For the second year in a row, the Sam Houston State Bearkats will try to start their season 2-0, a feat the program has not accomplished since the 2000 and 2001 seasons. After taking down the No. 10 Richmond Spiders 48-34, the Bearkats turn their attention to the Prairie View A&M Panthers, who are playing their home opener.
The game should be another high-octane offensive battle. Under head coach K.C. Keeler, the Bearkats are 33-3 when they score over 30 points. Though, the Panthers have experienced similar offensive success, as they have never lost under third year head coach Willie Simmons when allowing less than 30 points.
Senior quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe and the Bearkat offense will want to strike early. The Panthers are a perfect 13-0 when leading after the third quarter. After earning Southland Conference Player of the Week honors with 411 passing yards and five touchdowns against Richmond, Briscoe will look to put up similar numbers against Prairie View A&M.
While Briscoe has cemented himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the FCS, Prairie View A&M will have a new player running their offense. The presumed starter will be redshirt sophomore Jalen Morton who brings a dual threat aspect to the Panthers game. In nine games last year, Morton rushed for 190 yards and threw for 945 yards.
Prairie View A&M will offer the Bearkat defensive line a variety of looks with their three man running back core of redshirt senior Sta’fon McCray, sophomore Dawonya Tucker, and sophomore Caleb Broach. SHSU’s front seven will look for a way to stop the ground game despite missing their star senior defensive lineman P.J. Hall who is serving the second game of his two-game suspension.
One defensive standout in SHSU’s first game was junior linebacker Justin Johnson who had 11 tackles and 2 sacks. The keys to the game for the Bearkats will be to put pressure on the Panthers on both sides of the ball by shutting down the run on defense, and playing the high tempo style their offense has consistently demonstrated.
Kickoff will be at 6:30 p.m. at Panther Stadium in Prairie View.