Game day! It is a brand new year for the Sam Houston State University Bearkats as they start their season tonight at 6 p.m. at Bowers Stadium against the Prairie View A&M University Panthers. The last time the Bearkats matched up against the Panthers was September 7, 2017 at Blackshear Field when SHSU emerged victorious 44-31
The Bearkats and Panthers are only in their third ever matchup between the two schools, with the series evened up at one win a piece. The only other matchup between the two schools was in Huntsville in 1985 when PVAMU won the matchup 14-9. SHSU heads into this matchup with a 17-7 record against the Southwest Athletic Conference (SWAC).
For PVAMU, there are a few new players that signed with the Panthers this past offseason that have garnered some recognition around the PVAMU community. Freshman quarterback Trazon Connley stands at 6-feet 2- inches, 185 lbs and is accompanied by freshman offensive lineman D’trayveon Williams and junior defensive end Aaron Walker. There are plenty of storylines that add to the excitement of SHSU’s first week on the gridiron.
Looking for a repeat
SHSU’s All-American SLC Wide Receiver Nathan Stewart had five receptions for 117 yards, picking up one touchdown in the process and averaging 23.4 yards per reception in the matchup last season. Returning to his role as a top option for the offense, look for Stewart to be a difference maker in this ballgame.
Experienced Signal Caller in new territory
SHSU has a new signal caller in redshirt junior quarterback Mike Dare. The probable starting quarterback for the Bearkats, despite being at Rutgers for two years, will be playing in his first ever D1 football game. While at Rutgers, Dare never took a snap in a game. His only game time experience came last season at Lackawanna Junior College before transferring to SHSU.”I wasn’t thrilled about JUCO,” Dare said. “But looking back at it, I think it was the best decision I ever made in my college career. I learned a lot more about the game and how special it is to have the opportunity to play day-in and day-out.”
New coach taking the reigns
PVAMU head coach Eric Dooley is at the helm for his inaugural season. This is the first time he will face the Bearkats. Dooley was the offensive coordinator at Grambling State University for the past four seasons, as well as the quarterback’s coach in 2014. Look for a new offense taking on SHSU in this contest that is sure to have plenty of scoring going on between both programs.
There could be competitive fourth quarter tonight that caps off a physical game on both sides of the ball. Both teams possess potent offenses, but SHSU has expressed their desire to be a more physical defense unit this season.
Running towards history
Kats’ running back Remus Bulmer heads into his final season only two yards away from 2,000 career rushing yards. The senior sits No. 13 all-time in career rushing yards with 330 carries. Look for Bulmer in the backfield tonight as he tries to climb into that No. 12 spot.