Week 7 Southland FCS Football Game Breakdowns

Week 7 Southland Conference Game Breakdowns

We are only two games into the Southland Conference season for most teams, and the outcome is not clear-cut by any means. Of course the outcome wouldn’t be put away just two games in. That said, Southeastern Louisiana can put a little distance between itself and a few other teams this week if it wins and other select squads lose. If Southeastern Louisiana loses, this conference will be a free-for-all three games into the 2012 campaign. Hungry for a little red beans and rice, by the way? You’ll find the dish at the game between Central Arkansas and McNeese State, not to mention the best showdown of the week. 


Northwestern State at Southeastern Louisiana, Saturday, 3:00

We’ve said it before, but Southeastern Louisiana (2-4, 2-0) has overcome an 0-4 start to win its first two games in Southland competition. This is the 56th game of the series and Northwestern State holds a 30-25 lead. Northwestern State won last year’s meeting, 51-17. Southeastern Louisiana blasted Alabama-Birmingham, 52-3, in a non-conference game last week. Michael Chaney, who had 123 rushing yards this season, is out due to an injury and Southeastern Louisiana freshman Rasheed Harrell will take his place. Last week’s game was skewed a little because several freshmen made an appearance with the score so out of hand. Northwestern State (3-3, 1-1) topped Lamar, 30-23, as Rob Walker rushed 23 times for 103 yards. The three teams to beat Northwestern State this season (Texas Tech, Nevada and McNeese State) have a combined 13-3 record. This could be the week where Southeastern Louisiana falls from the ranks of the conference unbeaten.

Projected score: Northwestern State 32, Southeastern Louisiana 21


#7 Sam Houston State at Nicholls State, Saturday, 6:00

The annual Battle of the Piney Woods turned into a wild shoot-em-up that was like Gunfight at the OK Corral, but Sam Houston State scored a 51-43 win over Stephen F. Austin for its first Southland victory of the season. The Bearkats (3-2, 1-1) picked up 237 yards from quarterback Brian Bell, who accounted for five touchdowns. A longtime record went down during this game, as cornerback Bookie Sneed returned an interception 92 yards for a touchdown. The previous record was set in 1968. Nicholls State (1-3, 0-1) lost its eighth straight Southland game when it fell 34-14 to Central Arkansas last week. Linebacker Jordan Piper had 23 tackles in the loss, providing a bright spot. Nicholls State led at the half last week and has had leads in three games this season at intermission, so the team isn’t as bad as you think. Still, this won’t be close.

Projected score: Sam Houston State 40, Nicholls State 10


#13 Central Arkansas at #20 McNeese State, Saturday, 7:00

This is the Red Beans and Rice Bowl, with the winner of the game getting a bronze trophy in recognition of the victory. The winner of the game will also have either partial possession of first place if Southeastern Louisiana loses or the chance to continue battling for the title and first place if Southeastern Louisiana wins. Central Arkansas (4-2, 2-1) racked up 511 yards total offense after only 237 yards the week before. Wide receiver Jesse Grandy’s 13 catches tied a school record previously held solo by Aaron Fairooz in 2006. Wynrick Smothers has 15 touchdown passes, an integral part of Central Arkansas’ offense. McNeese State (4-1, 1-1) has its best record since the 2007 season, when it went 11-0 en route to a Southland championship. McNeese State beat Northwestern State 30-22 on Sept. 29 behind 223 yards passing from quarterback Cody Stroud. Each team has won three times in the six-game series, so the winner will have a few bragging rights.

Projected score: Central Arkansas 31, McNeese State 28


McMurry at Lamar, Saturday, 7:00

It is Lamar’s turn for a non-conference meeting, and these teams have won one game apiece. None of these players were around for the last meeting, however. The last time these teams met was in 1954, and Lamar (2-4, 1-1) is playing this game off a 30-23 loss to Northwestern State. Quarterback Caleb Berry completed 18-of-36 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns. McMurry (3-2, 1-0), an NCAA Division II school based in Texas, plays its games in the Heartland Conference. McMurry defeated Southern Nazarene (Okla.) 22-19 last week, and even though Lamar has had its share of problems this season it should be able to pull off the win.

Projected score: Lamar 38, McMurry 7


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns