SAM HOUSTON STATE IN HOUSTON
The Bearkats play the next two weeks in Houston as Sam Houston takes on Texas Southern at BVAA Compass Stadium (home of the Houston Dynamo) on Thursday Sept. 27 and Stephen F. Austin on Saturday Oct. 6 in the 87th "Battle of the Piney Woods" at Reliant Stadium (home of the Houston Texans).
Sam Houston's record in the Bayou City in the Kats' 97 seasons of football is 6-26-2. Since moving up to the NCAA Division I in 1986, the Bearkats are 4-6 in Houston. In those 10 appearances (playing at the Astrodome, Robertson, Rice and Reliant Stadiums), the crowds for the Sam Houston games have averaged more than 17,000 with highs of 24,685 and 25,145 the past two years at Reliant.
SAM HOUSTON VS. TEXAS SOUTHERN
Sam Houston holds an 8-5 edge over the Tigers in the all-time series with Texas Southern. The two have not met on the gridiron since 1997 when SHSU won 40-7 at Robertson Stadium. The Kats are 3-3 against Texas Southern in Houston. The pair met in the Astrodome in 1973, 1974 and 1975 and played at Robertson Stadium in 1986, 1995 and 1997
GAME TO BE STREAMED LIVE BY SOUTHLAND
The Southland Digital Network will stream the TSU Network (KHOU 11.2) TV broadcast tomorrow. The broadcast is courtesy of Texas Southern and the SWAC at http://www.southland.org/SouthlandTV/SLCNow.aspx
In addition to the website at southland.org, live streaming is available on the Southland Digital Network's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Search "Official SLC Mobile" in the app store.
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. Streaming video of home games at Bowers Stadium is also available at a modest rate.
THIS WEEK IN HOUSTON
Both teams enter looking for a win. Texas Southern is on a three-game losing streak, falling to North Texas, Jackson State and Alabama A&M after defeating Prairie View A&M in the season opener. Sam Houston has fallen to Baylor and Central Arkansas in road contests after defeating Incarnate Word in the Kats' 2012 opener. SHSU led at half in both losses. Texas Southern stands 1-3 while the Bearkats are 1-2.
LAST WEEK AT CONWAY
Quarterback Wyrick Smothers directed touchdown drives of 72 and 75 yards in the final five minutes as the 21-ranked Bears upset No. 3 Sam Houston 24-20 in the opening Southland game for both teams. Sam Houston had taken a 20-10 lead with 5:24 to play with fourth quarter drives for a TD and field goal. After the game-winning score, SHSU drove to the UCA 24 before the Bears intercepted a pass in the end zone on the final play. Tim Flanders produced the 17th 100-yard rushing performance of his career, carrying 22 times for 125 yards including TD runs of 39 and 11 yards.
SOUTHLAND WIN STREAK ENDS
The loss to Central Arkansas Saturday ended a nine-game Southland Conference winning streak for the Bearkats dating back to 2010 when the Kats ended the year with victories over UCA and Texas State after a loss at McNeese State.Sam Houston went 7-0 on the way to the Kats' first undisputed Southland Conference title in 2011.
Walter Payton Award candidate Timothy Flanders - already Sam Houston's all-time rushing leader - moved up to No. 11 in all-time Southland Conference rushing yards with a career total of 2,918 in 28 games.
Flanders is 82 yards away from becoming the 10th Southland Conference running back to gain more than 3,000 career yards. The Midwest City, Okla., product ranks fifth in Southland career rushing touchdowns (39) and sixth in league annals in total touchdowns (42)
Two more touchdowns will allow Flanders to pass kicker Billy Hayes (258 points on 117 PATs and 47 field goals in 1985-88) in all-time Sam Houston scoring. Flanders has scored 252 points.
Flanders leads the Southland Conference and ranks 18th in the nation in rushing yardage per game with a 108.7 average including two 100-plus yards performances this season in the contests.
Wide receiver Trey Diller has shown big-play potential as well this year. He leads Bearkat receiving with 16 catches for 235 yards including a long gain of 41 yards. He also stands 17th nationally in punt returns with a 10.6 average (9 for 95) including a long return of 49 yards.
Quarterback Brian Bell now stands fifth in Bearkat career passing with 4,091 yards in the air including 30 TD passes. Reggie Lewis (1984-87) is the next target standing fourth in the SHSU passing records with 4,269 career yards.
Dax Swanson intercepted a Baylor pass at the SHSU goal line on the final play of the half. The pickoff marked his 11th career interception, moving him up to fourth place in the Bearkat record books. Ronnie Choate (1955-59) holds the SHSU career interception record with 14. Gary Kimble (1981-84) and Mark Hughes (2001-04) both picked off 12 career interceptions. Swanson is tied for fourth with Bobby Coleman who grabbed 11 from 1979 to 1981
Preston Sanders blocked a fourth quarter field goal to set a Sam Houston record for career field goal blocks (four). Sanders now stands seventh in all-time career kick blocks (punt/pat/field goals).
BEARKATS WIN IN SEASON OPENER
Timothy Flanders rushed 15 times for 117 yards including TD runs of 40 and eight yards to lead Sam Houston to a 54-7 victory over Incarnate Word of San Antonio in the Bearkats' season opener in Huntsville.
Flanders became the all-time leading rusher in SHSU history thanks to the performance. His career total now stands at 2,793 yards, breaking the record of 2,688 yards set by Charles Harris in 1991-94. Backup running back Keshawn Hill ran for touchdowns of 11 and 27 yards. Chance Nelson added an 11-yards score on a pass from Brian Bell.
The Sam Houston defense limited Incarnate Word to 88 yards total offense and a negative 46 yards rushing. Both figures rank as the second best performances by a Bearkat defense. SHSU limited SFA to 86 total yards and negative 48 yards rushing in a 1990 victory.
KATS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
SHSU dropped to No. 9 in the Sports Network Poll and No. 10 in the NCAA FCS Coaches national rankings after the 24-20 loss at Central Arkansas last Saturday.
Sam Houston stood in the top 25 in the FCS polls a total of 16 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 at the beginning of the national playoffs. Sam Houston has ranked among the FCS top 10 for 13 consecutive weeks.
SAM HOUSTON PRESEASON SOUTHLAND PICK
Sam Houston is the favorite to repeat as Southland Conference champions according to the 2012 preseason poll of the league's head coaches. The Bearkats' 2011 Southland football championship was their fourth in the program's 25 years in the league. However, the first three were co-championships, making the 2011 title the Bearkats' first undisputed league crown.
Sam Houston has 29 players with at least one start in the lineup. Bearkat offensive players have combined for 218 total starts while the defense has totaled 231. Ten Bearkats have totaled more than 20 starts in their careers.