Week 3 Southland FCS Football Game Breakdowns


For a lot of schools, this week’s games are a final tune-up before the Southland Conference kicks off its season. This is one final chance for programs to sharpen their skills… or in some cases, face another difficult game. Some of the Southland schools have matchups against stronger programs, which could result in one-sided contests. Still, in this crazy world that is the current season, you never know what might take place in week 3.


Southeastern Louisiana at Tennessee-Martin, Thursday, 6:00 pm

It hasn’t been the strongest of starts for the Southeastern Louisiana football team. The Lions are resembling another Lions team that plays in Detroit… no, not the current group of Lions, more like the inept teams of earlier in the decade. In Southeastern Louisiana’s defense, it has dropped games against Missouri and South Dakota State. Nathan Stanley threw for 190 yards against South Dakota State but SE Louisiana didn’t gain anything on the ground (minus 11 yards). The Lions face a Tennessee-Martin team that began its season with a thrilling 20-17 win over Memphis and then fell on its face, 35-7, against Northern Illinois.

Projected score: Tennessee-Martin 21, Southeastern Louisiana 17


Northwestern State at Nevada, Saturday, 4:00 pm

After an inauspicious start to its season, a 44-6 loss to Texas Tech, Northwestern State improved its fortunes in Week 2 with a 31-24 victory over Arkansas-Monticello. Considering Monticello is a Division II school, that might not be saying much. Nevada is a member of the Mountain West Conference and has had its share of struggles in the first two weeks. The Wolf Pack (1-1) started with a 31-24 victory over California before falling 32-31 at the hands of South Florida. Nevada should have the inside track to victory based on what has happened before, but this could be a wild game for both offenses.

Projected score: Nevada 37, Northwestern State 27


#21 Stephen F. Austin at #4 Montana State, Saturday, 1:30 pm

This is the fifth meeting between the two schools, with Montana State holding a 3-1 advantage. This might not be a close contest based on what took place last week. Following a strong opening 49-14 win over Southwestern Oklahoma, Stephen F. Austin suffered a 52-0 shutout loss to SMU. When you consider SMU had been blown out by Baylor in Week 1, it makes you wonder just how good SMU is. Montana State began the season with a 33-6 win over Chadron State and a 34-24 victory over Drake. With a balanced running attack (168 yards on the ground) and the passing of DeNarius McGhee (206 yards), Montana State should have no problem in this game.

Projected score: Montana State 44, Stephen F. Austin 7


Bacone at #23 Central Arkansas, Saturday, 6:00 pm

Never heard of Bacone College? It is a four-year liberal arts institution in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. An NAIA school going up against a Division I Football Championship Subdivision program is mostly grounds for disaster, but it’s hard to tell what might happen here. Bacone has beaten Tabor College 25-20 and lost 16-14 to Arkansas Tech, but the rest of Bacone’s schedule includes a lot of smaller-college NAIA programs. Central Arkansas recovered from a Week 1 loss to Ole Miss with a 42-20 victory over Murray State. Wynrick Smothers threw for 358 yards, including touchdown passes to five different receivers.

Projected score: Central Arkansas 56, Bacone 7


Nicholls State at Tulsa, Saturday, 6:00 pm

The rust may have been a bit too heavy for Nicholls State, which dropped its Week 2 contest to South Alabama by a margin of 9-3. While the offense was a bit challenged, Nicholls’ defense held South Alabama to 279 yards. The problem was Nicholls State managed just 118 yards total offense. Tulsa was in the news last week because of the game it played (Tulane’s Devon Walker sustained a neck injury against Tulsa). Tulsa beat Tulane 45-10 to improve to 1-1 overall. Keep an eye out for quarterback Cody Green, who had 274 yards and two touchdowns, and for running back Alex Singleton (102 yards, three scores). A combination of Tulsa’s explosive offense and Nicholls’ offensive problems could result in a Hurricane on the field, no pun intended.

Projected score: Tulsa 48, Nicholls State 10


#1 Sam Houston State at Baylor, Saturday, 6:00 pm

On the heels of a lopsided 54-7 win over Incarnate Word to start its season, Sam Houston State travels to Waco for the fourth time in school history to face the Bears. Not surprisingly Baylor owns a 3-0 advantage in the series; Baylor is a Big 12 Conference program with a 59-24 win over SMU to its benefit. Both teams had a week off in the schedule. Baylor started on Sept. 2 and come off a 13-day layoff, while Sam Houston State started the season on Sept. 8. Both programs have strong offenses, but the edge goes to Baylor. Incarnate Word isn’t exactly the strongest football program, and Sam Houston State will score points, but not at the level Baylor does.

Projected score: Baylor 48, Sam Houston State 31


McNeese State at Weber State, Saturday, 7:00 pm

Southland meets Big Sky in a contest that pits two strong teams against each other prior to the start of the real Southland season. McNeese State topped Middle Tennessee in a week 1 shocker (27-21) and handily won the battle of the Mc schools with a 69-7 shellacking of McMurry. McNeese State is currently 2-0 and atop the Southland’s overall standings. Weber State is coming off back-to-back losses against two FBS programs, Fresno State (37-10) and BYU (45-13). This game should be more to Weber State’s liking. This is the first of a home-and-home series that ends in 2013 at Lake Charles. The teams previously met in 1990 and 1992 and split their home series.

Projected score: McNeese State 38, Weber State 14


Lamar at Hawaii, Saturday, 11:00 pm

It has been feast or famine for the Lamar football team this year. Either the Cardinals are getting shut out handily (40-0 to Louisiana-Lafayette) or winning handily (31-0 over Prairie View A&M). Hawaii started out the season with a 49-10 loss to then top-ranked Southern California before having a bye in Week 2. The fact this game is an FCS opponent against an FBS opponent doesn’t really mean anything here, as this game could go either way. There is too little evidence to tell what Hawaii could really do. For now, go with Hawaii but don’t be surprised if there is an upset.

Projected score: Hawaii 27, Lamar 20


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns