Week 9 Southland FCS Football Game Breakdowns

Week 9 Southland Conference Game Breakdowns

After a couple of weeks where there was not a full schedule of games in the Southland Conference, a full slate of four league contests starts on Saturday as the conference race goes down to the last couple weeks. The big contest of the week is undoubtedly the final one, as Central Arkansas attempts to dent Southeastern Louisiana’s undefeated league record and stay in the league picture.


#3 Sam Houston State at Lamar, Saturday, 3:00

This is the 34th time these schools have met, although it has only been twice since 2010, the year Lamar reformed its football program. The Bearkats have a 23-9-1 edge in the series, including wins in the past two seasons and seven of the last eight meetings. Sam Houston State (5-2, 3-1) topped McNeese State 45-10 last week, the first time Sam Houston topped McNeese in back-to-back seasons. Timothy Flanders ran 19 times for 105 yards and upped his career total to 3,264 yards, ninth all-time among Southland Conference running backs. Quarterback Brian Bell also moved up the ladder with 4,840 career passing yards, second behind Rhett Bomar. Lamar (3-5, 0-3) came within 10 points of a tie with Central Arkansas, but the Cardinals’ 24-14 loss kept them winless. If wide receiver Kevin Johnson and running back Herschel Sims, who have 13 of the team’s 23 scores between them, can’t return for this game then it could be a long day.

Projected score: Sam Houston State 38, Lamar 10


Nicholls State at Northwestern State, Saturday, 6:00

The battle to avoid falling into the Southland basement – or staying in it – takes place on Saturday. Nicholls State (1-5, 0-3) could tie Northwestern State (3-4, 1-2) for the bottom rung in the league, or Nicholls could dig a deeper hole with a loss. This is the 40th meeting between the schools, and Northwestern State has a 24-15 edge in the overall series. Last year Northwestern State snapped a two-game winless streak with a 34-0 victory. This is the first game back for Northwestern State following an off week and a 27-22 loss to Southeastern Louisiana. The Demons have had good luck following bye weeks, so that could be good news. Nicholls State has lost 10 straight Southland games, including last week’s 44-10 drubbing at the hands of Stephen F. Austin. A bright spot is quarterback Landry Klann, who eclipsed 1,000 yards for the season and reached 1,090.

Projected score: Northwestern State 30, Nicholls State 7


Stephen F. Austin at McNeese State, Saturday, 7:00

Stephen F. Austin has an outside shot at the Southland championship with only one loss, but it must avoid “trap games” like this. McNeese State (4-3, 1-3) has a losing record in the league but is doing fine outside of it. Still, even though McNeese lost 45-10 to Sam Houston State last week, the Cowboys’ other losses came by one point each. Marcust Wiltz was held to just 39 yards rushing and Cody Stroud was limited to just 119 yards and a touchdown. McNeese State’s offense should rise considerably against Stephen F. Austin (3-4, 2-1). The Lumberjacks had an easy time against Nicholls State with a 44-10 victory, and SFA reached 500 yards of total offense for the fourth time in a game this season. Brady Attaway had 41 passes completed for 474 yards overall. This has all the makings of a slugfest, and the Cowboys hold a 16-13-2 lead in this series.

Projected score: Stephen F. Austin 38, McNeese State 30


#11 Central Arkansas at Southeastern Louisiana, Saturday, 7:00

The top two teams in the Southland Conference square off, with Central Arkansas and Southeastern Louisiana in a statistical tie for first place. Southeastern Louisiana (3-4, 3-0) and Central Arkansas (6-2, 4-1) are knotted atop the league and Central Arkansas can take a half-game lead with a victory. Southeastern Louisiana takes sole possession of first with the win. The Bears have won four of the first five games in this series, which is only in its sixth year of existence. Central Arkansas only won by 10 points against Lamar and that might raise a few alarm bells, but quarterback Wynrick Smothers threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns without being intercepted. Southeastern Louisiana is coming off a bye week after a 27-22 win over Northwestern State on Oct. 13. Still, this is Southeastern Louisiana’s first 3-0 start since it belonged to the Gulf South Conference (Division II) in 1974. This should be exciting, but the Bears may hold first by themselves at the end.

Projected score: Central Arkansas 32, Southeastern Louisiana 17


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns