Despite the fact that the two universities are just two hours drive apart, Sam Houston and Baylor have met in football only twice before. Both times the games were at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco. The two met in 1990 and 2003.
The pair open the 2010 season with a 6 p.m. game Saturday in Waco.
The 1990 game between the Bears and the Bearkats goes down in history as an outstanding defensive performance that almost resulted in Sam Houston's first victory ever over an NCAA Division I FBS opponent
The Bearkats threw a scare into the Bears in the 1990 encounter. Playing before 34,413 at Floyd-Casey (at that point, the largest crowd ever to witness a Sam Houston football game), the Kats led 9-0 at halftime and were up 9-7 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Sam Houston's defense, led by All-American lineman Michael Bankston who went on to play eight years for the Arizona Cardinals, limited the Bears to only 56 yards total offense in the first half.
Two long punt returns set up the go-ahead scores for Baylor in the fourth quarter as Jeff Ireland kicked field goals of 25 yards with 12:29 to play and 41 yards with 1:44 remaining. But the Bears still had to intercept a pass at midfield in the final minute to secure the victory.
Sam Houston's offense outgained Baylor 234 total yards to 225 and held possession for 33:41.
The 2003 meeting wasn't as close as Baylor took advantage of offensive and special teams mistakes to roll up a 27-6 victory. Rash Armstrong rushed for 125 yards including touchdowns of 39 and five yards to lead the Bears to 355 yards total offense.
Aaron Karas (who was the older brother of Bearkat backup quarterback Adam Karas) passed for 188 yards and a touchdown.
As a member of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) since 1986, Sam Houston has faced Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) 25 times.
The Bearkats have won two of those encounters, defeating Louisiana-Lafayette 21-14 in 2000 and Louisiana-Monroe 20-9 in 2001.
All 25 of the contest with FBS foes have been on the road with Bearkats playing in front of several huge crowds. In 1990, when Baylor edged Sam Houston 13-9, the 34,413 fans at Floyd-Casey comprised the largest audience to date for a Kat football game.
Since then, however, Sam Houston has played in front of crowd of 88,913 at Texas (2006), 58,659 at Texas A&M (1997), 51,738 at Kansas (2008), 50,180 at Texas Tech (50,180) and 41,139 at Oklahoma State (2007).
Following Saturday's game at Baylor, the Bearkats will have an open date then travel to Western Illinois for a Sept. 18 Saturday contest with the Leathernecks.
Sam Houston opens its 2010 home schedule on Saturday Sept. 25 when the Kats play host to Gardner-Webb at Bowers Stadium in a 6 p.m. Bearkat Family Weekend game. The event features an appearance by the Houston Texans Cheerleaders, recognition of the Hillcrest Heroes (local police and fire fighters) and a postgame fireworks display.
Tickets are available online on www.gobearkats.com or at the Sam Houston athletic ticket office located in the Ron Mafrige Field House at Bowers Stadium. Ticket office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The ticket office telephone is (936) 294-1729.