Week 12 Schedule
Saturday, Nov. 17
Sam Houston St. at Texas A&M, 2:30 p.m. (FSN PPV)
Northwestern St. at Stephen F. Austin*, 3 p.m. (SLCTV)
Eastern Illinois at Central Arkansas, 5 p.m.
Lamar at McNeese St.*, 7 p.m.
All times Central
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Sam Houston State at Texas A&M, 2:30 p.m.
Television: FSN Pay-Per-View in Texas |
ESPN3 Outside of Texas
Game Notes: Sam Houston State |
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – A week after clinching a share of its second consecutive Southland Conference championship, Sam Houston State steps out of league play Saturday at Texas A&M for its regular-season finale.
The Bearkats are ranked No. 3 in both FCS polls, while the Aggies are ranked as high as No. 9 in the FBS polls after their 29-24 victory at previously No. 1 Alabama last week in Tuscaloosa.
Sam Houston State will put a seven-game win streak on the line at Kyle Field, having not lost a game since a 24-20 loss at Central Arkansas Sept. 22. The Bears tied the Bearkats for the conference championship, but held the tiebreaker to become the league’s
automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division I Playoffs, which begin next week. The 20-team bracket will be announced Sunday at 12:30 p.m., CT, on ESPNU.
The title is the fifth all-time for Sam Houston, which also shared titles in 1991, 2001 and 2004 before earning its first outright championship on its way to a 14-0 record before a loss as the No. 1 seed to North Dakota State in the national championship
game in Frisco.
Since 1986, when Sam Houston joined the FCS, the Bearkats have faced a team from the FBS 28 times. The Bearkats have three wins against the FBS, including Louisiana-Lafayette in 1999, Louisiana-Monroe in 2001 and New Mexico last year. Saturday’s game will
mark the fourth game for Sam Houston against a nationally ranked FBS program. Texas was No. 7 in 2006, Texas A&M was No. 24 in 1997 and Texas Tech was No. 25 in 2005.
Sam Houston has yet to beat Texas A&M in 10 previous meetings. The first game between the two came in 1919, Sam Houston's seventh season of football.
The Sam Houston offense leads FCS nationally in scoring (46.2) and stands No. 5 in rushing (294.3) and No. 6 in total offense (490.3). The defense's national rankings include No. 3 in rushing defense (68.3) and No. 5 in total defense (283.2). Sam Houston
leads the Southland in rushing offense and defense, scoring and rushing defense.
All-America running back and Walter Payton Award candidate Timothy Flanders produced his 22nd career 100-yard rushing performance last Saturday in a 52-17 win at Northwestern State, scoring two touchdowns. His 56-yard touchdown marked his ninth touchdown
run of more than 50 yards. The Bearkats’ all-time leading rusher now is No. 2 in all-time Southland touchdowns (54) and in all-time Southland rushing touchdowns (51) and No. 6 in Southland all-time rushing yards (3,679 yards).
Flanders and kicker Miguel Antonio rank as Sam Houston's all-time top scorers with 284 points (43 field goals, 155 PATs). Only Flanders (324 points on 54 touchdowns) has scored more points.
Junior Brian Bell is Sam Houston State's all-time winningest quarterback. A starter since Sam Houston’s third game of the 2010 season (33 games), Bell has directed the Kats to 27 wins. Ronnie Choate played in 25 victories for Sam Houston from 1956 to 1959.
Bell stands as Sam Houston's all-time leader in career touchdown passes (45). He ranks No. 2 at Sam Houston in career passing yards (5,333) and total offense (6,124). Rhett Bomar (2007-08) holds both records with 5,964 and 6,160 totals.
Northwestern State at Stephen F. Austin, 3 p.m.
Television: Southland Conference Television Network,
Southland Digital Network and
List of Affiliates
Game Notes: Northwestern State |
Stephen F. Austin
Northwestern State at Stephen F. Austin will battle Saturday for Chief Caddo in the Toyota Game of the Week on the Southland Conference Television Network. Coverage of the game begins at 3 p.m., Central, with kickoff at Homer Bryce Stadium in Nacogdoches scheduled
for 3:05 p.m.
