Saturday, Sept. 23 • Huntsville • 6:05 p.m. • Bowers Stadium (12,975)
No. 3 Sam Houston State (2-0, 0-0 SLC) vs No. 23 Nicholls (2-1, 1-0 SLC)
Live Stats • ESPN3 • @BearkatsFB on Twitter • Complete SHSU Game Notes
HUNTSVILLE – The No. 3 Sam Houston State Bearkats will get their second look at a ranked opponent on Saturday when they take the field at Bowers Stadium for the first time this season against No. 23 Nicholls.
Kickoff is officially set for 6:05 p.m. CT in Huntsville with the game to be aired on ESPN3. Randy McIlvoy will be on the call, while Shea Walker will provide analysis.
Fans can also listen along on KSAM 101.7 with Kooter Roberson on the call, E.P. Garth on analysis and Brian Adams on the sideline. Live stats will also be available and fans can get live updates by following @BearkatsFB on Twitter.
The Kats will be looking to start off 3-0 in consecutive seasons for just the third time in program history, but will not face an easy task against the Colonels, who come in nationally ranked for the first time since 2007. Nicholls opened the eyes of the Southland in Week 1 with a win over McNeese, and then found itself tied up in the fourth quarter at Texas A&M a week later before rolling past Prairie View last week.
Fans planning on attending Saturday’s game should be aware of construction issues on Interstate 45 this weekend. Beginning Friday, Sept. 22 at 8:00 p.m. the northbound lanes of Interstate 45 will be closed with northbound traffic being detoured to one lane on the southbound side.
The detours will begin approximately five miles north of New Waverly to the FM 1375 and I-45 interchange. Message signs are placed near the northbound and southbound lanes of I-45 with speed limits dropping to 65 miles per hour throughout the project. The advisory speed limit has been reduced to 45 mph through the limits of the detour.
Sam Houston owns a 19-11-1 all-time record against the Colonels, but have won 10 in a row against the Nicholls since 2006. The current 10-game win streak by Sam Houston is the longest for the Bearkats against an SLC foe since joining the league in 1986. Additionally, SHSU has won 7 in a row against Nicholls at Bowers Stadium, not falling at home to the Colonels since 2002.
- Sam Houston is 1 of just 3 teams in the FCS, along with North Dakota State and New Hampshire, to reach the FCS playoffs each of the last 6 seasons. In that time, the Kats have posted an impressive 14-6 mark, trailing only the Bison in playoff wins during that span. Sam Houston has reached at least the quarterfinals in 4 of those 6 seasons, including back-to-back trips to the FCS championship game in both 2011 and 2012.
- The Bearkats reached the double-digit plateau for the third straight season and fifth of the last 6 seasons in 2016. In its 102-year history, Sam Houston has won at least 10 games 8 times (1956, 2001, 2004, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016).
- The Kats are 17-10 all-time in the FCS playoffs and own the country’s third-best winning percentage (.629) in the playoffs. Last season Sam Houston made its sixth straight appearance in the FCS playoffs and 10th overall.
- With its win over Richmond in the season opener, the Bearkats secured the first season-opening victory over a ranked opponent in school history. It made Sam Houston 3-1 against current CAA schools and was the 16th victory all-time against a team ranked in the national top-10.
- Points have not been a problem under head coach K.C. Keeler for the Bearkats. In 46 games since he took over in 2014, the Kats have scored 30 or more points on 37 occasions, going 34-3 in those games. In all, Sam Houston has scored no less than 34 points in each of its last 27 victories.
WITH A BEARKAT WIN ...
- K.C. Keeler would win his 211th career game. He is currently in a tie with Wofford’s Mike Ayers for 17th in all-time wins among FCS head coaches. Next on the all-time list is former SHSU head coach Ron Randleman, who sits 16th with 218 career wins.
- Sam would move to 3-0, giving it 3-0 starts in each of its last two seasons. The Kats have only started 3-0 in consecutive seasons twice previously in its history with the last time coming in the 1963 and 1964 seasons.
- Sam would extend its win streak at Bowers Stadium to 14 games. That streak dates back to a 49-46 loss to Lamar on Sept. 19, 2015, a streak that is the longest current such streak in the FCS. Since 2010, the Kats have been nearly perfect on the Bowers Stadium turf, winning 38 of their last 40 games in front of the home crowd.
- The Kats would move to 16-13-1 all-time in Southland Conference openers.
- Sam Houston would win its 71st game since the beginning of the 2011 season. The Kats and North Dakota State are the only two teams in the FCS with 70 victories since the beginning of the 2011 campaign.
- The Kats would move to 26-20 in games in which both teams were ranked. They have won 9 of their last 13 games played with both teams ranked.