Mike Schultz, in his first season as Lamar coach after assistant’ stints at Texas State and TCU, is faced with trying to stop a steamroller Saturday night at Beaumont, Texas.
The University of Central Arkansas (7-1, 6-0), ranked fourth in the first ppower poll by the FCS Selection Committee, carries a seven-game win streak and is in the driver’s seat in the conference race as it begins its run through the lower half of the league standings against the Cardinals (1-7, 0-6). Lamar has never defeated UCA in six meetings.
"They (the Bears) are playing with confidence and a swagger," Schultz said on the SLC teleconference this week. "I look at teams in three phases, offense, defense and special teams.
"They do a great job in every phase of special teams. They are explosive returning kicks and they are fundamentally solid ion doing things. Their defense has great energy. They do a great job of running the ball and they line up and run the ball right at you but their receivers can also push the ball downfield. Their quarterback (Hayden Hildebrand) makes good decisions.
"I can’t say enough about about these guys. They are the best team in the league, right?"
UCA coach Steve Campbell has the usual respect for his opponent.
"All conference games count the same," he said. "Lamar is a very explosive team and they lead the league in creating turnovers. You better be on guard and ready to roll.
"I’m telling our team to be humble or be humbled."
"At 6 o’clock Saturday night, we may be facing more than we can handle," said Schultz. "We are in a building process and must continue to do what we believe in."