This week Red features the oldest extant rivalry in Texas college football – the aptly named “Battle of the Piney Woods” between the Stephen F. Austin State University Lumberjacks and Sam Houston State University Bearkats. Heading into the 90th meeting, SHSU leads the series 53-35-2. SHSU has been the dominant team for the better part of a decade with a shot at the FCS national title in recent years.
Since 2007, the winner has hauled away a 21-pound solid tombstone shaped pinewood trophy that somewhat bizarrely displays replica pistols. The logos from both universities are engraved on the handle of the pistols above name plates that will display the outcomes of the contest for the next two decades. Previously, a pair of Colt Walker Pistols were awarded to the winning team, but the pistols have vanished. Perhaps, just as well.
The 12th ranked Bearkats roll into NRG stadium in Houston with a 1-2 record having posted a very respectable score in a closer than expected 59-45 loss to Texas Tech and losing a heartbreaker to an up and coming Lamar team 49-46. They mopped the floor with pathetic newcomer Houston Baptist last week. Look for the Bearkats to be loaded for bear with their powerful offense taking charge. SHSU averages an astounding 635.3 yards total offense and 51.3 points per game. The Bearkats rank No. 1 among FCS teams in scoring, No. 2 in passing offense and No. 10 in rushing offense.
In contrast, SFA comes in at 0-4 with the season lowlight so far being the 70-7 butt-whipping put on them by the TCU Horned Frogs in Fort Worth. There really isn’t much to say as this really just isn’t a very good football team right now. They could turn it all around with a win this big rivalry game – but Red isn’t going there.
Red calls it for the Bearkats over the Lumberjacks by a “We’re Leaving Early to Get a Cold One” score of 57 -13. Let’s hope the roof is open.