM will broadcast all Sam Houston games home and away again in 2011. The broadcast also may be heard anywhere in the world online at www.gobearkats.com.
SAM HOUSTON's 3-0 START
The Bearkats are off to a 3-0 season start for the first since since 1994 when Sam Houston started the year with five consecutive victories. In the university's 97 football seasons, the team has opened with three victories only 12 times - 1913, 1915, 1916, 1940, 1946, 1953, 1956, 1964, 1984, 1991, 1994 and now 2011.
BEARKATS VICTORIES IN 2011
Sam Houston's three wins this year have come against Western Illinois (an NCAA FCS playoff quarterfinalist in 2010), Central Arkansas (ranked No. 18 coming into the contest with SHSU) and FBS Mountain West Conference member New Mexico.
The victory over UCA marked Sam Houston's 21st win over a top 25-ranked NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) opponent and was the Kats first Top 25 victory since defeating No. 25 Nicholls in 2007.
The win over New Mexico marked Sam Houston's third victory over an FBS opponent.
SAM HOUSTON BACK IN THE TOP 20
Sam Houston moved up to No. 16 in this week's Sports Network FCS national poll, the Bearkats' highest ranking since Sept. 17, 2007 when SHSU stood No. 15. The Kats cracked the Top 25 for the first time this year after the win over No. 18 Central Arkansas Sept. 17. Ironically, it was a 35-14 loss to Central Arkansas that knocked Sam Houston out of the polls in 2007. Sam Houston's highest national ranking ever was 3rd on Nov. 8 and Dec. 20 in 2004.Both the last two weeks, the Southland Conference "Offensive Player of the Week" has been a Bearkat. Running back Tim Flanders earned the honor after the overtime win at New Mexico State where he scored a school record five touchdowns and rushed for 194 yards.
RUNNING BACK TIM FLANDERS
Flanders carried 30 times for 194 yards including touchdown runs of 61, 53, three, two and four yards. The final tally was the winning TD for the Bearkats in overtime. The performance ranks as the 11th highest single game rushing total by a Bearkat back.
After only 13 games in his college career, Flanders already has cracked the top 25 in Sam Houston all-time rushing. The sophomore has carried 244 times for 1,361 yards as a Bearkat. His 19 rushing touchdowns ranks ninth in Kat career annals. aturday's performance was Flanders' fourth consecutive 100-yard rushing performance (starting with final game of 2010) and his 10th career 100-yard game, one short of SHSU school mark. All-time rushing leader Charles Harris set the school record of 11 100-yard games in his four-year career from 1991-94. Flanders set a school mark as a freshman in 2010 with six consecutive 100-yard rushing games.
With his 151.7 yards per game this season, Flanders leads the South land Conference and ranks No. 3 nationally in Football Championship Subdivision rushing.
Flanders earned Southland Conference's "Freshman of the Year" honors and was a first team all-league selection in in 2010. His 13 rushing touchdowns were the most ever by an SHSU freshman running back.
MULTI-TASKING WIDE RECEIVER
Richard Sincere, sophomore from Galveston Ball, became the first Sam Houston wide receiver to rush for more than 100 yards with his 10 carries for 107 yards in the Central Arkansas victory.
An option quarterback in high school, Sincere does double duty as a receiver and running SHSU's "Wild Bearkat" formation. As a freshman in 2010, Sincere rushed 42 times for 282 yards and caught eight passes for 192 yards.
His 45-yard touchdown run on a pitch out from Bearkat quarterback Brian Bell was the game-breaker for Sam Houston in the team's 31-10 upset of the No. 18 ranked Bears. For the season, Sincere has rushed 25 times for 193 yards and two touchdowns and caught six passes for 45 yards. SOPHOMORE QUARTERBACK BRIAN BELL
An All-District quarterback in high school for his coach and father Mark Bell, the signal-caller completed 110 passes for 1,381 yards and 7 touchdowns last year.
This season he stands No. 5 in the Southland Conference in total offense with 104 rushing yards and 471 yards in the air for a 137.7 per game average. He has directed the Kats to 99 points and an average possession time of 37:07 minutes in SHSU's three victories this year.
The Sam Houston offense has committed only one turnover in those three games.
With 11 of the top 12 team leaders in tackles back from a squad that led the Southland Conference in rush defense last year, Sam Houston is putting up numbers that rank high in the NCAA Division I FCS national statistics again in 2011
The Bearkat defense stands No. 3 nationally in rushing defense (59.3 yards per game) and ranks in the nation's top 25 FCS teams in both quarterback sacks and tackles for loss. Sam Houston's defense leads the Southland Conference in scoring defense (20.33 points) and is third in the league in total defense (338.33)
Junior safety Darnell Taylor of Mesquite leads the Bearkats with 24 total tackles. Other top tacklers include defensive back Bookie Sneed (18), linebacker Darius Taylor (16) and defensive lineman Eric Fieilo (13).
Taylor is one of nine defensive starters returning from last year's team that won six of its last nine games. Senior linebacker Will Henry and junior defensive lineman J. T. Cleveland were second team all-conference in 2010. Defensive backs Taylor, Dax Swanson and Bookie Sneed all were honorable mention All-Southland selections last fall.
Other returning starters on defense include linemen and senior Eddie Decambre and senior linebacker Kash David.
