Entering the 2006 season, Sam Houston State head coach Todd Whitten wanted to see someone step up at the quarterback.
After an inconsistent 2005 campaign, Wade Pate, the Bearkats’ number one quarterback, completed eight of 15 passes for 107 yards including touchdown throws of 18 and 25 yards in the team’s scrimmage this past weekend.
Andrew Audelin, who has been very impressive this spring, led the team in rushing with 45 yards and a touchdown on only seven carries.
The Kats offense was a work in progress last season but never really jump-started the way Whitten expected it to. With a team stacked full of freshmen and sophomores, not to mention a new coaching staff, the Kats undoubtedly looked more confident in their approach and will probably have a better understanding of each other come Sept. 9 in the season opener against Arkansas-Monticello.
The Kats have a lot of depth at receiver and quarterback, but are in need of some ball carriers. SHSU is only three deep in the running back department, and the two guys behind Audeat the the running back position. Former linebacker D.D. Terry has made a smooth transition from linebacker. He is accompanied by true freshman Chris Poullard.
Overal the Kats are returning eight starters on both offense and defense and have an impressive 16 seniors and 18 juniors.
Secondary should be the most impressive aspect of this 2006 team. After a slew of injuries last season, Derrick Harris, Tony Jones, Chadd Oliphant, Braylon Linnear, Byran Richmond and Scorpio Babers all return to the veteran defense.
After the Kats open the season with Arkansas-Monticello, they then face the daunting task of a four-game consecutive road trip, On Sept. 30, will play perhaps one of their most anticipated games in school history when they head to Austin to take on the defending national champion Texas Longhorns. Immediately one week after, they open conference against NW State.