Sam Houston State football will square off against No. 4 McNeese State for their homecoming game Oct. 11.
The Bearkats lost last season against the Cowboys 31-23, giving up 215 rushing yards in their lost in Lake Charles, La.
Besides it being a conference game against the highest ranking Southland Conference squad, the pressure of seeing past players make their way to Bowers Stadium makes Saturday all the more special, sophomore cornerback Darion Flowers said.
“Homecoming to me means a time when all of the great players of the past come back and reminisce on the good times they had while watching,” he said.
McNeese is 3-1 this year with their only loss coming from No. 19 Nebraska in week one 31-24. Last week, the Cowboys ran the ball 27 times against Nicholls State for 325 total yards as a team in a blowout victory 45-3. The week before that, the Cowboys rushed for 228 yards against Arkansas Tech in a 61-7 victory.
SHSU will have a huge load facing against the Cowboys, but the players would hate to lose to them again.
“Last year they scheduled us for their homecoming game,” junior cornerback Tevin Creeks said. “They won, so I feel as if this year will be our payback.”
Coming off of a huge win against the Lamar before the second bye week, the Bearkats look to bring that exact momentum in front of their home crowd this weekend.
“It is a game for everyone to show team spirit,” Flowers said. “I feel like if we play our best game we will come out successful.”
SHSU ran the ball for 268 rushing yards against the Cardinals and found a balance on offense. The Bearkats hope to carry that over to a much tougher opponent in McNeese. They have also found success in previous games where they controlled the time of possession and limited turnovers. Those two keys will be vital if SHSU does not want to upset their fans on homecoming.
The last time SHSU lost its homecoming game was in 2008 to the Cowboys 28-17.
Although the Bearkats are ready for one of their toughest opponents of the season, it makes the homecoming game just as more meaningful for a victory.
“I enjoy homecoming games because it brings the entire Sam Houston family as well as the alumni family together,” Creeks said. “I’m very excited to play.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday.