HUNTSVILLE – Coming off a bye week, Eric Morris hoped his UIW Cardinals would have fixed any mistakes on the defensive end of the football ahead of their conference opener.
Unfortunately, the extra week off only led to more questions and concerns. UIW fell 45-6 to the Sam Houston State Bearkats (2-2, 1-0) at Bowers Stadium on Saturday night, falling for the second time in three games.
The Cardinals had the games opening drive and were faced with a fourth and short. However, two straight penalties saw the yardage go from two to 15 yards. Still, the Cardinals went for it and turned it over on downs. This would lead to a Bearkats score as quarterback Eric Schmid connected with Dee Bowens on a 64-yard score. SHSU added to their lead when Schmid found Nathan Stewart for a 49-yard pass as the first quarter came to an end.
UIW quarterback Jon Copeland drove his team down the field but would fail to convert on fourth down again, giving the Bearkats prime field position. SHSU took advantage of it thanks to Schmid finding Stewart for a 20-yard score, making it 21-0. The Schmid and Stewart connection worked once more before halftime with Sam Houston taking a 31-0 lead into the locker room at the break.
The Cardinals forced a three-and-out after halftime but could not get anything going offensively, fumbling the ball at the SHSU two-yard line. This would lead to another Bearkat score with Schmid finding Ife Adeyi down the sideline for an 80-yard score.
Schmid would finish the game with 10 minutes to play as his night ended with an impressive stat line. He threw five touchdowns while completing 29 of 44 passes for 531 yards for a 200.2 passer rating.
UIW scored their lone touchdown when Kaleb Drucos rushed for the 1-yard score, making it 45-6.
Copeland finished the game with 257 passing yards and 52 rushing yards while completing 23-of-47 passes.
The Cardinals’ defense has allowed an average of 41.3 points per game through three games while scoring 25.3 themselves. UIW finished 1-for-4 on third down, which is just a shade about their 22 percent average for the season.
The UIW Cardinals are now 1-2 (0-1, Southland) on the season and will return to the field next Saturday to welcome Abilene Christian (1-2, 0-1) to Benson Stadium at 6 p.m. Central Time.