The Sharks from Long Island University (0-2) take on FBS opponent Baylor (0-2) this upcoming Saturday at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas.
Below is everything you need to know for the contest, courtesy of the Associated Press.
How to watch: The game will be aired on ESPN+.
Line: No line.
Series record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Baylor could really use a win against this lower-division opponent in its final non-conference game. Big 12 champions only two seasons ago, the Bears have lost six games in a row dating back to last year. They led 12th-ranked Utah at home last week until the Utes, without their starting quarterback, scored two touchdowns in the final 1:59 to win 20-13.
The Sharks are in their fifth season as an FBS team since Long Island University merged its two athletic programs: Division I non-football LIU Brooklyn and Division II football-sponsoring LIU Post.
This game is pretty much about the Bears trying to put things together. Coach Dave Aranda talked this week about how he was impressed with the physicality, speed and confidence the Bears played with against future Big 12 foe Utah, but they didn’t finish.
“To recognize that you let one get away … I think is where you have to start,” Aranda said. “The challenge becomes, hey, this one effort, this one fight that was put up vs. Utah, is not a one-time thing. Like, that’s who we are … so to bring that into this next game with increased execution.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
LIU: Defensive end Eric O’Neill has 16 tackles with 3 1/2 tackles for loss this season, and an interception. The 6-foot-3 O’Neill led the Northeast Conference with 10 sacks as a freshman last season.
Baylor: Junior receivers Ketron Jackson Jr. and Hal Presley are tied for the team lead with eight catches each. Arkansas transfer Jackson has 139 yards receiving and Presley 155.
FACTS & FIGURES
LIU is 0-6 against FBS teams, all of those games coming since 2021. The Sharks’ only game against a Power Five team was a 66-0 loss at West Virginia of the Big 12 in 2021. 17 players have made their starting debuts in Baylor’s first two games, more than the total number combined in the same span of the past two seasons. Eight made their debuts in the first two games of 2022, after six did in the same span in 2021. The Bears are playing the third of four consecutive homes to open the season, with fourth-ranked Texas up next in their Big 12 opener.
Top: Long Island University freshman quarterback Luca Stanzani (#11) throwing a pass in a home game against Central Connecticut State on Nov.5. The Sharks would go on to win the game 29-20. Stanzani threw for 234 yards and one touchdown in the outing. (Credit: LIU Athletics)