GAME NOTES: SFA VS. SOUTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA
Aug. 28, 2012
NACOGDOCHES, Texas -
'JACKS TO HOST SW OKLAHOMA IN 2012 OPENER: The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks will open the 2012 season Thursday, Aug. 30, against Southwestern Oklahoma. The 'Jacks enter the 2012 campaign fresh off their third-straight winning season. After a 1-5 (.167) start, SFA rallied to win the final five games of the season finishing 6-5 (.545) overall. The Bulldogs started the 2011 season on fire winning four of the first five, but collapsed down the stretch dropping five of the of their final six to finish the year 5-6 (.455). Thursday's game is slated to begin at 6 p.m.
SFA vs. THE BULLDOGS: The Lumberjacks season opener against Southwestern Oklahoma will mark the first meeting between the two schools on the gridiron.
SFA IN SEASON OPENERS: The Lumberjacks are 46-34-5 (.571) all-time in season openers, and looking for their second-straight win. Last season, the 'Jacks opened up with 82-6 decision over McMurry. SFA has split it's last four season openers.
SFA in HOME OPENERS: SFA is 30-18-1 (.622) in home openers dating back to 1965. The Lumberjacks enter Thursday's contest looking for their fifth-straight home-opening victory.
WINNING RECORD: The 'Jacks are 25-11 (.694) over the course of the past three seasons. SFA enters the 2012 season looking for its fourth consecutive winning season. It would be the longest stretch of winning seasons for the 'Jacks since posting above .500 records from 1999 to 2004.
RETURNING FIRE POWER: The Lumberjacks return 10 starters from last year's offense, and five starters defensively. Among the offense starters are preseason All-Americans Cordell Roberson (WR) and Gralyn Crawford (RS) and preseason All-Southland selections Brady Attaway (QB) and John Steel (OL). SFA returns preseason All-American Willie Jefferson (DE) and preseason All-SLC selections Ryan Epperson (LB), Malcolm Mattox (DE), and Josh Aubrey (CB) on defense.
SFA IN TELEVISED GAMES: SFA will have four games televised in 2012. The Lumberjacks games against Sam Houston State, Nicholls and McNeese State will air on the Southland Conference Television Network. In addition to that, the Lumberjacks game at Montana State will also be carried by KCEB-TV out of Tyler, Texas.
SFA IN THE POLLS: High expectations have been placed on the Lumberjacks entering the 2012 season. The 'Jacks have been picked to finish second in the Southland Conference by both the league head coaches and sports information directors. In addition to the preseason conference polls, SFA has been picked to finish in the top 25 in all the major NCAA FCS preseason polls. The Lumberjacks have been ranked as high as 13th, and as low as 25th in the polls.
THE COACHES: J.C. Harper became the 18th head coach of the SFA Lumberjack football team in December 2006. A two-time SLC Coach of the Year, Harper has guided SFA to two conference titles and NCAA playoff appearances. He is 29-30 (.492) in five seasons as a head coach. Dan Cocannouer is 8-14 (.571) in two season with Southwestern Oklahoma.