Game 12 – FCS Playoffs Quarterfinals
Saturday, Dec. 9 • Huntsville • 7:30 p.m. • Bowers Stadium (12,593)
No. 6 Sam Houston State (11-1, 8-1 SLC) vs Kennesaw State (12-1, 5-0 BSC)
Live Stats • ESPN3 • @BearkatsFB on Twitter • SHSU Game Notes • KSU Game Notes
HUNTSVILLE – Coach K.C. Keeler told his team that in the FCS Playoffs, each week is a one-week season.
The second one-week season of the Sam Houston’s playoff journey takes place on Saturday night when the eyes of the FCS turn to Huntsville for a quarterfinal matchup with Kennesaw State at Bowers Stadium.
The Bearkats have advanced to at least the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs in each of the last four years and ran their record to 12-0 in home playoff games in surviving a 54-42 shootout with South Dakota.
Sam Houston will put that perfect home playoff record on the line against the Big South champion Owls, who have won their last 12 consecutive games and advanced to the Huntsville by virtue of a 17-7 upset of No. 3 Jacksonville State last week.
The winner will advance to take on the winner of the game between No. 2 North Dakota State and No. 7 Wofford in the semifinal round for a berth in the FCS Championship game.
Saturday will pit two of the most potent offenses in the nation, but offenses who get it done in contrasting ways. The Bearkats lead the nation in scoring, total offense and passing yards while the Owls triple-option attack leads the nation in rushing yards per game (328.5 ypg).
KSU only began football three years ago and already has become the third Big South team to advance to the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs
TICKETS AND PARKING
Advanced-sale ticket prices in advance will be $18 for general admission, $23 for bleacher reserved and $30 for reserved chairback. All student tickets will be complimentary courtesy of the Division of Student Affairs and may be picked up on game day at the North Gate.
Season ticket holders who purchased the playoff series package will be rolled over into their same seat.
All tickets will be at will call this week.
Tickets may be purchased at gobearkats.com, Calling the Athletic Ticket Office at (936) 294-1729, or at the West Box Office of Bowers Stadium.
Fans should also be aware of parking changes for Saturday’s game due to commencement ceremonies occurring earlier in the day. For all parking changes, click HERE to view.
Saturday’s game will be aired live on ESPN3 with David Saltzman on play-by-play and Dustin Fox providing color analysis. Fans can also listen live on KSAM 101.7 FM with Kooter Roberson and E.P. Garth in the booth, and Brian Adams patrolling the sidelines.
Live stats are available to fans, in addition to live updates being provided by following @BearkatsFB on Twitter.
WITH A BEARKAT WIN ...
- K.C. Keeler would win his 220th career game. He is currently tied for 16th all-time among FCS head coaches with Wofford’s Mike Ayers. Next up on the list is former Wagner head coach Walt Hameline who is 15th with 223 wins from 1981-2014.
- Sam Houston would win its 80th game since the beginning of the 2011 season. The Kats would join North Dakota State are the only two teams in the FCS with 80 victories since the beginning of the 2011 campaign.
- Sam would extend its win streak at Bowers Stadium to 20 games, setting a new mark for the second longest home win streak in school history. The streak is the longest current streak in the FCS with the last loss at Bowers coming to Lamar on Sept. 19, 2015 by a 49-46 score. Since the start of 2011, the Kats have been nearly perfect on the Bowers Stadium turf, having won 46 of their last 48 games in front of their home crowd overall. The current school record for consecutive home victories is 23 in a row that stretched from 2010 to 2014.
- The Kats would move to 13-0 all-time in playoff games played in Huntsville. The Kats have played, and won, at least one home playoff game in each of the last seven seasons.
- Sam Houston would advance to the semifinals of the FCS playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons. Sam’s win over South Dakota made it only the Bearkats and North Dakota State to have been in the FCS quarterfinals each of the past four seasons including 2017.
- Sam Houston would get its first playoff win over a member of the Big South Conference. The Kats have not taken on a team from the Big South since a 30-14 win in the 2010 regular season over Gardner-Webb. They are 2-0 all-time against the Big South with the other win coming at Gardner-Webb in 2008.
LEFTOVER KATNIP FROM 54-42 WIN OVER SOUTH DAKOTA ...
- Sam Houston equaled its highest scoring output in an FCS playoff game in school history. They also scored 54 in a 54-24 win over Western Kentucky in the first round of the 2004 playoffs.
- Jeremiah Briscoe threw for 505 yards in the game, setting a new SHSU playoff record for single-game passing. Sam’s 708 yards of total offense is a SHSU playoff record and the fifth highest single-game total in FCS this year.
- Nathan Stewart capped his 180-yard day with a 48-yard catch in the fourth quarter. That gave him 1,485 yards this season, setting a new Bearkat single-season record for receiving yards.
- K.C. Keeler won his eighth playoff game with the Bearkats. That broke a tie with Willie Fritz with seven playoff victories as the most ever by a Bearkat head coach.
- Sam Houston got its first win over a Missouri Valley Football Conference School since 2011. That year the Kats knocked off Western Illinois, 20-6, to open the season on Sept. 1 in Huntsville on their way to a 15-1 season and a berth in their first FCS Championship game.
- Davion Davis scored 4 more times, including three times on receptions from Briscoe. He entered the game in a 3-way tie with Matt Dominguez and teammate Yedidiah Louis for the Bearkat career record with 27 touchdown catches and now holds sole possession of that record with 30. He has 21 total touchdowns this season, three shy of Timothy Flanders’ 2011 school record for total touchdowns.
- Sam Houston started off fast again, holding a 41-14 lead at the break over the Coyotes. That has not been an uncommon theme as Sam Houston has held an average lead of 30.3-16.3 at the break this year.
- Linebacker Hunter Brown finished with 15.0 tackles in the game against the Coyotes. That mark is a career high for him and the most by a Bearkat since Justin Johnson had 17.0 in a win at UIW in 2016.