SFA faces third-ranked TCU in Fort Worth Saturday

SFA faces third-ranked TCU in Fort Worth Saturday

Stephen F. Austin heads to the DFW Metroplex for arguably one of the most challenging games in program history. The Lumberjacks square off with third-ranked FBS powerhouse Texas Christian Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, marking the third-straight season SFA will travel to a Big 12 opponent.

Saturday's game at TCU will be aired nationally on FOXSports1, kicking off at 2:30 p.m. Joe Davis (play-by-play) and Brady Quinn (color) will handle the call in the booth with Kris Budden serving as the sideline reporter. Rob Meyers will once again handle the radio call for the Lumberjacks airing live on Q107.7 FM and online atQ1077.com. Live stats are available at GoFrogs.com with in-game updates available on Twitter @SFA_Football. To find what channel Fox Sports 1 is as part of your cable provider, visit the channel finder link at FoxSports.com.

2015: 1-0 overall, 0-0 Big 12. Ranked No. 2 in this week's AP Top 25 and Coaches polls
Last Game: W at Minnesota (23-17)
Head Coach: Gary Patterson (Kansas State, 1983). 15th season at TCU (133-45, .747)
Key Offensive Players:
· #2 Trevone Boykin (Sr., QB): 26-of-42 (61.9%) for 246 yds., 1 TD; 18 rushes for 92 yds. (5.1 avg.), 1 TD
· #22 Aaron Green (Sr., RB): 19 rushes for 88 yds. (4.6 avg.)
· #9 Josh Doctson (Sr., WR): 8 catches for 74 yds. (9.2 avg.), 1 TD
· #10 Desmon White (So., WR): 5 catches for 61 yds. (12.2 avg.)
· #55 Joey Hunt (Sr., OL): 2014 All-Big 12 selection; Outland, Rimington and Wuerffel Trophy watch list
Key Defensive Players:
· #26 Derrick Kinded (Sr., S): 9 tackles (6 solo), 1.0 TFL, 1 FF
· #42 Ty Summers (R-Fr., LB): 7 tackles (3 solo)
· #18 Nick Orr (So., S): 7 tackles (6 solo), 1 PBU, 1 FR
· #90 Terrell Lathan (Sr., DE): 4 tackles (3 solo), 1.0 TFL, 1.0 sack, 2 PBU, 1 FF
· #57 Davion Pierson (Sr., DT): 2014 All-Big 12 honoree; First team preseason All-Big 12 selection
Synopsis: TCU opened up the 2015 season with a 23-17 victory at Minnesota on Thursday night. The preseason favorite to win the Big 12 and regarded by most as an FBS national title contender, TCU is coming off a 12-1 season in 2014 which included a Big 12 title and a 42-3 victory over Mississippi in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Senior QB Trevone Boykin has been named the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year and is considered one of the early front runners for the Heisman Trophy. Through one game in 2015, TCU is averaging 203 rushing yards and 246 passing yards per game while allowing 144 yards on the ground and 197 yards through the air. In 2014, TCU averaged 46.5 points and 533.0 yards per game while allowing just 19.0 points and 341.8 yards per game.

Saturday's game marks the second all-time meeting between SFA and TCU as the Horned Frogs earned a 67-7 decision in 2008 in Fort Worth. SFA managed just 143 yards of offense in the game, including just three rushing yards, as TCU raced out to a 42-7 halftime lead.  Jeremy Moses led the way for SFA, completing 20 of his 38 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown, connecting on a one-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Rhea.

SFA vs. THE BIG 12
Stephen F. Austin heads to Fort Worth Saturday seeking its first win over a Big 12 opponent. The Lumberjacks are 0-8 all-time against current conference schools as SFA will be making a trip to a Big 12 opponent for the third-straight season, facing Texas Tech in 2013 and Kansas State in 2014. SFA has played Baylor four times and has met up with Texas Tech twice while facing TCU and Kansas State once each previously.

Since making the jump to Division I in 1997, SFA has posted a 3-11 record against Division I FBS opponents, defeating Louisiana Tech 34-31 in overtime in 2000 before besting Louisiana-Monroe 23-21 and Florida International 35-13 in 2003. The showdown with second-ranked TCU this weekend marks the highest-ranked FBS opponent the Lumberjacks will have faced after games against 19th-ranked Baylor in 2011 and 20th-ranked Kansas State in 2014.

Across the sideline from the SFA bench on Saturday will be a familiar face for Lumberjack fans. TCU running back coach Curtis Luper spent one season with the Lumberjacks, rushing for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns in 1993, earning All-Southland Conference honors. He began his career at Oklahoma State and then spent four years as an air traffic controller in the United States Army. Luper earned his bachelor's degree from SFA in 1996 before attaining his master's degree in 1998.

Stephen F. Austin spotted Northern Arizona a three-touchdown lead early in the fourth quarter, then came up short on a late rally dropping the Battle of Lumberjacks 34-28 at Homer Bryce Stadium. NAU used big plays all evening to maintain control, posting 10 plays of 20-yards or more with three touchdown strikes of 36-yards or longer. Junior QB Zach Conqueled the SFA offense, posting a combined 365 yards (297 passing, 68 rushing) with three touchdowns as sophomore WRRobert Sylvester hauled in a career-best eight catches for 75 yards. SFA fell behind 10-0 early and trailed 20-14 at halftime. Two long touchdown strikes from Northern  Arizona gave NAU a 34-14 lead with 8:48 to go before Conque led SFA on quick scoring strikes to pull to within one score with just under three minutes remaining. But SFA couldn't get the needed defensive stop as a pass interference call on third down sealed the victory for Northern Arizona.

Junior QB Zach Conque continued to establish himself as one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation with another solid performance against Northern Arizona. Conque recorded two more rushing touchdowns in the season opener, upping his career total to 15 and moving into a tie for ninth all-time in program history with Andy Hopkins (1967-70). His 68 rushing yards Saturday night upped his career total to 694 while he also recorded 297 passing yards, the second-most of his Lumberjack career.

One of the key losses for head coach Clint Conque in 2014 was WR Robert Sylvester who missed the final eight games with a hand injury. Sylvester made up for lost time Saturday, setting career-bests in both catches (eight) and yards (75), leading the Lumberjack receiving corps while matching the total number of receptions he had in all of 2014.

Senior WR Aaron Thomas continues to draw closer to etching his name into the SFA receiving record book. Against Northern Arizona Saturday, Thomas had six catches for 71 yards, ranking second among Lumberjack receivers, as he now has 131 career receptions, sitting 22 shy of surpassing former teammate Mike Brooks (2010-13) for 10th all-time. His 71 yards moved him past the 1,800-yard mark, giving him 1,816 for his career, and is now just 184 yards short of becoming the 11th member of the SFA 2,000-yard club.

SFA returns to Homer Bryce Stadium to open up its 2015 Southland Conference schedule hosting the Cowboys of McNeese State. The Lumberjacks will be unveiling their new all-black uniforms against the Cowboys as it will also mark the 2015 Cally Belcher game in which Belcher's number 16 will come out of retirement for a game (junior RB Joshawa West has the honors of wearing Belcher's number 16 in 2015). Opening kick against McNeese State is set for 6 p.m. and will air on ESPN3.

For the complete SFA game notes, click the PDF link above.

Courtesy: Stephen F. Austin Athletics