Today@Sam Article

Bearkats Look Ahead To Historic Conference USA Debut Against Jacksonville State

Sept. 27, 2023
SHSU Media Contact: Mikah Boyd


By Hunter King

After facing a tough non-conference schedule against powerhouses Brigham Young University, the United States Air Force Academy and the University of Houston, the Sam Houston State University Bearkats are ready to step into their inaugural Conference USA (CUSA) matchup against Jacksonville State University.

This transition to CUSA marks another historic milestone for a program that has achieved success over the last decade. Head football coach K.C. Keeler expressed his hopes for enthusiastic fan support. Coach K. C. Keeler

 “This program has done historic things the last decade and now this move to Conference USA is another historic thing that we're doing, and we hope fans come out and support it,” Keeler said Monday. “We’ve got a great crowd. We're hoping that the kids come out and they're loud and cheer us on and show the national television audience what being a Bearkat is all about.”

For Keeler, playing the opening conference game at home holds special significance.

“We've been on a national stage for the last decade or so, and now we're on to that next big move in this program,” Keeler said. “Playing the opening conference game for us at home, I think it's a big deal.”

Keeler has a positive outlook on CUSA, recognizing the competitive landscape. He also acknowledges the depth and elevated skill of all competitors in the conference; he expects fans to see closely contested games.

“It's a very competitive conference and there's a lot of parity in this conference,” Keeler said. “I think you'll see a lot of really close and a lot of really good football games. I still think we have enough firepower that we can make something happen.”

As the Bearkats prepare to step onto the CUSA stage, the historic move promises to be a new chapter in the program’s history. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. on Thursday night at Bowers Stadium, tickets can be purchased online here. The game will also be broadcast on ESPNU and the radio broadcast will be available for fans to listen to on

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