The Sam Houston State Bearkats welcome the Texas Southern Tigers to the friendly confines of Elliott T. Bowers Stadium on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET. The game will be aired on CSS.
The Tigers offense is loaded with talent. Homer Causey battled with seven other quarterbacks in the offseason, but head coach Darrell Asberry named Causey the starter. Causey transferred from Shaw University, where he played under Asberry as a freshman.
Edward Perkins-Loving, who led the team in rushing yards in 2012, returns as the starting running back. He could have a more prosperous year in 2013 with a bigger, more physical offensive line.
The receiving corps for the Tigers will be fast, quick, and versatile. The two top receivers will be Dedric Shipman and Fred Plummer, who was the leading receiver in 2012. Both receivers can create space, and will give Causey great weapons to utilize.
Texas Southern’s biggest challenge will be on defense, where Asberry brought in two new coaches for 2013. The secondary will be the most experienced unit on the field.
The linebackers are young, but physical. Sophomore Jarius Moore will be the leader of this unit and Asberry has raved about how he has evolved as a player.
Sam Houston State enters this game ranked fifth in the FCS and will have Brian Bell, their all-time winningest quarterback, lead the charge for the offense. The senior had an impressive 2012 campaign, which led him to the All-Southland Conference second team nomination.
Timothy Flanders and Steven Hicks have combined for 59 carries and have totaled 326 yards during the team’s first two games. Flanders has seen the most success, as he’s averaged 7.9 yards per carry and has three of the team’s eight touchdowns.
Bell’s best receiver is Torrance Williams, who has five catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns.
The defensive line should be the most experience unit on defense, but one freshman has been playing a big role. Sione Latu leads the Bearkats with two tackles for loss. Andrew Weaver anchors the defensive end position and has two sacks and a forced fumble.
The linebacker corps is also very experienced, with returning seniors Eric Fiello, Tanner Brock, and Jesse Beauchamp. Fiello leads the team in tackles (16) and has an interception. Brock is tied for third on the team with 14 tackles. Sophomore linebacker Tristan Eche has gotten some minutes and has made some fantastic plays, including an interception and return of 32 yards.
Weak safety Johntel Franklin is off to an impressive 2013 campaign that includes 14 tackles, one pass breakup, and a blocked kick. Shelby Davis and Andre Moseley also have an interception apiece for the Bearkats. Their speed and quickness is a big asset for this unit.
Texas Southern Notes
- Punter Corey Carter averaged 55.5 yards a punt in 2012, and more than 48 yards in his first game of 2013.
- The Tigers won just two games in 2012, which was their lowest win total since 2007 when they went 0-11. The last time the Tigers won just two games was in 1995 (2-8).
- In 2012, the Tigers struggled against ninth-ranked Sam Houston State. TSU had 165 yards of total offense and only10 ﬁrst downs. Sam Houston State was the highest-ranked team on the schedule last season and should be this year too.
Sam Houston State Notes
- Sam Houston’s 31 victories in Willie Fritz’s first three years as head coach stand as the most by the Kats in any three consecutive years in the program’s 97 seasons.
- Brian Bell ranks among the all-time greats at quarterback for Sam Houston State. He is first all-time in wins (31), passing yards (6,392), total yards (7,318), and touchdown passes (56).
- Sam Houston State has a current home winning streak of 15 games, which is the best in the FCS and it ties their own school record (1985-87).