HUNTSVILLE, Texas Sam Houston State University begins its 98th season of football
August 31 when the Bearkats host Houston Baptist in Huntsville. The
Kats own a 53-40-4 record in season opening games.
SHSU has won 12 of its last 15 season openers and owns an 18-9
record in opening games since moving up to the NCAA FCS level in
The Kats are 11-4 at Bowers Stadium in contests that opened the
season for Sam Houston State.
SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
Sam Houston earned its second consecutive Southland Conference
football championship with a 6-1 league mark in 2012. The title
is SHSU’s fifth as a member of the Southland and ninth overall in 97
years of football. The Bearkats also won Southland titles in 1991, 2001, 2004 and 2011.
Tabbed as the preseason favorite in the 2013 Southland head
coaches’ preseason poll, Sam Houston will be seeking to become only the fifth team to win the league’s football title three consecutive years.
Lamar (1964-65-66), Arkansas State (1968-69-70), Louisiana Tech
(1971-72-73-74) and McNeese (2001-02-03) are the only teams to pull off the feat in the Southland’s 50 years of football.
CONSECUITVE NCAA FINALS APPEARANCES
Sam Houston State is one of only eight football programs to appear
in consecutive NCAA Division I Football Championship Games.
The list of seven other universities reaching the finals in back-toback
seasons during the tournament’s 34-year history includes Eastern
Kentucky, Georgia Southern, Youngstown State, Marshall, Montana,
Appalachian State and North Dakota State.
BACK-TO-BACK DOUBLE DIGIT WIN SEASONS
For the first time in Sam Houston’s 97 years of football, the Bearkats
produced double digit victories in consecutive seasons.
The SHSU football team rolled to a 14-1 record in 2011 and followed
up with an 11-4 mark in 2012. Both years, the Bearkats won the Southland Conference title then posted three consecutive playoff victories for back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Division I Football Championship game at FC Dallas bStadium in Frisco, Texas.
“WINNINGEST” THREE YEARS IN BEARKAT HISTORY
Sam Houston’s 31 victories since Willie Fritz became head coach
stand as the most by the Kats in any three consecutive years in the
program’s 97 seasons. Ron Randleman (head coach from 1982 to
2004) put together 25 victories in three seasons in the late 1980s.
BEARKATS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Sam Houston finished its 97th football season No. 2 in both the
Sports Network and NCAA FCS Coaches polls. The Bearkats’ No. 2 rankings each of the past two years represent the program’s highest NCAA final national rankings.
The Bearkats stand No. 3 in the 2013 Sports Network poll and No. 4
in the NCAA Coaches rankings.
Sam Houston has been ranked among the FCS top 25 a total of
25 consecutive weeks since debuting in the national poll on Sept. 9,
2011. During an 11-0 regular season in 2011, the Kats rose all the way to No. 1. Sam Houston has been ranked among the FCS top 10 for 21 consecutive polls.
Prior to the past two seasons, the Bearkats’ highest national ranking
was No. 3 following a 2004 NCAA Championship semifinal appearance.
SAM HOUSTON AMONG THE NATION’S 2012 STATISTICS LEADERS
The 2012 Bearkat offense ranked No. 2 in FCS in scoring (40.0), No. 7
in rushing offense (268.3) and No. 10 in total offense (458.5). The SHSU defense’ ended No. 6 in FCS rushing defense (98.5).
BEARKAT OFFENSE POSTS 600 POINTS IN 2012
The Sam Houston offense rolled up 600 points during the 2012
season including 77 touchdowns and 20 field goals.
Mississippi Valley State and Georgia Southern are the only other
NCAA Division I FCS team to score more points in a single season.
RUNNING BACK TIMOTHY FLANDERS
All-America running back and two-time Southland Conference
football “Player of the Year” Timothy Flanders holds 34 Sam Houston
The Midwest City, Okla., product stands as Sam Houston’s all-time
rushing leader with 758 carries for 4,234 yards and 52 touchdowns. He broke the former school record of 2,688 career yards held by Charles Harris (1991-94) in the Bearkats’ season opening victory over Incarnate Word last fall.
Flanders ranks as the third all-time leading rusher in Southland
Conference history. Only Claude Mathis of Southwest Texas (4,694
yards in 1994-97) and Henry Field of McNeese State (4,358 yards in
1992-95) have gained more yards.
With 52 career rushing touchdowns, Flanders is tied with Charles
McDaniel of Lamar (1971-74) for most career rushing TDs by a Southland back.
Flanders is No. 2 in Southland total touchdowns with 55
(behind Brent Grimes of Central Arkansas, 59).
Flanders has eight touchdown runs of more than 50 yards to his
credit. His 71-yard touchdown against Southeastern Louisiana last year is his longest gain.
QUARTERBACK BRIAN BELL
Brian Bell stands as Sam Houston’s all-time “winningest” quarterback, leading SHSU to 30 victories as a starter the past three seasons. The junior from China Spring is Sam Houston’s all-time leader in both passing and total offense yards with 6,165 yards in the air and 7,080 yards rushing and passing combined. Bell’s 52 career touchdown passes also is an SHSU school mark.
CORNERBACK BOOKIE SNEED
Cornerback Bookie Sneed snapped a Sam Houston record that had
stood since 1968 with his 92-yard interception return for a touchdown
in the second quarter of the 2012 SFA victory. Paul Wenzel returned an
interception 90 yards against Sul Ross for the Kat mark that stood for
44 years. Sneed picked off four interceptions last year and eight in his
career. He is tied for eighth in career interceptions at SHSU.
