Week 12 Southland FCS Football Game Breakdowns



We have reached the end of the line. This is the final week of games before the Football Championship Series pairings are announced. The Southland Conference race has been decided, as Central Arkansas and Sam Houston State have identical 6-1 league records (8-2 overall) and Central Arkansas has the league’s postseason spot thanks to its 24-20 win over Sam Houston State in September. Both teams will likely make the FCS playoffs, but for this week Sam Houston State and Central Arkansas have non-conference matches.


Southeastern Louisiana at Nicholls State, Thursday, 6:00

This is the 22nd meeting between the schools, and Nicholls State holds a 12-9 lead, including six of eight wins in Thibodaux, La.  Southeastern Louisiana (4-6, 4-2) won last year’s game, 31-14, for just its second win in the last 12 meetings between the schools. Chances are Southeastern Louisiana will win another one on Thursday. Running back Xavier Roberson had 117 rushing yards, 118 yards on kick returns and a touchdown, but fellow rusher Rasheed Harrell had 151 yards in Southeastern Louisiana’s 42-27 win against Stephen F. Austin. Nicholls State (1-8, 0-6) lost 34-24 to Lamar for its 13th straight Southland loss, the longest losing streak in league history. The Colonels give up an average of four sacks per game, but this mark could easily double in this Southland finale.

Projected score: Southeastern Louisiana 45, Nicholls State 7


#2 Sam Houston State at Texas A&M, Saturday, 2:30

It used to be a commonplace rivalry for these two schools, but this is the first time since 1997 these schools have met. That year, Texas A&M blasted Sam Houston State 59-6 in what was the teams’ first meeting in 56 years. Sam Houston and the Aggies played nine times between 1919 and 1941, and Sam Houston (8-2, 6-1) may regret this meeting. After all, it isn’t every day the Bearkats play the team that just knocked down college football’s Goliath, aka Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide. After a 52-17 victory against Northwestern State last week, paced by 17 carries, 138 yards and two touchdowns from Timothy Flanders, Sam Houston State has nothing to lose in this game. Even if Texas A&M blasts the Bearkats, it won’t count much toward an FCS playoff berth since this is a high-quality FBS opponent.

Projected score: Texas A&M 49, Sam Houston State 10


Northwestern State at Stephen F. Austin, Saturday, 3:00

The battle for Chief Caddo enters its 46th year, and the Demons hold a 43-22-3 lead over Stephen F. Austin in the overall series and a 28-17-1 edge in the games where Chief Caddo is on the line. Northwestern State (4-6, 2-4) hasn’t had the best of luck in recent weeks with losses to Central Arkansas and to Sam Houston State. Stephen F. Austin won 33-0 for its third straight victory in the rivalry last season. Northwestern State gained just six first downs and 42 rushing yards a week ago, so it might be ripe for a better performance. Stephen F. Austin (4-6, 3-3) lost to Southeastern Louisiana 42-27 last week, but the Lumberjacks have a little something to play for this time around. If Cordell Roberson can catch 12 passes for 151 yards, he will become the school’s all-time leader in both categories. It’s worth a shot to see what happens.

Projected score: Stephen F. Austin 32, Northwestern State 20


Eastern Illinois at #8 Central Arkansas, Saturday, 5:00

This non-conference contest is actually a battle between conference champions. Eastern Illinois won the Ohio Valley Conference title 39-20 over Southeast Missouri last week, while Central Arkansas split the Southland title with Sam Houston State. Central Arkansas scored a 37-7 victory in the 2010 meeting between these schools, the only other time the programs met. First Security Field, Central Arkansas’ home stadium, has been very kind to the Bears. Central Arkansas, which had last week off, has won all 10 games it has played on the friendly surface. Eastern Illinois (7-3, 6-1 OVC) has won its last four games, including a 24-7 win over Eastern Kentucky that helped the team clinch the Ohio Valley title. This could be an entertaining game and a possible prelude to a playoff contest.

Projected score: Central Arkansas 21, Eastern Illinois 17


Lamar at McNeese State, Saturday, 7:00

The last game of the Southland regular season is nothing to write home about, unless you are a believer in the “Battle of the Border”. This is the 32nd meeting between these schools and the Cowboys have won 10 of 15 meetings in Lake Charles and have a 21-8-1 lead in the series. McNeese State has won the two meetings since Lamar resumed its football program in 2010, including last year’s 45-17 victory. McNeese State (6-4, 3-3) saw its two-game winning streak snapped when Texas-San Antonio scored a surprise 31-24 victory. McNeese State actually outgained Lamar 439-358 in the game, the first time McNeese outgained an opponent this season and lost. Lamar beat Nicholls State last week for its first conference win, and Lamar (4-7, 1-5) has a potential date with history. Should Kevin Johnson score one touchdown in this game, he would become the team’s all-time leader and break the mark of 15 set by Sammy Carpenter in 1952.

Projected score: McNeese State 30, Lamar 16


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns