Sam Houston State Football
Sam Houston State's football team is set to kick off the season this week. The Kats have had a successful run since the 1985 season. In that time, they made three trips to the national championship game. They also have an outstanding record in the playoffs. Sam Houston State Football
Last year, the Kats ranked in the top three in the nation in sacks, tackles for loss, and total defense. The defensive unit led the FCS with 23 takeaways and was 12th in rushing defense. This year, Sam Houston's defense has improved even more, leading the FCS in fumble recoveries and taking over the lead in tackles for loss.
During the last two years, the defense has reached new heights under the new head coach, Clayton Carlin. His defensive unit has led the FCS in rushing defense and has been named to the first team of the Southwest Conference. He has been promoted to defensive coordinator after just one year.
Heading into the season, the Bearkats were expected to be a playoff contender. Their defense led the nation in both sacks and tackles for loss, and they have had six players earn first-team All-Southland Conference honors. That's a big improvement from the previous season when only four players earned such honors.
The Bearkats have a plethora of talent on their wide receiver rotation. Junior Isaiah Wooden led the way with 99 yards rushing and 33 receiving. Connor Schmid had a 47-yard pass to Ife Adeyi. While the offense had its fair share of controversies, the Kats stayed in games most of the time.
Sam Houston's defensive unit had a huge leap in 2018. In 2018, the Kats had the second-best rushing defense in the country. They allowed 94.9 yards per game but allowed only two 100-yard rushers in the entire season. Throughout the year, the defense sacked opponents a whopping 97 times. Additionally, the Kats' defensive end led the FCS in sacks with a whopping 13 for the year.
Last week, the Bearkats suffered their first loss in over a year and a half. In a one-sided contest against Northern Arizona, the Lumberjacks outgained the Kats by 198 yards. However, the team gave up 21 points in the second quarter. Although the game was not close, the Lumberjacks never recovered and lost 40-3.
Despite the loss, the Sam Houston Bearkats have an opportunity to break into the FBS ranks before the 2023 season. They have a lot of potentials, especially if they can make it to the FCS quarterfinals. The Kats will have to overcome James Madison and North Dakota to do it. The winners of those two games will then meet in the semifinals.
The Bearkats are scheduled to visit the Lamar Cardinals, Houston Baptist Huskies, and Northwestern State Demons in the next few seasons. Kyle Field has a loud and raucous atmosphere, and the Kats' fans are sure to have a great time. Tailgaters are welcome but must arrive three hours before the start of the game.