Sam Houston State FCS Football 2012 Playoff Capsule

Sam Houston State Bearkats


Sam Houston State came up just short in the 2011 National Championship game in Frisco, Texas against North Dakota State. Early on it looked bleak for the Bearkats just to make the playoffs and have a chance to get back to Frisco in 2012. The Bearkats started with a challenge, having their bye on the opening weekend then needing to play 11 straight games. Sam Houston State opened with a win over lower division Incarnate Ward, but then suffered back to back losses to the Bears of both Baylor and conference foe Central Arkansas. At 1-2, the Bearkats had no division I wins and needed to win seven of their remaining eight games just to qualify.  And with Texas A&M on the schedule at the end of the season, that meant SHSU basically needed to sweep through their conference schedule without a loss. Coach Willie Fritz’s squad did just that with a Thursday night win over Texas Southern on a short week following the UCA loss. They then defeated rival Stephen F. Austin by a score of 51-43. The Bearkats then cruised through their remaining FCS schedule outscoring their opponents 264-34 in five games and were essentially locked into a wildcard spot even before they went to College Station and fell to a very impressive Aggie team.

2012 Record: 8-3, 6-1
Coach: Willie Fritz

Big Wins: 10/6 Stephen F. Austin (50-6), 10/20 McNeese State (45-10)
Bad Losses: 9/15 at Baylor (23-48), 9/22 at Central Arkansas (20-24)

Tim Flanders broke onto the scene a year ago and helped the Bearkats run deep into the playoffs.  This year he’s still a dominant force. Flanders has over 1,000 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns leading the Bearkats’ ground game. Senior receiver Trey Diller leads the team in catches and receiving yards, but watch out for Chance Nelson when the Bearkats get close to the end zone. Nelson, with seven, has more than twice as many touchdown receptions than any of teammates.

It’s really still an unknown just how good this team can be. The Bearkats lost their FBS game (as expected) but also lost what could easily be considered their only other tough challenge when they faced Southland Conference champion Central Arkansas. Sam Houston State looked impressive rolling through the end of their schedule, but the strength of the schedule was anything but impressive.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Tim Flanders, RB, 1,151 yards
Passing: Brian Bell, QB, 2,033 yards
Receiving: Trey Diller, WR, 745 yards
Tackles: Darnell Taylor, S, 79
Sacks: Darius Taylor, LB, 5.0
Interceptions: Bookie Sneed, CB, 4

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 294.30 (5th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 196.00 (70, 6)
Total Offense: 490.30 (6, 2)
Scoring Offense: 46.20 (1, 1)
Rushing Defense: 68.30 (3, 1)
Pass Defense: 214.90 (63, 4)
Total Defense: 283.20 (5, 1)
Scoring Defense: 16.20 (6, 1)
Turnover Margin: 0.50 (28, 3)
Sacks: 2.50 (25, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 0.40 (2, 1)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
2011    Second Round    Defeated Stony Brook
2011    Quarterfinals        Defeated Montana State
2011    Semifinals        Defeated Montana
2011    Championship        Lost to North Dakota State
2004    First Round        Defeated Western Kentucky
2004    Quarterfinals        Defeated Eastern Washington
2004    Semifinals        Lost to Montana
2001    First Round        Defeated Northern Arizona
2001    Quarterfinals        Lost to Montana
1991    First Round        Lost to Middle Tennessee State
1986    First Round        Lost to Arkansas State

*all team stats through 11/10


Playoff Central