Lumberjack Head West
Sept. 14, 2006
NACOGDOCHES - SFA HITS THE ROAD LOOKING FOR FIRST WIN: The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack football team returns to the road Saturday as it travels to Tucson, Ariz., to face the Wildcats. The 'Jacks enter the game looking for their first victory of the season after a disappointing 17-14 setback against Delta State in the home opener. Arizona is 1-1 (.500) after dropping a 45-3 decision at No. 8 LSU last week. The game against Arizona marks the second game against an NCAA Division I-A opponent for the 'Jacks this year. The game is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. from Arizona Stadium.
SFA vs. THE WILDCATS: Saturday's game against Arizona will mark the first time in program history that the two schools have met on the gridiron.
SFA vs. AN NCAA DIVISION I-A OPPONENT: The Lumberjacks' game against Arizona will mark the ninth time in school history, and the second time this season, that SFA has stepped on the field against an NCAA Division I-A opponent. The 'Jacks are 2-6 (.250) in those games. SFA kicked off the season with a 45-7 setback at Tulsa on Aug. 31. The Lumberjack victories against Division I-A opponents came in 2000 against Louisiana Tech and 2003 at Louisiana-Monroe.
RB TO FACE ARIZONA AGAIN: It might be the first trip to Tucson, Ariz., for the Lumberjack football team, but it is not the first time senior running back Jerome Brooks has faced the Wildcats. As a redshirt freshman at Purdue, Brooks set a season-high with 21 carries for 122 yards against Arizona. He also rushed for two touchdowns in the 2003 meeting against the Wildcats.
THE BATTLE IN THE TRENCHES: Saturday's game will pit an Arizona Wildcat offensive line that averages 6-5, 288 pounds against a young Lumberjack defensive line that averages 6-3, 255 pounds. The Lumberjacks offensive line enters Saturday's game averging 6-feet, 4-inches and 308.5 pounds. The Wildcat defensive line averages 6-3, 274 pounds.
THE COACHES: Robert McFarland became the 17th head coach of the SFA Lumberjack football team in December of 2004. After five seasons at the NCAA Division I-A level, McFarland returns to the school where he was an assistant coach for nine seasons, helping SFA become one of the most dominant rushing teams in the country. During McFarland's time at SFA, he helped orchestrate an offensive attack that produced league rushing titles in 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1999. He also helped guide the 'Jacks to NCAA playoff appearances in 1993 and 1995. McFarland is 5-8 (.385) in his second season as the 'Jacks head coach. Arizona head coach Mike Stoops is in his third season at the University of Arizona. During his time in Tucson, the Wildcats have recorded a 7-17 (.292) overall record. After back-to-back 3-8 (.273) campaigns, Stoops' charges began to turn the corner late in the 2005 season by hammering then-No. 5 (BCS rankings) UCLA, 52-14. Stoops' squad has started the 2006 season 1-1 (.500), knocking off BYU in the season-opener but falling at No. 8 LSU, 45-3, last week.