The Sam Houston State University Bearkats will travel to Hammond, Louisiana this weekend to take on the Southeastern Louisiana Lions.
Lions head coach Mike Lucas was a former defensive coordinator at Sam Houston State University under Ron Randleman for 16 years before taking over the Lions. He will have a good understanding of the players and the system.
The Lions offense possesses a danger to the Bearkat defense, as they have struggled against the big play this season. The Lions senior quarterback Brian Babin has put up great numbers this season, including, going 116-173 with 1,343 yards and 13 touchdowns.
But those numbers don’t begin to tell the story of Babin who has passed for over 6,500 yards and 53 touchdowns.
His receivers are even more dangerous as they have really propelled him this season.
“I think Simmie [Yarborough] has really stepped up this season,” said Matt Sullivan, the sports information director at SE Louisiana. “He has deceptive speed.”
Yarborough is listed at wide receiver but plays tight end and slot receiver his presence will have to be known by the Bearkat secondary.
“He was actually supposed to be redshirted last year,” Sullivan said. “A starter went out a week before the season started and he got to play.”
Yarborough along with fellow wide receiver Merrick Lanaux will be the Bearkat defenses biggest worry. Lanaux is second on the team in receptions with 24 and receiving touchdowns with two.
Running backs Jasper Ducksworth and Zeke Jones are the ground threat for the team. The two have combined for seven touchdowns and 81 carries.
“Knowing coach Lucas he is going to want to keep a balanced offense,” Sullivan said. “He has a lot of experience and knows how to run a team.”
On defense the Lions are very vulnerable starting strong safety Tommy Connors was hurt in the lions game with Ole Miss. Connors was an All American last year and was on the Buck Buchanan watch list for this season for most outstanding defensive player in FBS.
Also out for the lions will be free safety Curtis Strong who also went down early in the Ole Miss game.
The Bearkats should be able to score points on the lions, as their defense has lost key secondary members and the SHSU passing attack has looked good against teams with a weak secondary like North Dakota State.
James Aston and Chris Poullard will have their hands full with a front seven that loves to swarm to the ball.
“We are going to line up and play a 4-3 defense,” Sullivan said. “Our front seven is pretty athletic and our linebackers are very athletic.”
One thing for sure is that the Bearkats and the Lions are going to put up some big numbers.