Sam Houston finalizes 2016 schedule

(STATS) - A planned game with New Mexico was sacked, but Sam Houston State has set its 11-game schedule for the 2016 season.

Coach K.C. Keeler's Bearkats will host five games, including Oklahoma Panhandle State (Sept. 3) and Texas Southern (Oct. 29) in their two non-conference matchups.

An early season game against New Mexico, which the Bearkats beat in 2011, was canceled.

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Within the Southland Conference, Sam Houston will host Abilene Christian (Oct. 15), defending champ McNeese State (Nov. 5) and Central Arkansas (Nov. 19).

The Bearkats finished 11-4 and with a No. 3 ranking this past season after reaching the FCS semifinals for the fourth time in five years. They are expected to return 17 starters.

2016 Sam Houston State Football Schedule

Sept 3, Oklahoma Panhandle State

Sept. 17, at Lamar*

Sept. 24, at Houston Baptist*

Oct. 1, Stephen F. Austin* (NRG Stadium in Houston)

Oct. 8, at Incarnate Word*

Oct. 15, Abilene Christian*

Oct. 22, at Nicholls

Oct. 29, Texas Southern

Nov. 5, McNeese State

Nov. 12, at Northwestern State

Nov. 19, Central Arkansas*

* - Southland Conference game