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SAM HOUSTON STATE 2011 FOOTBALL ACCOMPLISHMENTS

NCAA DVISION I FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS FINALIST
Sam Houston State rolled up 14 consecutive victories to earn a berth in the national finals as the No. 1 seed in the 2011 NCAA Division I Football Playoffs . The game marked the University's first appearance in the national finals.

MOST VICTORIES IN ONE SEASON
The 2011 Bearkats rolled to a 14-1 record, the most victories in one season in SHSU's 96-year history. Counting post-season play, only three times before 2011 has a Sam Houston team posted double digit victories - 10-0 in 1956, 10-3 as 2001 NCAA Division I quarterfinalists and 11-3 in the Kats' 2004 NCAA Division I semifinals run.

PERFECT 11-0 RECORD SEASON SLATE
In the 96-year history of Sam Houston State football, the 2011 squad is the first to produce a perfect 11-0 regular season record. SHSU's 1956 squad rolled 9-0 through the regular season and won the Refrigerator Bowl in Evanston, Ind., in post-season play.

PERFECT 7-0 RECORD IN SOUTHLAND PLAY
Sam Houston is the eighth squad in the 48-year history of the Southland Conference to post a perfect regular season slate.  The previous teams were Arkansas Sate 1970 (10-0) and 1975 (11-0), Louisiana Tech in 1972 (11-0) and 1974 (10-0) and McNeese State in 1979 (11-0), 1995 (11-0) and 2007 (11-0).

BEST TWO-YEAR RECORD IN SAM HOUSTON HISTORY
Sam Houston's 20-6 record during Willie Fritz's two seasons as the Bearkats' head coach is the best two-year mark in the program's 96-year history. SHSU won 17 games in 1985-86 (8-3 and 9-1) and in 2000-01 (7-4 and 10-3) under head coach Ron Randleman.

FIRST UNDISPUTED SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE TITLE
The Bearkats' 2011 Southland football championship is their fourth in the program's 25 years in the league. However, the first three were co-championships, making this year's title the Bearkats' first undisputed league crown.Sam Houston tied with McNeese State for the title in 1991 and 2001 and with Northwestern State in 2004.

16-GAME WINNING STREAK
Sam Houston closed the 2010 season with victories over Central Arkansas and Texas Sate and stood 14-0 going into the national finals. The 16 consecutive victories stand as the longest Bearkat winning streak in Sam Houston history. The previous record was 12 games as Bearkats won the final two contests of 1955 and went 10-0 in 1956. That streak ended with a loss in the 1957 season opener.

PERFECT SEASONS AT BOWERS STADIUM
The Kats went 9-0 at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium this season to build their all-time record on their home turf to 97-42-1. Sam Houston previously has posted perfect home records five times - 1986 (6-0), 1987 (4-0), 1990 (4-0), 2001 (6-0) and 2004 (8-0).

BEARKATS VICTORIES IN 2011
SHSU's 14 victories in 2011 include a perfect 7-0 Southland record, five victories over FCS nationally ranked opponents and a win over FBS Mountain West Conference member New Mexico.  The win over the Lobos marked Sam Houston's third victory over an FBS opponent. Sam Houston's nationally-ranked wins came over No. 5 Montana, No. 7 Montana State, No. 18 Central Arkansas, No. 22 Stony Brook and No. 24 McNeese State.

SAM HOUSTON IN NATIONAL RANKINGS
The 2011 football team has earned Sam Houston State its highest national poll ranking in its 25-year NCAA Division I FCS history. Previous, the program's highest ranking was No. 3 twice during the 2004 season (Nov. 8 and the final 2004 poll). SHSU equaled that ranking on Nov. 7, moved up to No. 2 on Nov. 14 and received the No. 1 ranking in the Sports Network NCAA Division I FCS poll on Nov. 20. The Bearkats have been included in the national top 25 since a win over No. 18 Central Arkansas Sept. 17. Before the UCA win, Sam Houston had gone 55 weeks out of the poll, the longest drought since the Bearkats went from Oct. 16, 1994 to Sept. 4, 2000.

