Week 10 Southland FCS Football Game Breakdowns



With the season winding down to its final few weeks, three teams have only one loss, but two games will determine the fate of the top three teams in the Southland. The day’s first game will knock one of the opponents down to two losses, and while that team won’t be out of title contention the road will get tougher. The last game of the day has a direct title implication for Central Arkansas, which can clinch a share of the Southland if it wins. After a few humdrum weeks of league play, it promises to be very exciting both at the start and at the finish on Saturday.


Southeastern Louisiana at #2 Sam Houston State, Saturday, 2:00

The top two teams in the Southland face off in a game that will propel the top team toward a better chance at a share of the title, while the loser is likely out of the title picture. This is the 14th meeting between the schools, and the Bearkats have won nine of the previous 13 contests. Sam Houston State won 57-7 in 2010 and 38-9 a year ago, so this game could be a bit more one-sided than people think. With his 40th career touchdown pass, Brian Bell is now Sam Houston State’s all-time touchdown scoring leader, eclipsing Dustin Long’s 39 in 2004. If Darnell Taylor, who has 209 career tackles, can notch six or more tackles in this game he will tie or break the all-time mark of 215, set by Stan Blinka from 1975-1978. Southeastern Louisiana lost to Central Arkansas last week, setting up the three-way tie between the schools. Receiver Tony McCrea caught six passes for 75 yards in defeat. While these teams are close, with Southeastern Louisiana at 3-1 (3-5 overall) and Sam Houston State at 4-1 (6-2 overall) this may not be a contest.

Projected score: Sam Houston State 42, Southeastern Louisiana 10


McNeese State at Nicholls State, Saturday, 3:00

A strong McNeese State program (5-3, 2-3) takes on a team that is having trouble winning games this season. McNeese State and Nicholls State (1-6, 0-4) are meeting for the 37th time in the series. McNeese State has won the last three games and has a 25-11 overall lead in the series, including a 26-17 win over Nicholls State a year ago. McNeese State beat Stephen F. Austin 35-24 a week ago behind Marcus Wiltz’s 19 carries and 111 yards, which put him at 1,109 career yards. Champlain Babin has 1,089 rushing yards, giving McNeese a solid 1-2 punch at running back. Nicholls State nearly pulled off the upset of the year when it came within a whisker of beating Northwestern State, but Northwestern State won 27-26 and denied Nicholls the upset. LaQuintin Caston ran 10 times for 57 yards in his first action since mid-September. With Nicholls State nearly knocking off Northwestern State, this game is no longer a guaranteed one-sided contest. McNeese should prevail.

Projected score: McNeese State 32, Nicholls State 17


Lamar at Stephen F. Austin, Saturday, 6:00

This is the 31st meeting between these programs, and Lamar still has an 18-10-2 lead in the series despite dropping both of its contests since the restoration of the football program in 2010. Stephen F. Austin has recorded wins of 71-3 and 69-10, but this game should not be anywhere near a huge blowout. Lamar lost 56-7 to Sam Houston State a week ago, with the lone highlight coming on an 89-yard kickoff return by Kevin Johnson. It was his 12th touchdown of the season, one shy of the all-time mark of 13 set by Sammy Carpenter in 1952. Lamar (3-6, 0-4) has its starting quarterback, Ryan Mossakowski, back from injury as well. Stephen F. Austin (3-5, 2-2) fell to McNeese State last week by 11 points, the largest margin of defeat the team has had against an FCS school all season. Brady Attaway has completed 122 passes for 1,397 yards and 13 touchdowns in just the last three games. If he stays hot, then Stephen F. Austin will put plenty of points on the board.

Projected score: Stephen F. Austin 48, Lamar 13


Northwestern State at #11 Central Arkansas, Saturday, 7:00

The week’s biggest matchup is the one with the most on the line. Central Arkansas (7-2, 5-1) can clinch no worse than a share of the league championship with a victory on Saturday. Central Arkansas has beaten Sam Houston State and Southeastern Louisiana already this season, so a potential automatic FCS playoff berth would likely go to Central Arkansas. The team qualified for the playoffs as an at-large representative last season. Central Arkansas beat Southeastern Louisiana 34-14 last week as quarterback Wynrick Smothers threw two of his three touchdown passes to Jesse Grandy. Grandy’s touchdown passes came from 60 and 48 yards out. Northwestern State kicker John Shaughnessy booted two 42-yard field goals in the fourth quarter to bring his team back from the brink. Northwestern is averaging 27.1 points and 321.5 yards per game, while allowing 29.1 points and 376.9 yards a contest. This game could be wild, but in the end the Bears should have a title share.

Projected score: Central Arkansas 32, Northwestern State 27


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns