FCS Recap: Abilene Christian on the road in SEC; Sam Houston State rolls

Courtesy of Abilene Christian Football

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Abilene Christian Wildcats (5-7, 4-5)

Last week: ACU stayed close against FBS Mississippi State last Saturday before losing 45-7 on the road. Luke Anthony completed 25-of-38 passes for 255 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Tight end Branden Hohenstein had his best performance of the season with 115 yards receiving on four catches while Kobe Clark tied his career-high with 11 receptions. Linebacker Jack Gibbens led the defense with 12 tackles, five solo, one tackle for loss and broke up a pass while safety Brandon Richmond had a great game with 11 tackles, four solo, and broke up three passes.

The Verdict: The Wildcats had a good showing on the road after a disappointing game two weeks ago. ACU finished the season on a three-game losing streak but the future remains bright for the Wildcats under head coach Adam Dorrel. The Wildcats will have plenty of talent returning next season and could be poised to make a run at the Southland Conference title.

This Week: ACU has concluded its season.


Houston Baptist Huskies (5-7, 2-6)

Last Week: HBU had a rough start last Saturday as they fell behind by 27 points in a 37-14 defeat to Sam Houston State on the road. Quarterback Bailey Zappe completed 29-of-64 passes for 367 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Wide receiver Ben Ratzlaff had another great game with 178 yards and two touchdowns on 13 receptions. Safety Tra Fluellen filled the stat sheet once again with 14 tackles, nine solo, broke up two passes, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble.

The Verdict: This was a successful season for the Huskies as they set a program record for most wins in a season. HBU will be disappointed in losing six of its final seven games and the disappointment is a sign of how far the program has come. The good news for the Huskies is they have a very young team and will be a team that can make noise again next season.

This Week: HBU has concluded its season.


Incarnate Word Cardinals (5-7, 4-5)

Last Week: UIW pulled within three points late in the third quarter but 21 fourth-quarter points were too much for the Cardinals as they lost 52-35 at home to No. 11 Central Arkansas. Quarterback Jon Copeland completed 32-of-55 passes for 338 yards and two touchdowns. Kevin Brown added 85 yards rushing and a touchdown on 14 carries. Freshman cornerback Tre Richardson had another solid performance with nine tackles, four solo, 1.5 tackles for loss and broke up three passes while Mar’kel added nine tackles for the Cardinals.

The Verdict: The Cardinals had high expectations entering this season after a surprise run to the Southland Conference title and an appearance in the FCS playoffs. UIW was unable to make a similar run this year and lost its last five games of the season. The Cardinals are another team that is extremely young and very talented and will be in contention for another conference title and a playoff bid over the next few years.

This Week: UIW has concluded its season.


Lamar Cardinals (4-8, 2-7)

Last Week: A 20-point fourth quarter was too much for Lamar to overcome last Saturday as they lost 27-3 to rival McNeese in the Battle of the Border. Quarterback Shane Johnson completed 6-of-16 passes for 110 yards while adding 24 yards rushing on 11 carries. Defensive back Anthony Ruffin had 13 tackles, nine solo, with one sack and forced a fumble while linebacker David Crosley recorded 13 tackles, eight solo, with two sacks and one quarterback hurry to lead a valiant defensive performance.

The Verdict: The Cardinals had a promising season and were on their way to another possible FCS playoff bid when the season was derailed by multiple injuries at the quarterback position. Losing senior quarterback Jordan Hoy was a tough blow for Lamar as they ended the season with a five-game losing streak. Lamar will reload and prepare to make another run next year.

This Week: Lamar has concluded its season.


Prairie View A&M Panthers (5-5, 3-3)

Last Week: PVAMU had a bye last week.

The Verdict: The Panthers had a bye last week as they prepare for their final game of the season on Thanksgiving afternoon. PVAMU has had a solid season this year and could finish the season with four wins in its last five games with a win this week. The Panthers will need to replace some valuable starters next season, but they have some young talent prepared to shine next season.

This Week: PVAMU travels to play Alabama State on Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m.


Sam Houston State Bearkats (7-5, 6-3)

Last Week: SHSU scored 20 points in the first quarter as they rolled to a 37-14 win over Houston Baptist at home last week. Quarterback Eric Schmid completed 34-of-57 passes for 420 yards with four touchdowns and an interception. Chandler Harvin had a great game for the Kats as he caught 13 passes for 188 yards and three touchdowns. Defensive back Tristin McCollum led the defense with 10 tackles, nine solo, one sack, one interception and broke up a pass.

The Verdict: The Kats had a promising season derailed by injuries, close losses and inconsistent performances in games they could have won. SHSU was a few breaks going its way from an 8-1 conference record and another conference title. The good news for the Kats is they have plenty of young talent returning and their defense should again be one of the best in the country. They will be a force next season.

This Week: SHSU has concluded its season.


Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (3-9, 3-6)

Last Week: SFA scored 27 points in the first half as they brought the largest rivalry trophy home with a 32-20 win over Northwestern State in the Battle for Chief Caddo last Thursday night. Running back Josh McGowen had an incredible game with 158 yards rushing and a touchdown on 22 carries. Quarterback Trae Self returned from injury and completed 15-of-29 passes for 177 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Xavier Gipson led the receivers with 98 yards and a touchdown on seven catches.

The Verdict: The ‘Jacks began the season by having over 20 players become ineligible the night before the opening game due to an academic issue that was no fault of the athletes. The first year for head coach Colby Carthel has to be considered a success as the team fought every team, was rarely blown out and the ‘Jacks had the best FCS recruiting class. The future is bright for SFA.

This Week: SFA has concluded its season.


Texas Southern Tigers (0-11, 0-7)

Last Week: TSU fell behind early and was unable to recover last Saturday as they lost 45-13 on the road to Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Quarterback DeAndre Johnson completed 29-of-44 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown. Donnie Corley led the receiving corps with 69 yards on seven receptions. Adrian Carter led the Tigers defense with 13 tackles and one-half tackle for loss while linebacker Jadrian McGraw added 12 tackles, four solo, one-half tackle for loss and broke up a pass.

The Verdict: The Tigers had a tough season under first-year head coach Clarence McKinney. TSU has lost 14 straight games dating back to last season as McKinney instills his culture in the program. McKinney has ties to Houston and intends to heavily recruit the city to turn the program around. The key will be patience as it will not be an easy process to turn the Tigers into a competitive team.

This Week: TSU has concluded its season.

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