NCAA NATIONAL STATISTICS RANKINGS
Sam Houston State ranks among the top 10 teams in the nation in nine NCAA statistics categories:

  • Rushing Offense - #6 - 255.93 yards per game
  • Scoring Offense - #4 - 36.93 points per game
  • Rushing Defense - #1 - 72.93 yards per game
  • Total Defense - #3 - 279.93 yards per game
  • Scoring Defense - #2 - 14.93 points per game
  • Pass Efficiency Defense - #4 -99.20 rating
  • Turnover Margin - #2 - plus 28 (42-14)
  • Fewest Sacks Allowed - #8 - 0.73 per game

SEVEN ALL-AMERICANS
Seven Bearkat players were named to at least one NCAA Division I FCS All-America squad this season. Tim Flanders and Darnell Taylor were named to five, Travis Watson three, Dax Swanson and Chris Crockett two and Richard Sincere and J. T. Cleveland one each.

BEARKATS DOMINATE ALL-SOUTHLAND SELECTIONS
With eight first team selections, seven second team honorees and three honorable mention choices, Sam Houston dominated the 2011 All-Southland Conference team. All three major award winners were Bearkats as well with running back Tim Flanders named Southland "Player of the Year," wide receiver/utility player Richard Sincere Offensive "Player of the Year" and safety Darnell Taylor "Defensive Player of the Year."

Willie Fritz was the 2011 Southland Conference "Coach of the Year." Flanders, Sincere and offensive linemen Travis Watson and Chris Crockett are first team offensive selections. Taylor, defensive lineman J. T. Cleveland, linebacker Will Henry and defensive back Kenneth Jenkins are first team defensive honorees.

Named to the second team are quarterback Brian Bell, offensive lineman Kaleb Hopson, defensive linemen Andrew Weaver and Gary Lorance, defensive backs Dax Swanson and Bookie Sneed and punter Matt Foster. Wide receiver Torrance Williams, linebacker Kash David and linebacker Darius Taylor were honorable mention selections.

WILLIE FRITZ WINS AFCA "COACH OF THE YEAR" AWARD
Sam Houston head coach Willie Fritz was named as American Football Coaches Association NCAA Division I FCS "Coach of the Year", the Southland Conference "Coach of the Year" and American Football Monthly FCS "Coach of the Year."   The AFCA award is the top honor in college football coaching.

SOUTHLAND PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Ten times this season Bearkats have earned Southland Conference "Player of the Week" honors. Running back Tim Flanders is a three-time winner (New Mexico, McNeese and Texas State) while safety Darnell Taylor and wide receiver Richard Sincere each are two-time winners. Taylor won defensive honors for the Central Arkansas and Northwestern State games while Sincere  took offensive honors after the UCA & SFA games. Linebacker Darius Taylor and safety Dax Swanson earned the defensive award after wins over SFA and Southeastern Louisiana, respectively.  Punter Matt Foster, completed the sweep of league honors after the SFA win with the special teams award.

BEARKAT OFFENSE
The Sam Houston offense dominated the Southland Conference, out-scoring league opponents 308-67. The Kats lead the league in rushing offense, scoring offense and pass efficiency and stand number two in the league in total offense. The Bearkats scored  30 or more points in 12 of their 15 games.

26 NEW SCHOOL RECORDS
The 2011 Sam Houston football team set 26 school records

Team Records

     

Victories, one season

 

14

 

Home victories, one season

 

9

 

Winning streak

 

16

 

Points, one season

 

554

 

Rushing Yards, one season

 

3,839

 

Rushing Average Per Game

 

256

 

Fewest Plays Allowed, One Game

 

43 vs. Nicholls

 
       

Individual Records

     

Rushing yards, game

 

287

Tim Flanders vs. Montana

Rushing yards, season

 

1,644

Tim Flanders

Rushing yards by sophomore

 

1,644

Tim Flanders

Rushing attempts, season

 

298

Tim Flanders

100-yard rushing games, season

 

8

Tim Flanders

Rushing touchdowns, season

 

22

Tim Flanders

Rushing touchdowns, career

 

35

Tim Flanders

100-yard rushing games, career

 

15

Tim Flanders

Touchdowns, game

 

5

Tim Flanders

Touchdowns, season

 

24

Tim Flanders

Touchdowns, career

 

37

Tim Flanders

Passing yards, sophomore

 

2,069

Brian Bell

All-purpose yards, season

 

2,058

Tim Flanders

Points, game

 

30

Tim Flanders

Points, season

 

144

Tim Flanders

Punt returns, game

 

6

Brandon Closner

Kickoff return yards, career

 

1,734

Brandon Closner

Solo tackles, season

 

88

Darnell Taylor

Interceptions, season

 

8

Dax Swanson


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