Date: Saturday, September 12
Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas
Stephen F. Austin in 2014
The Lumberjacks had a solid 2014 season that saw them go 5-3 in conference play and finish the season with an 8-5 record. Their biggest competition of the year came at the start of the season, when they faced off against Kansas State and lost 55-16. The Jacks did manage to defeat future Baylor opponent Incarnate Word by a score of 38-3, so they've got that going for them.
Freshman quarterback Zach Conque completed 64.7% of his passes on the season, throwing for 2,733 yards and 15 touchdowns. The dual-threat QB also ran for 626 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season, both good for second on the team. Senior running back Gus Johnson ran for 1,683 yards and 23 touchdowns to lead the team. Johnson did enough during the season to garner some looks from NFL teams, and was added to the Dallas Cowboys' roster back in mid-June, with an invitation to their minicamp tryouts.
Defensively, the Jacks gave up 408 yards and 28.5 points per contest in 2014, which isn't stellar.
The Last Time They Played TCU
TCU and SFA last met in 2008, and the Frogs won convincingly, 67-7. Newly minted high school football coach Joseph Turner ran for three of TCU's seven rushing touchdowns and sophomore quarterback Andy Dalton completed 11 of his 13 pass attempts on the day.
Steven Coleman, Tejay Johnson, and Rafael Priest each recorded interceptions for TCU's defense, and Ross Evans made a 45-yard field goal.
Meanwhile, SFA rushed the ball 17 times for a total of three rushing yards, and completed 21 of 40 pass attempts for a whopping 140 yards.
The Lumberjacks in 2015
The Jacks lose three of their top 5 tacklers from 2014, including leading tackler Collin Garrett, who recorded 100 tackles in 2014. Couple that with the fact that their defense wasn't great in 2014 anyway, and things could be tough for the Lumberjacks' D in 2015.
The biggest loss though is easily senior RB Gus Johnson, who will be replaced by a committee of guys, including Fred Ford and Joshawa West. The running game will also be propped up by QB Conque's dual-threat ability.
Faring well against the outmatched
Since the last game against SFA, TCU is outscoring lower subdivision opponents by an average score of 55-11. It really is a wonder why the Frogs still play these games, instead of matching up against someone else at the FBS level. Due to all the questions surrounding the general strength of the Big 12, it would certainly help TCU's credibility to drop these high-risk, low-reward games for an opponent a little big higher in stature.