Sam Houston FCS National Rankings
1 North Dakota St. 14-1 3340
2 Montana State 11-2 3079
3 SAM HOUSTON 11-4 2941
4 Eastern Washington 11-3 2873
5 Villanova 8-4 2334
6 South Dakota St. 9-4 2268
7 Central Arkansas 9-3 2244
8 Wofford 9-4 2089
9 Georgia Southern* 10-4 2002
10 New Hampshire 8-4 1920
11 Towson 7-4 1871
12 Appalachian St.* 8-4 1696
13 Illinois St. 9-4 1657
14 Cal Poly 9-3 1646
15 Richmond 8-3 1384
16 Stony Brook 10-3 1178
17 Northern Iowa 5-6 1106
18 Northern Arizona 8-3 988
19 James Madison 7-4 964
20 Montana 5-6 813
21 Eastern Illinois 7-5 686
22 Lehigh 10-1 587
23 Bethune-Cookman 9-3 514
24 Chattanooga 6-5 505
25 Costal Carolina 8-5 489
NCAA Coaches Poll
1 North Dakota St. 14-1 645
2 Montana St. 11-2 591
3 Eastern Washington 11-3 549
4 SAM HOUSTON 11-4 534
5 Wofford 9-4 450
6 Central Arkansas 9-3 428
7 South Dakota St. 9-4 410
8 New Hampshire 8-4 386
9 Villanova 8-4 381
10 Illinois St. 9-4 379
11 Cal Poly 9-3 348
12 Towson 7-4 347
13 Stony Brook 10-3 326
14 Richmond 8-3 274
15 James Madison 7-4 235
16 Northern Iowa 5-6 218
17 Lehigh 10-1 198
18 Northern Arizona 8-2 196
19 Eastern Kentucky 8-3 188
20 Bethune-Cookman 9-3 159
21 Coastal Carolina 8-5 140
22 Montana 6-2 135
23 Eastern Illinois 7-5 120
24 Youngstown St. 7-4 107
25 Chattanooga 6-5 104
*Not elibigle for FCS postseason play
Timothy Flanders RB 38
Brian Bell QB 38
Richard Sincere WR 34
Matt Boyles OL 20
Torrance Williams WR 19
Chance Nelson WR 12
Donald Jackson III OL 11
Brandon Wilkerson RB 2
Ryan Wilson RB 1
Ridgeway Frank RB 1
Bearkat Career Starts
Bookie Sneed DB 38
Gary Lorance DL 34
Jarrett Brown DE 21
Andrew Weaver DE 17
Jesse Beauchamp LB 13
Forbes Baggett DL 4
Jeremy Jackson LB 2
Sam Houston Football Notes
Elliott T. Bowers Stadium became the home of Sam Houston State
University football in 1986. In 27 seasons, the Bearkats have rolled up a record of 102-42-1 on their home artificial turf.
Sam Houston's current home winning streak (14 games) is tops in FCS football. The Kats won their first 15 games at Bowers Stadium (1985-87) to set the school record for consecutive home wins.
In Sam Houston’s 27 years of FCS play, the Bearkats are 113-35-2 in
games in which they scored the first touchdown. Sam Houston is 51-108- 1 in games in which the opponent has scored the first touchdown.
Sam Houston stands 135-73-1 as an FCS competitor in games in
which the Bearkats have gained more than 300 yards total offense. Sam Houston stands 29-69-2 in contests in which the Kats have gained 300 or less total offense.
The Bearkats stand 87-23-1 at the FCS level in games in which the
Sam Houston defense has limited opponents to less than 300 total yards.
When the Bearkats have given up more than 300 yards total offense, Sam Houston stands 77-119-2.
In FCS play, the Bearkats are 153-64-3 in games in which they have
scored more than 14 points. When held to 14 points or less, Sam Houston stands 6-74-0. Defensively, Sam Houston stands 80-7-0 when the Kats hold foes to less than 14 points. When SHSU opponents have scored 14 points or more, the Kats stand 79-129-3.
BEARKATS ON RADIO & TELEVISION
KSAM 101.7 FM will broadcast all Sam Houston football games
live this season both in Huntsville area and on the internet at www.
gobearkats.com. Five regular season games will be telecast (Texas
Southern & Eastern Washington on Comcast Sports Net Houston, Mc- Neese on ESPN3 and SFA and Southeastern Louisiana on SLC-TV). The Texas A&M game will be available only on pay-per-view.
SOPHOMORE WIDE RECEIVER CHANCE NELSON
Wide receiver Chance Nelson, a transfer from Texas A&M, caught
35 passes for 671 yards and nine TDs as a freshman in 2012. He scored on a 61-yard pass at Texas Southern and a 70-yard strike against Southeastern La. In the Montana State win in Bozeman, Nelson scored on passes of 16 and 45 yards.
BLOCK PARTY RETURNS
A Bearkat tradition established by head coach Willie Fritz when he
was an assistant at Sam Houston in the early 1990s has returned.
The SHSU “Block Party” has produced six blocks in each of the past
two seasons. After Fritz started the “Block Party” in 1991, Sam Houston blocked 80 punts, field goals and extra points in the next 14 seasons.
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