One week removed from a 70-0 home win over Houston Baptist University, the Bears face its toughest test in the Southland Conference with this weekend’s game against the No. 8 Southeastern Louisiana University Lions.
Both teams enter the game with 3-0 records in conference play, but UCA enters the game with a 4-3 record, while SLU’s record sits at 5-2.
Last season the Lions came to Estes Stadium and ripped through the Bears, winning 58-31.
UCA leads the series with a 5-2 record, but they have their work cut out for them as they travel to Hammond, Louisiana, where SLU holds a 3-0 record this season and are playing in front of the crowd on homecoming weekend.
While looking at the stats both teams have put up this season shows both offenses are eerily similar. UCA holds the advantage in points per game, first downs per game, passing yards per game and total touchdowns.
The Lions boast a better rushing attack, have more total yards per game and control the ball more than the Bears.
All of this is spearheaded by senior quarterback and reigning SLC Player of the Year Bryan Bennett.
Prior to the season, Bennett was named to the 2014 Walter Payton Watchlist, which is the Football Championship Subdivision’s equivalent to the Football Bowl Subdivision’s Heisman Trophy.
On the season, Bennett sits near the top of several SLC categories. He is eighth in rushing by averaging 61.7 yards per game on 87 carries and nine touchdowns.
Through the air, he is sixth in the conference in passing by averaging 204 yards per game on 89 completions of 171 attempts, 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Where these teams differ, however is scoring defense. The Lions have allowed nine less points on average than UCA on the season. They also boast the best total defense in the SLC by allowing 310.1 yards per game, while the Bears are giving up 446.6 yards per game.