Sam Houston Bearkats 2023 College Football Preview

Sam Houston Bearkats 2023 College Football Preview

June 11, 2023

2022 Recap

Record – 5-4


The Bearkats join their brothers from Jacksonville St and will make the jump from FCS competition into the WACKY MOSH PIT that is Conference USA. Sam Houston had a SANDWICH season of sorts in 2022. They lost their first two games, rattled off five wins in a row, and then dropped their final pair of games to finish at 5-4.

You’ll be interested to know that Sam Houston has a long track record of success under head coach K.C. Keeler (85-27; 2021 Spring FCS Champions). Let’s do itttt!

Sam Houston Bearkats 2023 Outlook


The offensive side of the football was definitely the weaker of the two in 2022. They only managed to put up 18.3 PPG whilst averaging a measly 4.7 yards-per-play. The QB play was hideous (6-10 TD to INT) and there will be a battle for the starting gig over the summer between incumbent Keegan Shoemaker, Washington St transfer Xavier Ward, and “the Gangly One” Grant Gunnell who’s played for 14 different FBS teams.**  It doesn’t appear that they have a legit #1 RB but last season’s leading rusher Zach Hrbacek is back, former QB Jordan Yates moves into a new role, and they picked up former Utah St Aggies RB John Gentry. They have some talented WR/TE pieces and recall that a few notable players took a redshirt season LY in order to prepare for Conference USA action. That includes WR Ife Adeyi who had a fine season in 2021 (54-742, 10 TD). The offensive line could be an issue given that they only return a pair of starters.

** needs fact check


Yes, guy. The Bearkats definitely know how to play some defense. They only allowed 20.8 PPG last season and that was with several key players missing time and taking redshirt seasons. DL/LB Markel Perry is a legit weapon and Sam Houston has a lot of talent at LB. Trevor Williams led the team in tackles in 2021 (15 TFL) and Sincere Jackson and Kavian Gaither are solid pieces as well. The weakness may be on the back end of the defense where they only return one starter, but we’ll reserve final judgement until we see how things look in the summer.


The Bearkats need to break in a new PK which is never ideal but at least they bring back punter Jadon Cardell (39.0).

Schedule Analysis

Overall – The first three tests are flat out nasty (at BYU, AIr Force, at Houston) but it gets more manageable after that as they move into conference play. They have four home games in the second half of the year.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at BYU (September 2)

Yup, a likely BODY BAG GAME. It’s a tough match-up for a team with lots of FCS-caliber doods on the roster to travel to one of the toughest road environments in college football. Not to mention that they’ll have to do battle with dozens of grown men that are in their late 20s or early 30s. ***

*** needs fact check

Season Win Total

Market consensus, June 11 <wide range of prices are available>

Over 4 -110

Under 4 -110


Lean: Under

It looks like they’ll do well to get to five wins with that schedule. It’s a 90 STAR LOCK OF THE MILLENNIUM that they start 0-3. Can they win five of their final nine games? It won’t be easy with trips to Liberty, Louisiana Tech, and Western Kentucky on the agenda.

MEGAmazing Tidbit

When we noticed, “BearKATS”, we were reminded of narcissistic parents that name their kid “Cydnee”, “Dayvid”, or “Zakkery”, But wait! There’s more to the story.

According to school lore, the earliest Sam Houston students were known for their toughness and tenacity. Kinda like Bearcats, right? But that’s where the conventional narrative ends, my friends. In 1923, a student publication misspelled it as “Bearkat” when referring to the football team, and the name stuck. Sam Houston has even trademarked the nickname, so whilst this was originally an error, “Bearkat” has become an important part of the school’s identity.


This is probably gonna be a tough transition season for Sam Houston. They have a major question mark at QB, and while the defense has some fine components, it’s hard to see the overall roster holding up well once the depth is tested. In any event, GO BEARKATS!