In Saturday’s Homecoming game, Sam Houston State will be playing McNeese State, the winners of the Southland Conference Championship last season.
McNeese State beat the Bearkats last year 21-31 in Lake Charles. This season, McNeese is currently fifth in the Southland Conference with an overall 3-2 record and a loss in their first game of SLC play.
The Bearkats, however, are also bouncing off of a loss to their first round SLC opponent, Central Arkansas.
This Homecoming game is different than most. Even the season is different than most, considering an unexpected hurricane put a kink in the schedule for Sam Houston State.
Because they lost to Central Arkansas, the Bearkats need to win to avoid opening conference 0-2 and still have as shot at the SLC title.
Even more interesting is the taste of history repeating itself. Last year, it came down to McNeese State and Sam Houston for the Southland Conference Championship. McNeese would walk away with both the win and the championship, having gone a perfect 7-0 in play.
Because both McNeese State and Sam Houston are both 0-1 in SLC play, there is an even playing field.
Both teams know that this is a must win situation in order to keep title hopes alive. To do that, the Kats need to be on their best game. The Bearkats need to avoid missed tackles that were apparent in the Central Arkansas opener, while the defense needs to close any apparent holes that led to so many points.
Despite the needs and ideas for improvement, there is no doubt that this Homecoming game will be a game not to be missed.