Week Seven Southland Conference Schedule
Saturday, Oct. 13
Northwestern St. at Southeastern La.*, 3 p.m. (SLCTV)
No. 9/8 Sam Houston St. at Nicholls St.* (HC), 6 p.m.
No. 21/17 Central Arkansas at No. 19/15 McNeese St.*, 7 p.m.
McMurry at Lamar (HC), 7 p.m.
Southland Conference Weekly Release |
Get Southland Gear
Game Day Previews
Northwestern State at Southeastern Louisiana, 3 p.m.
Southland Conference Television Network,
Southland Digital Network,
Where to Watch |
Download SLC Mobile
Game Notes: Northwestern State |
HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana returns to Southland Conference play Saturday when it faces intra-state rival Northwestern State in a 3 p.m. televised contest at Strawberry Stadium.
The game will be broadcast on the Southland Conference Television Network, the Southland Conference Digital Network, including the league’s new iPhone and Android mobile and
tablet apps, and ESPN3.
Southeastern (2-4, 2-0 Southland), the lone remaining unbeaten team in the Southland race, looks to keep its league record unblemished after posting wins over McNeese State
and Lamar. A win over Northwestern State (3-3, 1-1 Southland) would give Southeastern its first 3-0 start in conference play since 1974 when the Lions, under then first-year coach Billy Brewer, opened play in the Division II Gulf South Conference with wins
over North Alabama, UT Martin and West Alabama.
Quarterback Nathan Stanley has led the Southeastern offense completing 108 of 203 passes for 1,147 yards and four touchdowns. Sophomore Stanley Moore is the top target for
the Lions as the former Bastrop High product has caught 18 passes. Tony McCrea and freshman Jeff Smiley have caught 16 passes each for the Lions with Marquis Fruge’ (15), Michael Chaney (14) and Jeremy Meyers (10) part of a group of players with 10 or more
Defensively, Kaleb Muse leads Southeastern with 44 tackles on the season with John Graves (39), Theo Alexander (33), Tyler Stoddard (33), Cqulin Hubert (30) and Devan Walker
Northwestern State, which has won the last two meetings in the series, defeated Lamar in its last contest, 30-23, as Mamou native Robert Walker rushed for 103 yards. The Demons
rushed for 206 yards against the Cardinals while the defense recorded five sacks.
Brad Henderson has directed the Northwestern State offense completing 102 of 180 passes for 1,058 yards and nine touchdowns. The senior quarterback is also second on the team
in rushing with 164 yards while multi-purpose threat Phillip Harvey leads the team with 18 receptions.
Harvey, who is one of the top special teams players in the nation, averages 32.3 yards on punt returns while averaging 27.4 yards per kickoff return with a 97-yard touchdown.
In last season’s 51-17 victory over the Lions in Natchitoches, Harvey returned the second-half kickoff 99 yards for a score.
Derek Rose leads a solid defense for the Demons with 53 tackles. Patrick Black and Jamaal White have recorded 45 stops each for Northwestern State with Bert White (32 tackles),
Cortez Paige (28 tackles) and Wa’Derrious Sellers (26 tackles) following.
No. 9/8 Sam Houston State at Nicholls State, 6 p.m.
Game Notes: Sam Houston State |
THIBODAUX, La. – For the second consecutive week, Nicholls State will face a top 25 team playing host to Southland Conference defending champion Sam Houston State on Saturday at John L. Guidry Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The 28th meeting against the Bearkats will serve as the Colonels’ homecoming game. Nicholls is 2-3 in its last five homecoming contests, winning in 2008 and 2010.
In only its second home game of the 2012 slate, Nicholls (1-3, 0-1 Southland) hopes for a similar performance from its last outing in front of the home crowd which saw the
Colonels score the second-highest point total in program history in their 73-17 win over Evangel. However, No. 9/8 Sam Houston (3-2, 1-1 Southland) has dominated the all-time series of late, winning the last six matchups to take a 16-10-1 advantage. The series
is even in Thibodaux, with each team winning seven times with one tie.
Last weekend at Central Arkansas, which moved up three spots in the polls to No. 21, Nicholls led at the half, 14-13, but were held scoreless in the final two quarters en route
to a 34-14 loss in its conference opener. The Colonels posted nearly 300 yards of offense before the break, however; UCA limited Nicholls to just 70 yards in the final 30 minutes.
