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Bearkat football team begins run to FCS championships against Cal Poly on Saturday

Sports Reporter

Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 29, 2012 12:11

Eric Fite | The Houstonian

Eric Fite | The Houstonian

The Sam Houston State Bearkats begin their second consecutive run for the Division I FCS Championship squaring off against the California Polytechnic State Mustangs Saturday at Bowers Stadium.

SHSU received a first round bye coming off a loss against Texas A&M to face Cal Poly in the second round of the 2012 FCS Division I Playoffs. According to SHSU head coach Willie Fritz, the week’s rest benefited the Bearkats in preparing for the Mustangs.

“We were the most beat up we’ve been all season going in to the A&M game; and then we got a few guys beat up that game,” Fritz said. “When you play as many games in a row as we did, you get down and you’re playing intense games…we took four solid days off and I feel it was good for the guys.”

Cal Poly finished their season 9-2 (7-1 conference), and stampeded early in the season with a 24-22 win in week two against Wyoming  to establish themselves as a powerful running offense; ranking third in FCS rankings with 36 rushing touchdowns and 3,671 total season rushing yards.

“They run a unique offense,” Fritz said. “We haven’t seen anybody play this type of offense before [with the] triple option, but some other elements we don’t see very much.”

Even with a top ranked rush offense, SHSU’s defense is a brick wall against the ground attack; ranking third in the FCS.  Walter Peyton Award nominee Timothy Flanders ranks in the top 30 running backs in the league with 1,151 yards and 17 touchdowns.

After a slow 1-2 start three weeks into the season, the Bearkat offense led a seven game winning streak to claim a spot as a top 10 overall offense in the FCS (1st according to, 6th in NCAA). SHSU averaged 44.5 points per game as well as averaging 480.5 total yards.

The game will kick off at 3 p.m.

General admission is $15, while student tickets are $5.

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