Bearkats to face Lamar at Bowers Stadium

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HUNTSVILLE – Game 7
Saturday, Oct. 12 • Houston • 2:05 p.m. CT • Bowers Stadium (12,975)
No. 25 Sam Houston State (4-2, 3-0 Southland) vs Lamar (3-3, 1-2 Southland)
Live Stats • ESPN+ • KSAM 101.7 FM
@BearkatsFB on Twitter • SHSU Game Notes • Lamar Game Notes

The No. 25 Sam Houston State Bearkats will look to remain unbeaten in the Southland Conference on Saturday when it plays host to Lamar at Bowers Stadium.

The game will air live and can be viewed on ESPN+. Tom Franklin will be on the call with Jeff Power providing analysis. It can also be heard locally on KSAM 101.7 FM with Rob Hipp and Brian Adams in the booth and Dave Fanucchi on the sidelines bringing the action over the airwaves.

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.

- Saturday’s win over Stephen F. Austin vaulted the Kats back into both the STATS FCS and NCAA Coaches’ polls. SHSU checks in this week at No. 25 in the STATS poll and at No. 24 in the Coaches’ poll. They had been unranked for each of the past 3 weeks after falling out of the top 25 after its loss at North Dakota.

- Royce See spearheaded another stellar defensive effort by the Kats and was rewarded on Monday as he was named the Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Week and the STATS FCS national defensive player of the week. The senior from Shepherd had 9 tackles and 2 interceptions to go with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

- In all, the Kats turned SFA over 6 times in Saturday’s 31-20 win in the Battle of the Piney Woods. That total was the most by an SHSU team in a game since 2013 and gives the Kats an FCS-best 18 takeaways in 2019.

- Sam Houston enters Saturday ranked ninth in the FCS and leading the Southland in rushing defense (82.3 ypg).

- Defensively the Kats are also holding firm on third down, ranking second in the nation in opponent’s third-down conversions, allowing just 24 for 99 (23.7 percent).

- SHSU is one of just 5 teams in the FCS to be ranked in the top 20 in the nation in total defense and total offense. The Kats rank 20th in total defense and 10th in total offense. The other teams to boast a top 20/20 team include Kennesaw State, Davidson, James Madison and Princeton.

- The Kats’ defense has been a true team effort as no player ranks in the top 25 in the entire SLC in total tackles. Senior safety Will Lockett is the only player on the team to average 5.2 tackles per game.

- As a team the Kats are first in the FCS with an average of 10.8 TFLs per game. They have totaled 65 TFLs this year and are averaging 1.1 TFLs per game more than anyone else in the FCS. Oddly enough, 5 of the top 20 teams in the FCS in TFLs hail from the SLC, including 3 in the top 5.

- Sam Houston State entered 2019 having posted a winning season in each of the past 9 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).

MORE QUICK HITTERS

- Sam Houston State has 96 wins in the 2010s decade, which is second only to North Dakota State’s 126 wins in the FCS ranks. Eastern Washington (92) and Jacksonville State (89) are the next 2 on the list.

- Senior wide receiver Nathan Stewart is 1 of just 4 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 4 straight years. He needs just 414 more yards in 2019 to reach the mark, an average of 69.0 yards per game for the final 6 games of the regular season.

- Stewart reached a pair of milestones in the win over UIW when he caught 9 passes for 187 yards and 3 touchdowns. It was the 17th 100-yard receiving game of his career and surged him past former teammate Yedidiah Louis for the SLC’s all-time record in career receiving yards. He is also the first ever SLC player and the 20th in FCS history to surpass 4,000 yards receiving for his career.

- Quarterback Ty Brock threw for 256 yards in the win over SFA and now has 3,294 yards passing for his career and ranks 14th all-time at SHSU. He needs 188 yards to pass former Bearkat quarterback Josh McCown on the list as McCown threw for 3,481 yards in his lone year as a Bearkat. With 538 more yards passing, Brock would move into the all-time top 10 as just a redshirt sophomore.

WITH A BEARKAT WIN ...

- K.C. Keeler would win his 231st career game. He is currently in sole possession of 14th all-time among FCS head coaches with Joe Taylor and Chris Ault next on the list, tied for 12th with 233 career wins among coaches who spent at least 10 years at FCS schools. Keeler’s 230 victories are the second most among active coaches in the FCS behind only Al Bagnoli of Columbia who has 259.

