After losing three consecutive Southland Conference games to nationally ranked opponents, the SFA Lumberjacks are seeking their first win since September against the Houston Baptist University Huskies.
SFA was defeated 27-17 by the No. 16 UCA Bears in their last SLC matchup. That loss came in a game in which the defense held UCA to 250 passing yards, Jake Blumrick threw for a career-high 358 yards and Terian Goree and Remi Simmons became the first Lumberjack receivers to eclipse the 100 yards receiving mark since 2013. However, SFA failed to have any production running the ball, and costly turnovers, penalties and miscues in the second half thwarted their chances of securing a major victory within the SLC.
SFA (1-5 overall, 1-4 SLC) will face an HBU team that’s currently ranked 10 to win a conference game this season. Through six games this season, HBU averages approximately 35 points per game and gives up roughly 48 points per game. In their last three games, HBU has given up 63, 66 and 62 points to their SLC opponents.
Their offense, much like the rest of the SLC, is high powered. They’ve compiled 725 rushing yards, 1,838 passing yards and 2,562 yards of total offense. HBU has scored six rushing touchdowns and 18 passing touchdowns, and they’ve converted 130 first downs so far this season.
HBU’s rushing defense gives up 211.3 rushing yards per game, 276.3 passing yards per game and a total of 487.7 yards per game on the season.
HBU (1-5 overall, 0-4 SLC) lost to the Southeastern Louisiana Lions 62-52 in an old-fashioned shootout. All season long they’ve been solid on the offensive end but weak on the defensive end.
The Lumberjacks will have to simply attack the HBU defense every chance they get during this game. A team with a vulnerable defense can be dismantled when the opponent executes the game plan correctly. The SFA offense had its best game passing wise last weekend in the loss against the UCA. If they can execute the passing game and get the running game back on track, they’ll be able to pick the HBU defense apart play by play and minute by minute.
Tamrick Pace, SFA receiver and All-Southland Conference player, didn’t play one minute in SFA’s game against UCA. Despite his absence, Blumrick managed to throw for a career-high 358 yards, and Goree, Simmons and other receivers stepped up in the place of Pace. When Pace returns against HBU, that’ll make the SFA passing game even more lethal and give the Jacks an advantage over the statistically outmatched HBU Husky defense.
Additionally, the offensive line will have to improve so the rushing game can improve. SFA rushed for negative 20 yards on 25 carries during their matchup with UCA. That was a combination of them going against a good rushing defense and the line being unable to hold their assignments and create holes for the backs. The SFA offense as a whole will have every chance to make plays and blow this game open. As long as the SFA defense stays consistent and creates opportunities for the offense, SFA will be in line to secure its first victory in four weeks.
Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Saturday at Husky Stadium in Houston.