Either Texas or Sam Houston will sit alone atop the Southwest Conference standings after their clash Saturday in Austin. The Longhorns, 3-0, and the Bearkats, 2-0, split their two-game series last season, with each team winning at home.
Just a few weeks ago, many of Texas and Sam Houston’s players spent time as teammates on Texas Rugby Unions’ high performance team at the West Collegiate All Star Championships in Kansas City, Mo. Sam Houston’s Frank Rizzo head coached the all-star team, and Texas’ Butch Neuenschwander assisted.
“I got to see some of their players helping out Frank with the HP team -- really talented all across the board, big, physical team,” said Neuenschwander. “From what video I’ve seen of them -- really athletic strong runners, so we’re going to have our work cut out for us on Saturday.”
Texas won the latter game between these teams last year, as the Bearkats conceded numerous cards. Just as the Longhorns stewed for several months over their season-ending loss to Texas State, Sam Houston has likely done the same with the loss in Austin in mind.
“The key for our guys is to play our style and not get out of rhythm, and the big key’s going to be turnovers, because Sam Houston is really good about taking your turnover and converting it into points quickly,” said Neuenschwander, “so the key to us is going to be ball control. If we can’t maintain possession when we have the ball, it’s going to be a long day for us.”
Houston and Baylor also square off in Southwest Conference play. The Bears are looking for their first conference win of the season, and the Cougars, 1-1, are looking to get back above .500.