Nicholls will need another strong performance from junior quarterback Landry Klann, who passed for 269 yards and a touchdown against UCA. Klann’s performance last week gave
Nicholls 250-plus yards passing in back-to-back games for the first time in 14 years. Klann has also completed five passes for over 50 yards this season, in contrast to last year where the Colonels’ longest passing play went for 47 yards.
The Colonels come in with the Southland’s third best rushing offense (183 ypg), but Sam Houston counters with the nation’s sixth toughest rush defense, allowing only 70.4 yards
per game. In the Bearkats’ 51-43 shootout victory against Stephen F. Austin last week, the defense gave up only 21 yards on the ground, but the secondary was torched for 545 yards in the air.
Sam Houston, last season’s national runners-up, features several threats on offense, led by its all-American running back Tim Flanders. Flanders heads the Southland’s top rushing
attack (259.6 ypg), leading the league with 100 yards per game. Last season, the Colonels held Flanders to a 3.3 yard per carry average on 15 rushes, but the first-team All-Southland back scored two touchdowns in the 40-point victory.
Nicholls will have to find a way to slow down Sam Houston, which leads the Southland in scoring with 39.6 points per game. For the Colonel defense, senior linebacker Jordan
Piper earned some well-deserved recognition this week after his record day of 23 tackles last Saturday. Piper currently leads the Southland in tackles, ranking fourth in the FCS with 12.25 per game.
Although Nicholls ended its double-digit losing streak with its home-opening victory, the loss at UCA extended its conference drought to eight games, dating back to the end
of the 2010 season.
No. 21/17 Central Arkansas at No. 19/15 McNeese State, 7 p.m.
Game Notes: Central Arkansas |
LAKE CHARLES, La. – The biggest game so far for No. 19/15 McNeese State will coincide with the fifth Annual Red Beans and Rice Bowl against No. 21/17 Central Arkansas in a crucial Southland Conference football tilt at 7 Saturday night in Cowboy Stadium.
The Cowboys (4-1, 1-1 Southland) are coming off a much needed open date that allowed some key players with injuries to heal and be ready for the Bears (4-2, 2-1 Southland).
UCA defeated Nicholls by a 34-14 score and has won two of its last three games, including a 24-20 come-from-behind win over defending champion Sam Houston State to open conference play.
UCA has won the last two meetings against McNeese, including a 21-18 victory last season in Conway. McNeese’s last win over the Bears came in the undefeated 2009 season with
a 21-17 victory. The series is tied at 3-3 with both teams winning all of its games at home.
McNeese will look to rely on its stout running game to give it an advantage.
With an average of 247.4 yards per game rushing, the Cowboys are ranked second in the league and ninth in the FCS.
The “BMW” running attack of Champlain Babin, Javaris Murray and Marcus Wiltz has accounted for 737 of the team’s 1,237 rushing yards on the season. All three backs are ranked
in the top 10 in the league rushing statistics with Murray topping off with 61.2 ypg to rank fifth, Wiltz at 56.8 ypg for sixth and Babin in at ninth with a 40.8 ypg rushing mark.
Also on offense, quarterback Cody Stroud has settled nicely into managing an offense that has controlled the clock and committed few turnovers, something that has nagged the
Cowboys in recent matchups with the Bears.
Stroud is third in the league in pass efficiency with a 145.8 rating, and when he’s not moving the ball with his arm, he lets his feet do the talking as he leads the team with
four rushing touchdowns.
Defensively, the Cowboys will get the services of starting cornerback Guy Morgan returning to the lineup. Morgan missed the second half of the Southeastern Louisiana game and
all of the Northwestern State while recovering from a knee injury.
Also, linebacker Joe Narcisse, who ranks second on the team with 34 tackles, should be close to 100-percent after he suffered a shoulder injury at Weber State that kept him
out of the Southeastern game.
McNeese’s defensive front will be looking at applying pressure on the Bears’ talented quarterback in Wynrick Smothers.
The junior from Destrehan is second in the Southland and 11th nationally with 284.7 total offensive yards per game and is second in the league in passing with 251 yards per
As a team, the Bears are second in the league in scoring, averaging 39 points per game, followed closely by the Cowboys with 37 points per game average. McNeese is third in
the conference in total offense with 443.8 yards per game while UCA is fourth with a 414 average.
Defensively, McNeese is second in total defense after allowing 302.4 yards per game while UCA is seventh by allowing 419.2 yards. And in rushing defense, the Cowboys are first
in the league and second nationally with 63.6 yards allowed rushing.
McMurry at Lamar, 7 p.m.
Game Notes: McMurry |
BEAUMONT, Texas – Lamar will cap a week of homecoming festivities Saturday when the Cardinals welcome McMurry to Provost Umphrey Stadium for a non-conference football contest. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Cardinals, who have dropped their first two Southland Conference games to fall to 2-4 on the season, will be playing their final non-conference opponent of the 2012 season.
McMurry is coming off a 22-19 win over Southern Nazarene to improve to 3-2 on the year.
The schools have played twice before with each team winning at home. The War Hawks won the first meeting 32-27 in Abilene during the 1953 season, while Lamar took the next
game 19-13 in Beaumont during the 1954 campaign.
Lamar will be playing its 42nd homecoming game as a four-year institution and has compiled a 20-20-1 all-time record. Since reinstating the program for the 2010 season, Lamar
is 1-1 in homecoming games with a 14-0 victory over Langston in 2010 and a 38-24 loss to Central Arkansas last season.
“It’s homecoming week and we need a big crowd,” Lamar coach Ray Woodard said. “Large crowds can make differences in ball games. We do have a home field advantage when we have
a packed house and they’re loud. That’s what we need. We’re going to do our best to work hard and represent Lamar, and we appreciate the crowds when they come out. We need them.”
Lamar is coming off a 30-23 road loss to Northwestern State in which redshirt sophomore Caleb Berry got his first start. Berry finished 18-of-36 for 180 yards with two touchdowns
and one interception. The Cardinals also got 73 rushing yards from Herschel Sims.
“We had our opportunities,” Woodard said about the loss at Northwestern State. “I’m glad we’re to the level where we’re competing in these games, but that’s not good enough.
We have to win these types of games. I was very proud of our team’s effort. I’d like to see that type of effort pay off on the scoreboard.”
Berry got the start for junior Ryan Mossakowski who has an injury on his throwing hand. The Northwest Mississippi Community College transfer had started the first five games
of the year and was 87-of-140 for 795 yards and seven touchdown passes.
Defensively, Lamar got a 62-yard fumble return for a touchdown by junior linebacker James Washington against the Demons. Fellow junior Jermaine Longino posted his second consecutive
13-tackle effort and now ranks third in the Southland at 8.8 tackles per game.
As a team, Lamar is scoring 18.0 points per game and allowing 25.8. The Cardinals have averaged just less than 270 yards of total offense on the year and are giving up 300.8
to lead the Southland and rank 11th in the FCS.
Sims leads the Cardinals with 289 yards on the ground and has scored a pair of rushing touchdowns on the year. Junior wide receiver Barry Ford has 25 catches for 257 yards
to lead Lamar in both categories, while sophomore transfer Kevin Johnson has scored on six of his 11 catches this season.
In addition to the strong play of Longino, junior defensive back Chad Allen has 40 tackles on the year. Fellow junior Jesse Dixon has six tackles for loss and the defensive
end leads Lamar with three sacks on the year.
Lamar will pit the top ranked pass defense in the Southland against one of the top five passing offenses in all of NCAA Division II. The Cardinals are allowing just 152.8 yards
passing per contest, while the War Hawks come in averaging 370.6 yards per game through the air.
“The first thing is the no-huddle, try to run 100 plays a game offensive attack,” said Woodard about the problems McMurry presents. “When you’re not accustomed to seeing that
every day, getting people on and off the field and creating some tempo can cause you some trouble. It’s tough to simulate in practice because we’re not used to doing that.”
The War Hawks, who are coached by former Southeastern Louisiana and Kentucky head coach Hal Mumme, are coming off a 9-3 record this year. McMurry has averaged 29.4 points per
game through its first five games, but is allowing 37 per contest.
Senior quarterback Jake Mullin was selected a NCAA Division II preseason All-America after being named the American Southwest Conference Player of the Year in 2011. Through
five games, Mullin is 155-of-223 for 1,569 yards and nine touchdowns.
Freshman running back Paxton Grayer has 319 rushing yards on the year with an average of 6.8 yards per carry. Grayer, who has five of McMurry’s eight rushing scores, also has
26 catches for 242 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Greg Livingston has 30 catches on the year for 351 yards and three touchdowns.