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Older 'Riders getting a shot

Posted: September 2, 2014 at 2:21 a.m.

Southern Arkansas Coach Bill Keopple

Bill Keopple pulled his seniors aside nine days ago and gave them the freedom to decide how they would proceed toward Southern Arkansas' opener.

At a glance

SOUTHERN ARKANSAS MULERIDERS

COACH Bill Keopple (21-30 in five seasons at Southern Arkansas and overall)

LAST YEAR 6-4, 6-4 in Great American Conference

OFFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH QB Si Blackshire

DEFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH DB James Thurston

COMMENTS Coming off consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 2004. … SAU hasn’t had three consecutive winning seasons since going 26-5 in 1997-1999 under former Coach Steve Roberts. … Leading returning receiver is Zikerious Ware, who caught 18 passes for 241 yards and 1 touchdown. … Returns three starters in the secondary that helped SAU finish third in the GAC in pass defense (213.3 yards per game). … The 16 interceptions were second most in the GAC.

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