Kats look to extend home-opener winning streak Saturday

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Sam Houston State will look to rebound from a season opening loss to Central Michigan when they host Midwestern State at Bowers Stadium Saturday night. The Bearkats have won their last four home openersThe Bearkats dropped their season opener to a tough Central Michigan team last Thursday night 34-10. Midwestern State won their opener, beating Southern Arkansas. The Indians compiled over 400 yards of total offense on their way to posting a 35-26 victory. “Midwestern State has a good football team,” said Ron Randleman, SHSU head football coach. “We need to try not to do too many things and keep it simple.”Sam Houston’s offense struggled last weekend when the team combined for 32 yards rushing on just 32 carries. SHSU was able to move the ball in the air, thanks to senior transfer quarterback Vance Smith. Smith’s performance last week earned him the starting nod this weekend. “Vance is getting better all the time,” Randleman said. “He just needs the game experience because he hasn’t played in awhile.”The Bearkats only touchdown last weekend came on a long scoring pass that covered 41 yards, from Smith to sophomore wide receiver Cory Crawford. Costly turnovers kept the Bearkats out of the game for most of the first half as Central Michigan jumped out to a 20-3 half time lead.”We just have to execute better,” Randleman said. “We need to execute on both sides of the ball, not just on offense.”Midwestern State did give up 259 yards on the ground to Southern Arkansas last weekend to give the Bearkats a glimmer of hope on jump-starting their running game. SHSU will be without senior tight end Devin Coleman for the next five weeks after he broke a bone in his hand during the opening minutes of last week’s game. Senior Josh Moody has made the transition from defensive end to tight end to give the team depth at the position. He has been practicing with both sides for the past few weeks. Sam Houston is 13-3 in home openers since Bowers Stadium was converted to artificial turf. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.