Lamar seeks fifth straight win as HBU comes to Beaumont

Published 4:22 pm Friday, November 9, 2018

BEAUMONT, Texas – When the Lamar University football team steps on the field at Provost Umphrey Stadium Saturday afternoon to face Houston Baptist, it will be for far more than just trying to send the seniors off in style. The Cardinals (5-4/4-3 SLC) have the opportunity to grab a small piece of history in front of their home fans.

The hottest team in the Southland Conference, Big Red has thrust itself into the league’s spotlight. Winners of four-straight, the Cardinals have become a one-team wrecking crew on the league hierarchy. The preseason poll – not that it’s worth the paper printed on – was imploded by LU after the first two games of the streak. After starting the season 1-4, the Cardinals have systematically brushed every opponent to the side no matter the obstacle.

The streak began with one of the most thrilling moments of the football season (at any level) against Incarnate Word. UIW lined up for what appeared to be the game-winning field goal with 12 seconds remaining only to have it blocked and returned for a touchdown as time expired. The very next week, LU dispensed of nationally ranked Sam Houston State. Following that, the Cardinals made their first trip to Nacogdoches in five years and held off a late rally from Stephen F. Austin. Big Red enters Saturday’s game coming off an impressive two-touchdown victory at No. 19 Central Arkansas – the first win over UCA in program history. If the Cardinals can add one more win to the current streak it would be the first time since the 1972 season that LU has rattled off five-straight wins.

The Cards’ current stretch of success has LU in a place it has not been since the return of the sport in 2010 – in the fight for a Southland Conference title. The path to that title currently looks more like a rush hour traffic jam than a conference football chase. Big Red is currently in a four-way tie for fourth (Abilene Christian, Central Arkansas and Sam Houston State) in the standings just a game up on Southeastern Louisiana. LU is just a game back of McNeese, Nicholls and UIW with two games remaining (UIW is the only team of the group with just one league contest remaining).

Before the Cardinals can begin thinking of any titles or historical moments, they have to take care of the next obstacle in the form of HBU. The Huskies come to Beaumont with a 1-8 (.111) overall mark still looking for their first conference victory (0-7), but they also bring with them one of the league’s top offenses. HBU is averaging better than 30 points per game and just a shade under 400 yards of offense per contest.

The Cardinals lead the all-time series against HBU, 3-1 (.750), but the lone loss in the series came the last time the two teams met at Provost Umphrey Stadium (2016 – L, 24-17). HBU also has one very strong intangible on their side – revenge. Last season, the Cardinals went to Houston in the exact same position situation as HBU this year – looking for their first league victory. The Cardinals scored 23 unanswered points in the second half to spoil HBU’s senior day.

Saturday’s game is slated to kick off at 3 p.m. from Provost Umphrey Stadium. It can be heard live on Newstalk 560 KLVI, with the live stream of the game on ESPN+.

For fans looking to spend the day with the Cardinals, there will be plenty of entertainment taking place on the campus. Parking lots open at 9 a.m., with Cardinal Fan Zone and the Corona Gameday Beer Trailer opening at 11:30 a.m. J.A.G. will be performing live in concert at 1 p.m. at the Corona Gameday Tailgate Stage located near the marquee at the northwest end of the stadium.

A highlight of each home game is the LU Football Spirit Walk which gives fans the opportunity to see the Cardinals walk past the marquee as they enter the stadium.

Saturday is Veteran’s Day and Military Appreciation Day and LU is offering special ticket packages to go along with an in-game recognition. There will also be military vehicles parked outside the stadium as fans enter the game. Prior to kick off, weather permitting, the RE/MAX Skydiving team will bring the flags into the stadium. Mobiloil Credit Union will once again be providing in-game fireworks and there will be a halftime firework show. Prior to kick off, the Cardinals will also be honoring their 20-member senior class.