RETURN SPECIALIST BRANDON CLOSNER
Brandon Closner, senior return specialist from Arlington, ranked No. 2 in the Southland in punt returns (11.5 average) and No. 3 in both kickoff returns (25.8) and all-purpose yards (126.5). He set school records for most punt return yards (380) and kickoff return yards (981) in one season. He begins his senior season ranked No. 3 in SHSU career punt return yards (486) and No. 4 in career kickoff return yards (1,244).
PUNTER FROM DOWN UNDER
Matt Foster, Sam Houston's "Punter from Down Under," played in his first American football game before 42,521 fans in the 2010 season opener at Baylor. He boomed a 43-yarder on his first attempt. The 25-year-old, who is the oldest player on the Bearkat team, grew up in Melbourne playing Australian rules football.
Foster owns a 46.2 average on eight punts this season and the Bearkats rank No. 1 in NCAA Division I FCS net punting with a 44.13 average. The junior specialist has three punts of more than 53 yards including a long of 57 and two punts that have been downed inside the opponents' five-yard line.
KICKER MIGUEL ANTONIO
Junior kicking specialist Miguel Antonio is perfect on 12 PAT attempts this season and has kicked field goals of 30, 31 and 42 yards. In his third season as the Bearkats' kicker, Antonio is 29 of 46 on field goals with a long of 48 and 82 of 83 on extra point attempts during his career.
Saturday is "Greek Night" at Sam Houston football with festivities climaxing a weeklong campus "Greek Week" event. Sorority and fraternity teams will compete in various philanthropic activities during the week including a dodge-ball fundraiser, a blood drive and a "car cram." The finale includes a "Chili Cook Off" at the Bearkat Alley tailgate at 4 p.m. Saturday. Greek Week brings together more than 1,000 students who are committed to raising $30,000 to helpt the Huntsville and Sam Houston community. Results of the "Greek Week" activities will be announced at halftime of the SHSU-UTSA game.
BOY SCOUT NIGHT
The Boy Scouts of America will be saluted at Saturdays game with approximately 200 scouts participating with the Sam Houston Army ROTC in the pregame flag raising ceremony. Following the contest, the Boy Scouts will have an autograph session with the Bearkat players, then camp out overnight at Bowers Stadium. Boy Scout Night participants will gather for pregame activities in Parking Lot P5.
MARCH TO BOWERS
For the second year in a row, the Sam Houston Bearkat Marching Band will conduct a special "March to Bowers." The march begins at the library and ends at Bearkat Alley tailgate.
H-E-B TAILGATER OF THE GAME
H-E-B Tailgater of the Game judges will be roaming Bearkat Alley seeking the best tailgate setup at each game. The judges will select three finalists, each of whom will receive a $25 H-E-B gift card. The winner receives a $100 H-E-B gift card and the opportunity to compete for the "H-E-B Tailgater of the Year" prize at the final Bearkat home football game. For more information
FAIR ON THE SQUARE
Visitors to Huntsville coming for the Sam Houston versus UTSA football showdown are reminded that Saturday also is "Fair on the Square" day in Huntsville. The 37th Annual Fair opens at 9 a.m. Saturday and will feature more than 350 arts and crafts booths, a food court, kids' activities corner and live performances of country and western music. Admission is free. The event annually attracts more than 10,000 people the square at 14th Street and University in downtown Huntsville.
SPECIAL BEARKAT HOTEL RATE
Fairfield Inn & Suites of Conroe, a preferred hotel of Sam Houston State athletics, is offering Bearkat fans a special football weekend room rate for SHSU's upcoming home games at Elliott T. Bowers. Football fans can take advantage of a $79 per night rate just by mentioning "Sam Houston Athletics" or the "Bearkat Rate" when rooms are available. For more information.
PINK OUT SHIRTS
The Sam Houston vs. Lamar game on Saturday afternoon Oct. 29 will be the annual Kats for the Cause "Pink Out" game to raise awareness for the prevention of breast cancer. In advance of the event, 2011 "Pink Out" shirts will be on sale at the Bearkat Alley tailgate Saturday.
HILLCREST HEROES TICKET DISCOUNT
Military, community service(fire department, emergency service and police) and Texas Department of Criminal Justice personnel will be able to purchase $15 tickets to any of the six Bearkat home football games this season for just $10. To receive the discount, personnel can present their military, TDCJ or community service identification at the box office. The discount applies to both current and retired personnel. The discount also will be available for home volleyball, men's and women's basketball, baseball and softball events at Sam Houston State University.
BEARKAT STUDENTS ADMITTED WITH BEARKAT ONE CARD
All current Sam Houston students are admitted free to Sam Houston home football games at Bowers Stadium. Students may pick up their tickets in advance at the Lowman Student Center using their active Bearkat One card. Pickup times are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
FACULTY AND STAFF ADMITTANCE
Sam Houston faculty and staff also are admitted free to the general admission seats with their active Bearkat One card.
Tickets for all Sam Houston football games at Bowers Stadium as well as the rivalry game with SFA at Reliant Stadium in Houston October 8 are on sale now online at www.gobearkats.com/tickets .
For more information, fans may contact the Sam Houston State athletic ticket office by telephone at (936) 294-1729 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Fans also may visit the Sam Houston athletic ticket office located in the Ron Mafrige Field House in the south end zone at Bowers Stadium. Ticket office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.