- Keeler would win his 57th game as head coach of the Bearkats and would be 1 win behind former Lamar head coach Vernon Glass for seventh all-time among Southland Conference coaches. The win at McNeese moved him into sole possession of third place in coaching wins all-time at SHSU, breaking a tie with former SHSU head coach J.W. Jones.

- The Kats would move to 4-0 in Southland Conference play for only the third time in school history. The other times include 2016 and 2011, each seasons that saw SHSU go undefeated in SLC play.

- SHSU would stay in first place in the SLC standings. They enter Week 7 with 2-0 Nicholls as the only teams without a league loss.

- The Kats would win their third straight game at Bowers Stadium this year.

LEFTOVERS FROM A 31-20 WIN OVER STEPHEN F. AUSTIN

- Head coach K.C. Keeler won his 230th career game, moving him into sole possession of 14th place in career wins among coaches with at least 10 years at the FCS level. The win broke a tie with former Youngstown State and Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel.

- The Kats won their ninth consecutive Battle of the Piney Woods, the longest streak in the history of the rivalry that spans back to 1923. SHSU has not fallen in the rivalry since a 31-28 SFA win in 2010. In fact, when SFA took a 20-17 lead early in the fourth quarter on Saturday it marked the first time that the ‘Jacks have held a fourth-quarter lead over SHSU since that 2010 win.

- Nathan Stewart finished with 134 yards receiving and a touchdown. He now has 4,301 receiving yards for his career, which places him seventh all-time in receiving yards at the FCS level. Next on the list is New Hampshire’s RJ Harris who totaled 4,238 from 2011-14. The 134 yards was the third-straight 100-yard game for Stewart and the 19th of his career.

- Donovan Williams finished with 127 yards on the ground, his second 100-yard rushing game of his career. Each have come during the 2019 season.

- Royce See picked off a pair of passes, his first interceptions since having 2 as a sophomore in 2017. It also marks the second straight year a Bearkat has picked off 2 passes in a Battle of the Piney Woods game as DJ Curtis also had a pair of picks in 2018.

- The 6 takeaways were the most by a Bearkat squad in a single game since they also had 6 in a 56-49 win in the 2013 Battle of the Piney Woods. That day they picked off 2 passes and recovered 4 fumbles.

- The Kats were outgained 141-9 in total yards in the opening quarter, but outgained SFA 398-208 in the final 3 quarters.

- Matt McRobert averaged 40.1 yards per punt on a career-high 10 punts against the ‘Jacks. It was the most punts in a single game by a Bearkat since Michael Capparelli booted the ball 11 times at SFA in 2009.

- The Kats took the lead for the first time on Saturday by use of a freshman-to-freshman connection when freshman wide receiver Noah Smith hit teammate Ife Adeyi on a 32-yard score late in the first half. It was the first career pass attempt for Smith and the only catch of the game for Adeyi.

THE LAST TIME THE KATS FACED LAMAR

- Lamar rolled up 435 yards of rushing in 2018 to pull off a 41-23 upset over then No. 14 Sam Houston State at Provost-Umphrey Stadium.

- Despite the loss, it was a record-setting day for senior wide receiver Davion Davis. The Hutto native finished with 225 all-purpose yards for the game and tied a career high with 13 catches. He totaled 162 receiving yards and grabbed 2 touchdowns, the second of which was the 40th of his career and passed SFA’s Cordell Roberson for the most TD grabs in Southland Conference history. One week later, vs Southeastern Louisiana, Davis would be lost for the final 4 games of the season with an injury.

- The Kats held a 13-3 lead before a touchdown run from Lamar quarterback Darrel Colbert gave LU a 17-13 lead at the break. The Cardinals then marched 82 yards on just six plays on the first drive of the second half for another touchdown, scoring 24 unanswered points to push the lead to 27-13.

- A touchdown run by Kyran Jackson and a field goal by Tre Honshtein had the score as close as 27-23, but LU got touchdown runs from both Myles Wanza and Jordan Hoy to close out the game. Ty Brock would finish with 303 passing yards and 2 touchdowns, but completed just 27 of his career-high 56 attempts.