Week 2 Southland FCS Football Game Breakdowns

Week 2 Southland Conference Game Breakdowns

What did we learn from the first week of the Southland Conference season? We learned a hurricane could beat out both opponents (as evidenced by Nicholls State’s postponement of its game with Oregon State). We also saw an FCS program beat an FBS school. The second week still has its share of games that will be one-sided, but we are also seeing how many teams are prepared for Southland play.


Nicholls State at South Alabama, Saturday, 5:00

Thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Isaac, Nicholls State got an extra week to prepare for its first game. Nicholls State chose not to fly out to Oregon for its game with Oregon State due to the rain, which means it won’t have one week of game experience under its belt. That could be difficult against a team like South Alabama, which endured a wild 33-31 thriller with Texas-San Antonio last week. South Alabama is also an FBS squad, and that could be a problem. Yes, some FBS teams lost to FCS squads last week, but South Alabama has proven it can score points in bunches.

Projected score: South Alabama 37, Nicholls State 7


Central Arkansas at #23 Murray State, Saturday, 7:00

One of these teams gave its opponent a struggle, while the other fell flat on its face. Central Arkansas displayed a strong offense, but its defense fell short in a 49-27 loss to Ole Miss. Wynrick Smothers, who had just earned the starting quarterback job a week before, completed 25-of-32 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns, and he survived four sacks. Murray State barely survived its first game, but to its credit the team was playing juggernaut Florida State and walked away with a 69-3 drubbing. This is definitely an easier matchup for both teams, considering it is a pair of FCS schools facing off, but Central Arkansas looks like the better team.

Projected score: Central Arkansas 42, Murray State 17


Arkansas-Monticello at Northwestern State, Saturday, 7:00

Never heard of Arkansas-Monticello? The team pulled off a big win over the College of Faith last week, 78-0. That’s not meant to be a slap at the program. Monticello racked up 498 yards of total offense and broke the conference record for points scored in a game. Not only that, freshman quarterback Jacob Lennox had 210 yards total offense. Monticello will have a harder time this week, but it still may score a ton of points. Northwestern State comes off a 44-6 loss to Texas Tech, with John Shaughnessy’s two long field goals accounting for all of Northwestern State’s offense. Monticello won’t rack up 78 points, but it could be fun.

Projected score: Arkansas-Monticello 48, Northwestern State 20


Incarnate Word at #1 Sam Houston State, Saturday, 7:00

Incarnate Word, based out of San Antonio, didn’t have the best of games when it played Texas College last week, but it won 19-12 to get the school’s NCAA Division II season off to a decent start. Zach Rhodes replaced Taylor Woods at quarterback and threw for 205 yards without a touchdown, but Rhodes was not sacked unlike Woods, who went down four times. Sam Houston State got week 1 of the college football season off due to a planned bye, so it has had an extra week to get ready. Considering how far Sam Houston went last year, this game – a top FCS vs. Division II matchup – could get ugly real fast.

Projected score: Sam Houston State 62, Incarnate Word 7


Prairie View A&M at Lamar, Saturday, 8:00

It was kind of a surprise to Lamar football fans to see the Cardinals fall 40-0 at the hands of Louisiana. Still, the school has been back in football for only two full seasons, and the loss may have exposed numerous holes that need filling throughout the year. As for Prairie View A&M, long gone are the days when this school used to be beaten handily by other programs. It lost the opener to Texas Southern, but what a wild loss it was. De’Auntre Smiley threw for 186 yards and a touchdown, and Courtney Brown ran for 86 yards and three other scores as Prairie View fell 44-41. Lamar will try to get its punchless offense going in week 2, but the boxing gloves still have little punch in them.

Projected score: Prairie View A&M 42, Lamar 10


South Dakota State at Southeastern Louisiana, Saturday, 8:00

This could be a very interesting game based on the performance of these schools in week one of the 2012 campaign. South Dakota State performed quite respectably in a 31-17 loss to Kansas last week and racked up 411 yards total offense to the Jayhawks’ 432. Yes, Kansas isn’t exactly a powerhouse when it comes to football, but it is an FBS school and in the Big 12 Conference. As for Southeastern Louisiana, its 62-10 loss to Missouri came with a few positive points. SE Louisiana had 16 first downs to Missouri’s 18 and kept up with the Tigers’ passing game (191-165). Its 261-58 edge in rushing gave Missouri the win, so if the Tigers grind out yards on the ground this game could get ugly fast. I think it will be closer.

Projected score: South Dakota State 37, Southeastern Louisiana 34 (OT)


#20 Stephen F. Austin at SMU, Saturday, 8:00

It was a very nice start to the season for Stephen F. Austin, which took advantage of Brady Attaway’s 354 yards and three touchdowns in a 49-14 victory over Southwestern Oklahoma. Attaway’s long bombs enabled SFA to outgain SW Oklahoma 440-201 through the air. As for SMU, it played a rare Sunday college game against Baylor and fell 59-24. Anyone that thought Nick Florence would be an ill-fated successor to Robert Griffin III turned out to be wrong, as Florence threw for four touchdowns. Lost in the lopsided total was the total yards; SMU managed 507 yards total to Baylor’s 613. This will be another aerial assault to the end zone as both schools are capable of lighting up the board.

Projected score: SMU 47, Stephen F. Austin 30


McMurry University at McNeese State, Saturday, 8:00

McNeese State made a bit of history last week as it captured another win against a Bowl Subdivision opponent. McNeese’s 27-21 win over Middle Tennessee, marked by 298 total rushing yards and two touchdowns by Cody Stroud, set off a wild celebration that night as McNeese took its 1-0 record into what I’m sure was a strong week of practice. McMurry, a Division II program, lost 51-0 to Abilene Christian last week. Not much to say about this game except it could get ugly very fast.

Projected score: McNeese State 48, McMurry University 0


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns