Last Week: In review, I found Baylor had won 8 straight against SMU, as well as SMU having no returning starters on the offensive line. I predicted that SMU would struggle to get in sync offensively with a new QB in Garrett Gilbert if the Baylor pass rush could cause pressure. Obviously, the game ended up not being very close, with Baylor winning 59-24. Gilbert managed 286 yards on 59 attempts with 2 TD and 2 interceptions. Baylor recorded 5 Hurries with 0 sacks, but was able to break up 5 passes. Gilbert was rarely comfortable in the pocket, and SMU was unable to score a touchdown until 43 minutes in.
Week 3 Opponent: Sam Houston State University
Conference: Southland (FCS subdivision)
Head Coach: Willie Fritz (3rd season at SHSU)
Offensive Coordinator: Doug Ruse (1st season at SHSU, held same position at WIU 2010-2011)
Defensive Coordinator: Scott Stoker (4th year at SHSU)
2011 Record: 14-1, lost to North Dakota State in FCS National Championship Game
All-time Matchup Record: 3-0
- Baylor won in 1990, 2003, and 2010.
2012 Ranking: #2 in FCS Coaches Poll
Slightly More Advanced Facts:
Record against FBS opponents (2007-2011): 1-4
- Sam Houston beat New Mexico in overtime in 2011 (also beat UTSA in 2011, but UTSA was playing a full FCS schedule at the time).
2011 Offensive Averages:
- Sam Houston ranked 27th (FCS) in total offense in 2011, averaging 407.53 ypg. SHSU ranked 6th in rushing, with 255.93 ypg, and 103rd as a passing offense. Sam Houston relied heavily on RB Tim Flanders (JR in 2012), who rushed for 1,644 yards with 22 TDs.
2011 Defensive Averages:
- SHSU ranked 3st among FCS schools in total defense in 2011, limiting opponents to 279.93 ypg, and giving up only 28 touchdowns on the season (2nd in points/game FCS). SHSU returns many of their starters from 2011, so they will be experienced. However, looking at the lone game against FBS opposition last year, SHSU gave up 434 passing yards to UNM (ranked 113/120 FBS teams).
I did fairly well last week with my analysis based on what I found statistically, but this week will be a bit tougher, as the gap between FCS and FBS (especially BCS conference teams) is hard to quantify. Nonetheless, I will expect the Bears to gain significantly more yardage than the 88 yards SHSU's week 1 opponent Incarnate Word (Div II) managed. SHSU is a very good FCS school, capable of beating many FBS teams on bad days, and nothing for the Bears to take lightly.
I believe that Sam Houston State's depth is very questionable, and that Baylor will be able to wear SHSU down and pull away late if the game is close.
Key Matchup: Baylor's run defense vs. Tim Flanders. Flanders is an FCS All-American candidate for SHSU. He rushed for 117 yards with 2 TDs against Incarnate Word. Baylor's defense got some experience with a high-powered running back with Zach Line from SMU, who managed 135 yards on 25 carries with no scores. If Baylor is able to contain Flanders any better than Line, it will be very tough for SHSU to get comfortable on offense.
Honorable Mention: Baylor Wide Receivers vs. SHSU Secondary
Likely Useless Facts:
Sam Houston State University's mascot is the Bearkat. Sam Houston's teams were originally called the Normals, when the school was Sam Houston Normal Institute.
A Bearkat is a mythical creature, likely spawned from "combining the fiercest fighting qualities of both the bear and cat families"1
Sam Houston State has never scored a "Point After" against Baylor. Joey Price missed the PAT in 2003, after SHSU's only touchdown against Baylor.
Discuss this article and the Baylor/SHSU matchup in the Bears Den Forum.