Sam Houston State 2014 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

Sam Houston State Bearkats


In the middle of September, reaching the playoffs did not look promising for Sam Houston State. It was not just the fact that the Bearkats were 1-3; it was because of who they lost to. Falling to Eastern Washington and LSU is perfectly acceptable, but the Bearkats lost 47-21 to Colorado State-Pueblo. But Sam Houston State won seven of their last eight games and ended up 7-1 in Southland play and earned the conference’s automatic berth to the FCS playoffs.

2014 Record: 8-4, 7-1
Coach: K.C. Keeler

Big Wins: 10/11 McNeese State (38-22), 11/1 vs Stephen F. Austin (42-28)
Bad Losses: 9/13 Colorado State-Pueblo (21-47), 10/18 at Northwestern State (27-31)

When the ground game is clicking, the Bearkats are tough to beat. Keshawn Hill, Donavan Williams and Jalen Overstreet are all dangerous rushers. Hill leads the way with 999 yards and 18 touchdowns. He is the workhorse of the bunch, but Coach K.C. Keeler will give Johnson and Overstreet plenty of opportunities if they are being productive. Quarterback Jared Johnson is a capable runner as well and ranked second on the team with 753 yards on the ground. Johnson is not the most efficient passer around, yet he does a relatively good job of avoiding major mistakes. On the year he has thrown for 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Turnovers can be a problem though and Johnson needs to avoid those mistakes in the playoffs. Against Colorado State-Pueblo, Sam Houston State failed to force any turnovers and gave up two of their own. There were many, many other problems in that game, like totaling just 226 yards of offense, but the turnovers helped keep the momentum away from the Bearkats. The pass defense has also been inconsistent this season. Even when they win, Sam Houston State allows way too many yards through the air and many of those yards come in big chunks. This team needs to make their own big plays on defense and through the air instead of giving them up. Otherwise, the Bearkats will fail to gain momentum and be forced to play catchup throughout the game.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Keshawn Hill, RB, 999 yards
Passing: Jared Johnson, QB, 2,244 yards
Receiving: Yedidiah Louis, WR, 633 yards
Tackles: Michael Wade, S, 86
Sacks: P.J. Hall, DE, 8.0
Interceptions: Trenier Orr, CB, 4

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 261.8 (6th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 207.4 (70, 6)
Total Offense: 469.2 (17, 3)
Scoring Offense: 37.3 (15, 4)
Rushing Defense: 177.2 (70, 4)
Pass Defense: 237.1 (87, 7)
Total Defense: 414.3 (85, 6)
Scoring Defense: 28.2 (73, 4)
Turnover Margin: 0.09 (55, 6)
Sacks: 1.91 (64, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 2.82 (94, 8)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
2013    First Round    Defeated Southern Utah
2013    Second Round    Lost to Southeastern Louisiana
2012    Second Round    Defeated Cal Poly
2012    Quarterfinals    Defeated Montana State
2012    Semifinals    Defeated Eastern Washington
2012    National Championship    Lost to North Dakota State
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 11/15


Playoff Central