Week 11 Southland FCS Football Game Breakdowns



We are nearing the end of the Southland Conference regular season, and the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall into place. Central Arkansas clinched the conference championship last week with its 35-14 win over Northwestern State, and with that victory came the automatic qualifying bid to the FCS Playoffs. This doesn’t mean the Southland is no longer worth following. There is still a good chance an at-large bid will come out of the league, and if Sam Houston State can win this week the odds look good of two teams representing the Southland.


#2 Sam Houston State at Northwestern State, Saturday, 3:00

The stakes are clear for Sam Houston State (7-2 overall, 5-1 Southland). A win in this game ties the Bearkats with idle Central Arkansas for the Southland championship. Although Central Arkansas gets the automatic bid, this win would likely give Sam Houston State an at-large playoff berth since both teams have the same record. If Northwestern State (4-5, 2-3) wins then Central Arkansas takes the title outright. This is the 35th meeting between the schools, and the Demons hold a 19-15 edge even though Sam Houston has won four of the last six games. In short, recent history has been much kinder to the Bearkats. Last year Sam Houston won 43-17, but the previous year Northwestern State scored a 23-20 victory.

Projected score: Sam Houston State 28, Northwestern State 17


Nicholls State at Lamar, Saturday, 3:00

At least we know one team will snap its winless streak in the Southland. This is the battle of the winless teams in the conference, with Nicholls State (1-7) and Lamar (3-7) sporting identical 0-5 records in Southland play. This is just the fifth time these schools have met, and the Cardinals won last year’s showdown 34-26. The last time Nicholls State won in this series was 1983 – remember, Lamar shut its football program down for a long time – and the odds are pretty good Lamar will prevail here. Nicholls State has been outscored 188-60 in its conference contests, including a 42-10 loss last week to McNeese State. Nicholls was without leading receiver Erik Buchanan last week. Lamar fell 40-26 to Stephen F. Austin despite the return of quarterback Ryan Mossakowski, who threw for 231 yards and three touchdowns in his return to active duty.

Projected score: Lamar 30, Nicholls State 13


McNeese State at Texas-San Antonio, Saturday, 4:00

With Central Arkansas off this week, McNeese goes outside the conference for its weekly game against a former league member. Confused? Here’s the drill. Texas-San Antonio belonged to the Southland from 1991 until earlier this year, but its football program has only been around for two years. McNeese State won 24-21 in the only meeting between the schools a year ago. Quarterback Cody Stroud needs just 56 yards for 4,000 in his career. He already has 15 touchdown passes, three more than his total in the past two years combined. The fact UTSA only has a second-year program should make McNeese State (6-3, 3-3) quite happy. This game isn’t guaranteed to be one-sided, but it’s a good bet McNeese’s offense will come out to play.

Projected score: McNeese State 42, UTSA 17


Stephen F. Austin at Southeastern Louisiana, Saturday, 7:00

This is increasingly looking like the battle of the also-rans. Both teams were in contention for the Southland title earlier this season, but costly losses at the wrong time haven’t helped matters much. Stephen Austin holds a 9-5-1 edge in the series, including a 28-20 victory last year and wins in the last four games. Stephen Austin (4-5, 3-2) beat Lamar last week, 42-26, in a high-scoring game, led by freshman D.J. Ward’s third 100-yard contest. Stephen F. Austin has gone over 500 yards total offense six times this season, and it could happen against Southeastern Louisiana (3-6, 3-2). The Lions looked shockingly weak last week in a 70-0 blowout against Sam Houston State as the team’s top two running backs, Rasheed Harrell and Xavier Roberson, led the way with 77 combined yards. That won’t win too many ballgames.

Projected score: Stephen F. Austin 42, Southeastern Louisiana 10


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns