Sam Houston State 2013 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

Sam Houston State Bearkats


For the last two years Sam Houston State has run into North Dakota State in the championship game. Of course, the Bearkats have come out on the losing end. This team has had a few more struggles during Southland play than usual, finishing behind, and losing to, McNeese State, Central Arkansas and Southeastern Louisiana.

2013 Record: 8-4, 4-3
Coach: Willie Fritz

Big Wins: 9/28 Eastern Washington (49-34), 10/26 Northwestern State (44-10)
Bad Losses: 11/16 at Southeastern Louisiana (21-34), 11/23 at Central Arkansas (31-49)

The experienced Bearkats offense has had some impressive outings. Senior running back Timothy Flanders rushed for 1,218 yards and 11 scores during the regular season. After rushing for 1,644 yards in 2011 and 1,642 yards in 2012, Flanders has been the team’s workhorse for a while now and has led this team to two great playoff runs. This time it will be three. Flanders is certainly more than capable of taking over a game. In Sam Houston State’s big win over Eastern Washington, Flanders rushed for 280 yards and two scores on 32 carries. With Flanders leading the offense, SHSU does not have to rely too heavily on quarterback Brian Bell. But when they need to, Bell is usually up for the job. The senior signal caller threw for 2,229 yards and 30 touchdowns on the year, while being picked off just ten times. There will be games where Bell does not need to do much. When Flanders was running all over EWU, Bell threw just eight passes. He completed two of them to top receiver Torrance Williams for touchdowns. In a shootout against Stephen F. Austin, Bell threw for 339 yards and four touchdowns. Flanders rushed for just 68 yards in that game. This offense is versatile and can very easily adjust to what the defense gives them. That makes them tough to beat.

It is on the defensive side where the Bearkats have slipped a bit this year. Bookie Sneed and De’Antrey Loche have been tested often in the secondary and the team as a whole ranked 112th in the FCS in pass defense. It is not fair to blame the secondary for all of the pass defenses problems. The pass rush, outside of Andrew Weaver, is practically non-existent and the schedule has had quite a few pass heavy teams on it. A balanced offense that can keep the turnovers down will have a shot at getting the best of Sam Houston State.  

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Timothy Flanders, RB, 1,172 yards
Passing: Brian Bell, QB, 2,229 yards
Receiving: Torrance Williams, WR, 945 yards
Tackles: Eric Fieilo, LB, 91
Sacks: Andrew Weaver, DE, 6.0
Interceptions: De’Antrey Loche, CB, 2; Michael Wade, DB, 2

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 266.6 (6th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 186.7 (84, 8)
Total Offense: 453.4 (16, 4)
Scoring Offense: 42.3 (5, 2)
Rushing Defense: 148.5 (47, 2)
Pass Defense: 268.9 (112, 7)
Total Defense: 417.4 (82, 6)
Scoring Defense: 26.2 (63, 2)
Turnover Margin: 0.6 (20, 1)
Sacks: 1.91 (67, 5)
Sacks Allowed: 1.00 (15, 3)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
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 11/16


Playoff Central