The teams compete annually for Chief Caddo, college football’s largest traveling trophy, standing 7-foot-6-inches and weighing in excess of 320 pounds. In the previous 46 games of the Chief Caddo series, Northwestern State holds a 28-17-1 edge, but it will
be trying to snap a three-game skid to the Lumberjacks, who won 33-0 last year in Natchitoches.
Each team brings a 4-6 overall record into this year’s game, though the Lumberjacks are a game ahead in the conference standings with a 3-3 record in league play. Northwestern State is 2-4.
Northwestern State has watched its last two opponents celebrate conference titles. First it was at Central Arkansas who won 35-14 Nov. 3 in Conway and then last week, Sam Houston State clinched a share of the title on the Demons’ own field, handing Northwestern
its only home loss of the year. The Bearkats won 52-17 handing Northwestern its second consecutive loss in the series and back-to-back losses for the first time this season.
Quarterback Brad Henderson has completed 55.8 percent of his passes (168 of 301) for 1,706 yards and 12 touchdowns against only three interceptions. Daniel Taylor leads the Demons with 145 carries for 304 yards and four touchdowns, while Louis Hollier is
the team’s leading receiver with 24 catches for 340 yards and a pair of scores. Northwestern is averaging 24.8 points and 306.0 yards per game, while allowing 32.0 points and 394.7 yards per contest. Linebacker Derek Rose leads the team with 89 tackles and
has 4.0 tackles for loss. He made 14 tackles last week against Sam Houston, though Brashard Booker led the team with 16 stops against the Bearkats.
Stephen F. Austin dropped a 42-27 decision to Southeastern Louisiana last Saturday in Hammond despite getting 124 rushing yards and four touchdowns from sophomore Gus Johnson. The Lumberjacks totaled 210 rushing yards against the Lions, getting 86 yards
from freshman Doug Gentry. SFA was outgained in total yardage for the first time this season as the Lions piled up 487 yards to 380 by the Lumberjacks. SFA is averaging 34.1 points and 500.1 yards per game, while allowing 35.1 points and 355.2 yards per outing.
Quarterback Brady Attaway is ranked sixth nationally in total offense, averaging 319.2 yards per game. He has completed 57.7 percent of his passes (297 of 515) for 3,345 yards and 26 touchdowns. His leading target is Cordell Roberson, who has 74 receptions
for 951 yards and nine touchdowns despite missing the last two games. He still has a shot of becoming the conference all-time receiver. He needs 12 catches for 151 yards to become the conference all-time leader in both categories. Johnson leads the team on
the ground with 743 yards and 13 touchdowns. SFA will try to use its 12-1 home record since 2010 to try and seal a winning conference record.
Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin have met 68 times previously with the Demons holding a 43-22-3 all-time lead in the series. Northwestern State is appearing on Southland TV for the third week in a row while both teams are appearing on the network
for the fourth time this season.
No. 24/25 Eastern Illinois at No. 10/10 Central Arkansas, 5 p.m.
Game Notes: Eastern Illinois |
CONWAY, Ark. – No. 10/10 Central Arkansas closes out the regular season with a non-conference home game against No. 24/25 Eastern Illinois Saturday at 5 p.m. on “the Stripes” at Estes Stadium. The Bears are 5-0 at home this year and have not lost in 10 games
since installing the purple-and-gray-striped field prior to the 2011 season.
The Bears locked up its first Southland Conference championship with a 35-14 victory over Northwestern State Nov. 3 and have not played since getting a bye last week after 10 consecutive games to start the season.
The Southland title is the first official championship for UCA since joining the Southland after completing its transition from Division II. The Bears, who finished with the best conference mark in 2008, was not eligible for NCAA postseason nor the conference
title that year during the transition.
Last year, UCA earned an at-large invitation to make its first trip to the Division I playoffs and got its first win, defeating Tennessee Tech before falling at Montana in the second round.
