Sam Houston State at #4 Southeastern Louisiana 2013 FCS Playoffs 2nd Round Game Breakdown

Sam Houston State at #4 Southeastern Louisiana 2013 FCS Playoffs 2nd Round Game Breakdown


Sam Houston State at #4 Southeastern Louisiana, Saturday, 8:00

Sam Houston State has moved on to the second round after soundly beating Southern Utah 51-20.  Timothy Flanders and Keshawn Hill each ran for 100 yards and two scores, and Brian Bell added two touchdowns through the air as well as one on the ground.  They will take the momentum of their win into a rematch with Southland Conference champ Southeastern Louisiana, a team that beat Sam Houston State 34-20 earlier this year.  After winning the conference the past two seasons and finishing as the national runner-up both seasons, Sam Houston State slipped to an 8-4 record, 4-3 in conference, and finished third in the conference.  A win over Southeastern Louisiana would atone for this disappointment.  Southeastern Louisiana is in the playoffs for the first time in school history and is the number 4 seed nationally.  This game will be an offensive shootout.  Junior QB Bryan Bennett, the Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year, leads a potent offense for Southeastern Louisiana.  He is a dual threat, having thrown for 2,610 yards and rushing for 934.  Surrounding him are a number of playmakers, including Rasheed Harrell and Xavier Roberson, who each have run for 500 yards this season, and Roberson has also returned three kicks for touchdowns.  A trio of wide receivers, led by Jeff Smiley with 45 catches for 586 yards and five scores, give Bennett plenty of options to throw the ball to. 

Sam Houston State counters with senior QB Brian Bell and senior RB Timothy Flanders.  Bell has thrown for 2,000 yards and 32 touchdowns this season, while Flanders has added 1,000 on the ground.  They lead an offense that ranked 5th nationally in scoring offense, averaging 42.3 points per game.  With two high-powered offenses, it will come down to which defense can come up with stops.  From the track record this season, it looks to be Southeastern Louisiana.  The Lions held the Bearkats scoreless for the second half in their meeting this season, forcing three turnovers.  They have the Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year in Cqulin Hubert and have picked off 16 passes this year.   Offenses haven’t had an issue moving the ball against them, as they give up 385.3 yards per game, but their ability to create turnovers has bailed them out.  Sam Houston State has not done well defensively this year, ranking 112th in pass defense, and have struggled to get pressure on the quarterback.  They played better against Southern Utah, allowing only 20 points, but Southern Utah’s offense is nothing like Southeastern Louisiana’s.   The game is going to come down to which team’s defense can get more stops, and whoever does will win.  If the game is close down to the wire, look for it to sway in Southeastern Louisiana’s favor.  They have an extremely reliable kicker in Seth Sebastian, who is a perfect 14-14 in field goals this season.  With Southeastern Louisiana’s offense clicking on all cylinders, the Lions should get their second victory over the Bearkats this season.

Projected Score: Southeastern Louisiana 38, Sam Houston State 28


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