Bearkats ready for white out vs OPSU

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Saturday, Sept. 7 • Huntsville • 6:05 p.m. CT • Bowers Stadium (14,500)
Sam Houston State (0-1, 0-0 Southland) vs Oklahoma Panhandle State (0-1, 0-0 Sooner Athletic)
Live Stats • ESPN+ • KSAM 101.7 FM • Buy Tickets
@BearkatsFB on Twitter • SHSU Game Notes • OPSU Game Notes

The 2019 home season opens up for the No. 25 Sam Houston State Bearkats on Saturday when they host Oklahoma Panhandle State at Bowers Stadium.

Saturday’s game, which is sponsored by KSAM 101.7 FM, has been deemed as a White Out with the Bearkats set to wear their white jerseys and fans attending the game being encouraged to wear white. Official White Out t-shirts can be purchased for $10 at Barefoot in Huntsville.

The game will be steamed on the ESPN+ with Randy McIlvoy and Shea Walker on the call. The game can also be heard on KSAM 101.7 FM with Rob Hipp and Brian Adams in the booth bringing the action over the airwaves, joined by Dave Fanucchi on the sidelines.

Fans are also encouraged to follow @BearkatsFB and @BearkatSports on Twitter and Instagram for updates and behind-the-scenes looks throughout the weekend and the 2019 season.

- The Bearkats are looking to move to 30-3 in games played at Bowers Stadium under Keeler, who took over for the 2014 season.

- Sam Houston State enters 2019 having posted a winning season in each of the past nine years, not having a sub-.500 season since the 2009 team went 5-6. The streak is the longest in school history, with the next most being 5 years in a row from 1952-56 under Paul Pierce.

- Currently Jacksonville State holds the most consecutive years with a winning season in all of the FCS, entering 2019 with 16 straight (last losing season in 2002), while Eastern Washington has 12 (last losing season in 2006) and North Dakota State also has 9 (last losing season in 2009).

- SHSU opened up the 2019 season in Week 1 at New Mexico, marking the first time the Kats have battled an FBS opponent since opening the 2015 season at Texas Tech.

- Senior wide receiver Nathan Stewart is one of just four players in FCS history to reach 1,000 yards receiving as a freshman, sophomore and junior. Should he reach 1,000 receiving yards again in 2019 he would join Terrell Hudgins (Elon) and Cooper Kupp (Eastern Washington) as the only players in FCS history to do so in four straight years.

- Entering the 2018 season, Sam Houston was 1 of just 3 teams in the FCS, along with North Dakota State and New Hampshire, to reach the FCS playoffs each of the previous 7 seasons before eventually missing the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

- In that 7-year playoff run, the Kats posted an impressive 16-7 mark, trailing only NDSU in playoff wins during that span. Sam Houston reached at least the national semifinals in 5 of those 7 seasons, including back-to-back trips to the FCS championship game in both 2011 and 2012.

- Since K.C. Keeler took over in 2014 the Kats have reached the 40-point mark 37 times, going 35-2 in those games.

- The Kats return nine of 11 starters on defense from a squad that allowed its lowest total yards per game since 2015.

- Ty Brock set an SHSU freshman record with 2,417 passing yards in 2018, nearly 1,000 more than the previous record set by Matt Buss with 1,444 yards in 1998.


- K.C. Keeler would win his 227th career game. He is currently 15th all-time among FCS head coaches, 6 wins ahead of former Wofford coach Mike Ayers and former SHSU coach Ron Randleman. He is 3 wins behind former Ohio State and Youngstown State head coach Jim Tressell for 14th all-time among coaches who spent at least 10 years at FCS schools. Keeler’s 226 victories are the second most among active coaches in the FCS behind only Al Bagnoli of Columbia.

- Keeler would also win his 53rd game as head coach of the Bearkats and would move into sole possession of eighth in the all-time among Southland Conference coaches, breaking a tie with former ULM head man Pat Collins. His 53rd win would also put him just 1 win back of J.W. Jones for third place all-time at SHSU.

- Sam Houston would pick up its fourth straight win in a home opener, not having fallen in a home opener since a 49-46 loss to Lamar in 2015. Following that loss, the Bearkats reeled off 21 consecutive home victories in a row, the second longest home win streak in program history and a streak that was the longest in the nation at the time it was snapped last season vs North Dakota.

- The Bearkats would avoid fallng to 0-2 to open a season for just the third time since 1998.


- Dee Bowens’ 65-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter was the longest catch of his career, surpassing his 64-yard touchdown vs Southeastern Louisiana in 2018. He finished with 105 yards receiving in the first half and 130 for the game, marking the fourth career 100-game for the sophomore after he closed 2018 with 100 yards in 3 of his final 4 games.

- Connor Crow’s 46-yard field goal was the first of his career and tied the longest field goal by a Bearkat since 2015.

- The Kats finished with 539 yards of total offense. It is the first time the Kats have dropped a game when totaling at least 500 yards of offense since falling to Texas Tech in 2015 despite racking up 637 yards that day.

- Nathan Stewart hauled in 6 catches for 71 yards against the Lobos. He now needs 12 more catches to become the fourth Bearkat in program history and the ninth player in Southland Conference history with 200 career catches.

- Despite the Lobos racking up 39 points in the opener, the Bearkat defense still held New Mexico to just 1-for-15 on third downs for the game.

- Kyran Jackson’s 31-yard run in the fourth quarter was a career long for the junior and the longest run by a Bearkat since Corey Avery in 2017.

- In addition to outgaining the Lobos 558-485, the Kats also finished the game with an edge in first downs (27-20) and in time of possession (33:48 - 26-12). Of the Kats’ 27 first dows, 19 came through the air.

- SHSU split time at the quarterback spot with Ty Brock and Eric Schmid each seeing significant time. Brock finished with 258 yards passing for the game while Schmid had 185, marking the first time the Kats have had a pair of 150-passers in a game since Jared Johnson (240) and Jeremiah Briscoe (207) vs Nicholls in 2015.

The Kats are now 3-29 all-time vs FBS opponents dating back to 1987. Along with defeating New Mexico in Albuquerque in 2011, the Kats also own a 20-9 win over ULM in 2001 and a 21-14 over Louisiana in 2000.