Southwest Baptist University football is off to a 5-0 start under second year coach Robert Clardy. The Bearcats come into Saturday’s Great Lakes Valley Conference Showdown with Truman State, trying to take control of the conference. SBU and the Bulldogs are both 3-0 in conference play. It’s also exciting times in Bolivar, Mo. for the community and alumni. The Bearcats are nationally ranked for the first time in program history.
It’s one of those games where something’s gotta give. SBU brings the GLVC’s top offense into the game averaging 38 points per game. Truman enters the matchup with the top defense giving up 14 points per game.
Scouting Southwest Baptist
Southwest Baptist comes into the game against Truman State 5-0 (3-0 GLVC) after defeating McKendree 35-7 last week. The Bearcats received are currently ranked #20 in the latest AFCA Division II Coaches Poll, and are ranked for the first time since joining the NCAA. Offensively, the Bearcats are led by Bubba Jenkins who is averaging 139.2 rushing yards/game, while TJ Edwards is averaging 257.0 yards/game through the air and 54.6 yards/game on the ground. Cassian Foreman (69.2 yards/game) and Kendrick Payne (85.6 yards/game) are the top targets in the passing attack. On the defensive side of the ball, the Bearcats are led by Shaun Hutchinson who has 44 tackles, while Via Manuma has a team leading 7.0 sacks and 9.5 tackles for a loss.
The Bearcats are coming off of an impressive 35-7 victory over McKendree, who was also receiving votes in last week’s AFCA Division II Coaches Poll. The win propelled SBU to their best start ever (5-0), while also tying the longest win streak in program history (7 games).
Scouting Truman State
Truman State comes into the game against Southwest Baptist 4-1 (3-0 GLVC) on the season after defeating Indianapolis 24-17 last week. Offensively Jaden Barr averages 158.6 yards/game through the air, while on the ground Jordan Salima averages 72.2 yards/game with 4 toucdowns. Defensively Austin Zoda has a team high 34 tackles, while Sam Reeves has 4.5 totals sacks and Jon Scheeler has 3.5 total sacks. As a team, Truman ranks 35th in total defense, allowing 333.8 yards per game.
With last week’s 24-17 victory over Indianapolis, Greg Nesbitt’s Bulldogs have beaten every GLVC team since joining the league in 2013. It was just the third conference loss in 33 games for UIndy.