Like UCA, Eastern Illinois is a conference champion. The Panthers locked up an automatic playoff bid by winning the Ohio Valley Conference championship last week. EIU will be making its 14th trip to the Division I playoffs, which is tied with McNeese State
for the ninth most by an FCS team. Eastern Illinois won its fourth consecutive game with a 39-20 win over Southeast Missouri that clinched the OVC title last Saturday. The Bears have won their last five games.
UCA junior quarterback Wynrick Smothers ranks sixth in the nation in points responsible for (18.0 per game). He is 11th in pass efficiency (150.0), and 14th in total offense (287.7). Senior WR/KR Jesse Grandy is fifth in punt returns (14.1) and tied for
eighth in kickoff returns (28.7). Grandy is also 25th in all-purpose yards (137.0). Redshirt freshman Jonathan Woodard is tied for 21st in sacks (0.7). The Bears are tied for 1st in the nation in fourth-down conversions (12 of 14, 85.7 percent) 7th in tackles
for loss (7.8 per game), 10th in punt returns (15.4), 12th in scoring offense (35.4), 12th in pass efficiency (152.0), tied for 13th in interceptions (13), 21st in turnover margin (0.6), 23rd in kickoff returns (22.9) and 23rd in passing offense (260.3).
The Bears recorded their 32nd winning season in the last 37 years, dating back to 1976. UCA tied the school record for wins six years ago (11-3) and finished 8-3 in both 2004 and 2006 and were 9-4 in 2011. They are a combined 60-29 during the past seven
seasons, six+ of those at the NCAA Division I level. Under head coach Clint Conque, UCA has had 10 winning seasons in 12+ years.
UCA will say goodbye to 16 seniors Saturday during pregame “Senior Day” ceremonies. Running backs Terence Bobo and Anthony Blackmon, linebacker Seth Allison, defensive lineman Larry Duvall and defensive back Desmond Wilcox all redshirt seniors who were on
the 2008 team that finished 6-1 in the Southland.
Eastern Illinois and Central Arkansas will be meeting for just the second time. UCA won 37-7 Sept. 11, 2010 on a day the Panthers retired former quarterback Sean Payton’s jersey at O’Brien Field.
Lamar at McNeese State, 7 p.m.
Game Notes: Lamar |
LAKE CHARLES, La. – McNeese has already secured its eighth consecutive winning season – the eighth longest streak of its kind among all Football Championship Subdivision teams – and will look to win its most games since 2009 when the Cowboys close out the season
against Lamar at 7 p.m. in Cowboy Stadium.
McNeese (6-4, 3-3 Southland) will also be looking to clinch its eighth consecutive non-losing Southland Conference season as it says goodbye to 22 seniors. Lamar (4-7, 1-5 Southland) is coming fresh off a 34-24 win over Nicholls State in its last outing.
“This is a very important game for us,” McNeese coach Matt Viator said. “It’s a very important game for McNeese and for this program. Our kids and their kids, some are really good friends.”
Leading the Cowboys into Saturday’s game is junior quarterback Cody Stroud who has thrown for 808 yards the last three games to go along with eight touchdown tosses. Stroud set a single-game school record with 34 completions in last week’s 31-24 loss at
Texas-San Antonio, and tied another record with 11 straight completions. His 346 yards passing in that game is the fourth most in a game in school history.
Defensively, the Cowboys will be going up against a Lamar offense that has loved to air it out the last two seasons but has taken more of a running game approach this year. But it’s not clear on who the Cowboys will see at quarterback.
Starter Ryan Mossakowski was injured in last week’s game against Nicholls as backup Caleb Berry, who made starts earlier in the season, came in to lead Lamar to a couple of scores late in the game.
Regardless, the Cowboys have been preparing to see both quarterbacks.
“The challenge will be if they play Berry and do a lot of designed runs, that’s hard to prepare for,” Viator said. “But they really didn’t change the offense once he got in there. The yards (rushing) were off of scrambles.”
Lamar is averaging 124 yards a game rushing and 162 passing while the Cowboys are giving up just 114 yard rushing but are allowing 254 passing.
Saturday’s game will be the 36th meeting in the series with McNeese holding a 22-12-1 lead, including a 2-0 mark since the series resumed in 2010.
Southeastern Louisiana 35, Nicholls State 16