Sam Houston State comes to Fargo on Friday as the hottest team in the FCS, many will look at SHSU and stare at the D2 loss to Colorado State-Pueblo, but since then the team has won 10 of 11 and found itself on the offensive side of the ball. This is a completely different team than Bison fans got to know in 2011 and 2012; Brian Bell, Tim Flanders and Richard Sincere all graduated last year, Willie Fritz left Huntsville for Georgia Southern. In came K.C. Keeler, former Delaware head coach and he brought a boatload of transfers with him.
Keyshawn Hill leads Sam Houston’s running attack into Fargo on Friday night.
17 transfers in fact; and some impressive ones in that. The one that jumps off the page is LaDarius Brown, wide receiver from TCU, who was dismissed for marijuana possession, he’s SHSU’s deep threat with 43 receptions for 780 yards and seven touchdowns. The quarterback is Jared Johnson, a dynamic threat with both his arm and his legs; he’s completed just 57 percent of his passes, but has thrown for 21 touchdowns, to go along with nearly 1,000 yards rushing and add in six touchdowns. Keyshawn Hill is Flanders’ replacement, he waited three years for his time and has shown he’s impressive, he’s over 1100 yards rushing with 18 touchdowns, going for nearly six yards a carry.
Defensively is where SHSU struggles, they are allowing nearly 28 points per game, giving up 22 rushing touchdowns and 30 passing touchdowns; to compare that with NDSU, the Bison have allowed just 21 touchdowns combined all year.
It may be oversimplifying things to say NDSU’s offense needs another strong game like what happened on Saturday, but stopping the Bearkats three headed monster will be the biggest key of a win on Friday night.
JUST IN: Kyle Emanuel was just named the Buck Buchanan award winner for 2014, that goes to the best defensive player in the FCS. Emanuel racked up 16.5 sacks during the regular season, becomes the first NDSU player to win an individual award since the Bison moved up to Division 1. Emanuel will be at Chris Klieman’s weekly press conference, that can be seen LIVE on WDAY’Z Xtra at 11:30 am this morning on Channel 29 on Cable One, 596 on MidContinent and wday.com