Week 4 Southland FCS Football Game Breakdowns



It’s Week 4 and welcome to the start of real play in the Southland Conference. And what better way to kick off the action than a battle between what could be the top two teams in the league? Otherwise, there are some real mismatches as most of the league’s schools are off playing non-conference games. Nicholls State could break a long losing streak this weekend, so keep an eye on that program too.


Sam Houston State at Central Arkansas, Saturday, 3:00

What better way to start off the Southland Conference season than a game between last year’s top teams? That is what Southland champion Sam Houston State faces when it travels to Conway, Arkansas, to take on the Bears. After Central Arkansas swept the games between 2006 and 2008, Sam Houston State has stormed back to take the last three contests, including a 31-10 victory last year in Huntsville, Alabama. Sam Houston State is coming off a 48-23 loss to Baylor in a game that was competitive for the Bearkats in the first half. Sam Houston managed 411 yards total offense. Quarterback Brian Bell threw for 285 yards but suffered three interceptions. Central Arkansas brought home the bacon and then some in a 70-3 drubbing of Bacone College. Wynri Smothers and Willi Matthews combined for four touchdowns. This game will be a LOT closer.

Projected score: Sam Houston State 31, Central Arkansas 28 (OT)


Mississippi Valley State at Northwestern State, Saturday, 6:00

It took a while for Mississippi Valley State to get on tracked, but once the Delta Devils did they eked out a 6-0 victory over Southern to improve to 1-2 on the season. The Delta Devils, members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, are tied with Alcorn State for last place in the SWAC East Division although the team has a 1-1 league record. As for Northwestern State, the Demons are coming off a wild 45-34 loss to Nevada. Northwestern State has dropped to 1-2 overall but hasn’t started Southland play yet, so the Demons still have a shot at some success this year despite the lackluster beginning.

Projected score: Northwestern State 20, Mississippi Valley State 14


Stephen F. Austin at Texas State, Saturday, 6:00

Stephen F. Austin might be loaded for bear following a very close loss in the previous week. Stephen F. Austin traveled to Montana State and came away with a 43-35 loss despite three touchdowns and 418 yards from quarterback Brady Attaway. Corde Robeson’s ten catches and 163 yards were also key in how close the game turned out to be. The loss broke a six-game winning streak against non-FBS programs and dropped the Lumberjacks to 1-2 overall. Texas State (1-1) comes off a bye week, and the team needed that bye following a 58-10 loss to Texas Tech. Still, Texas State did beat Houston in the first game of the season, 30-13, so there is a chance Texas State could raise a ruckus.

Projected score: Stephen F. Austin 38, Texas State 20


Evangel at Nicholls State, Saturday, 6:00

It has been a hard slog for Nicholls State this season, as the Colonels started off 0-2 and opponents have outscored them 75-19. An injury to quarterback LaQuintin Caston, who finished with 86 yards rushing on seven carries, may hinder Nicholls State a bit, but there is bad news and good news. The bad news is Nicholls’ State losing streak now stands at 12 games. The good news? Evangel, the team that Nicholls State beat to start last season, is up on the schedule. Evangel, which competes in the Heart of America Athletic Conference, improved to 2-1 overall following a 45-23 win over Culver-Stockton College last week. Evangel plays in the NAIA, way below the level of FCS games. It may not be an easy contest, but this should be the week Nicholls finally breaks the streak.

Projected score: Nicholls State 28, Evangel 7


McNeese State at Southeastern Louisiana, Saturday, 7:00

It has been a spectacular start to the season for the Cowboys, who started off with a close upset win over Middle Tennessee State, blew away McMurry and then recorded a 35-21 victory over Weber State last week to stay perfect. Javaris Murray had 13 carries for 124 yards and one touchdown, while Diontae Spencer had two carries, 106 yards and a long 91-yard scamper for paydirt. As it turns out, this game could be a mismatch. Southeastern Louisiana has an 0-3 record following a 23-6 loss to UT-Martin. Opponents have outscored the Lions 116-30. Quarterback Nathan Stanley did throw for 280 yards last week, but that’s about the one bright spot.

Projected score: McNeese State 48, Southeastern Louisiana 3


Langston at Lamar, Saturday, 7:00

Lamar finally had some success last week at one thing… scoring points. A safety, of all things, gave Lamar its only points of the game as Hawaii rolled to a 54-2 victory. Langston dropped to 1-2 overall with a 37-7 loss against St. Xavier (Ill.) On paper, this game looks like it could be a lot closer than it should, as the Cardinals have struggled mightily this year. Don’t be surprised if Langston stays in the game and gives Lamar all it can handle. Aside from that, there really isn’t much to talk about.

Projected score: Langston 16, Lamar 0


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns