Week 3 is in the books, with last year’s conference champion McNeese taking a surprising loss to Stephen F Austin, while Sam Houston keeps rolling through conference with a resounding win over Lamar, and Nicholls State and Houston Baptist both picking up their first conference wins. Let’s see what this week has in store for us!
Abilene Christian at Stephen F Austin
At the beginning of this season, if you had asked me who the SLC dark horse was, I would have told you Abilene Christian, but with surprising losses to Northern Colorado and Houston Baptist, I wonder if they can turn it around and salvage the season. They have a potent offense, but their defense is questionable. Stephen F Austin, on the other hand, is keeping their tradition of Jekyll and Hyde football going. While Zach Conque is earning Southland Conference Player of the Week nods for his performance versus McNeese, it took backup quarterback Hunter Taylor to lead a drive that notched the win. The fans, for the most part, want to see Taylor start and see how well he can do, but nepotism runs rampant in Nacogdoches, and Clint Conque is going to start his son. This game will probably be a tale of two offenses, as SFA pulls out the victory 42-35.
McNeese at Incarnate Word
For all intents and purposes, McNeese should have beaten SFA last week, except for the fact that they could not play mistake free football. Quarterback James Tabary did everything he could last week to get McNeese the win, going for 348 yards and 4 touchdowns, but special teams mistakes were what hurt McNeese the most. Incarnate Word is coming off of a loss to the momentum carrying Colonels of Nicholls State, and it will be interesting to see if they can bounce back. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, it’s not happening this week. The Pokes give the Cardinals the boot, and win big 38-14.
Northwestern State at Southeastern Louisiana
The two teams at the opposite corners of the state of Louisiana will meet up in Hammond for what should be a blowout. Northwestern State is sitting at 0-3 (0-2) and while one loss was to FBS Baylor, the other two were in games they should have been competitive in. Their offense is struggling mightily, only averaging 11.6 points per game, while their defense is atrocious. Southeastern Louisiana comes in 0-2, but they hung in with Southern Utah two weeks ago, and the Lions should come in refreshed off of their bye week and will be ready to notch one up in the win column. Southeastern takes this one 28-10
Sam Houston State at Houston Baptist
Back to back road games for Sam Houston, but can you really call it a road game when the visiting team will outnumber the home fans 3 to 1? Sam fans travel well, and they will fill up Husky Stadium. Sam comes into this one after getting their revenge on Lamar 44-31. Until someone knocks them off, they are the class of the conference, and that is going to continue this week. HBU comes in with a conference win over Abilene Christian, which was their second conference win in school history, and they definitely have momentum on their side. One player to keep an eye on is linebacker Garret Dolan. He has 42 total tackles in 3 games, 2 sacks, 9 tackles for loss, and he has a nose for the ball, and is basically a bulldog in the trenches. It will be interesting to see how he matches up against Corey Avery and the Sam Houston offense. While HBU’s program is definitely growing, this game should be over quickly. Sam wins 49-7
Nicholls State at South Alabama
What is going on in the swamp?!? After almost getting the biggest FCS win in college history, Nicholls, normally a bottom feeder in the SLC, finds themselves in the top 5 in the conference standings after taking out Incarnate Word. Every SLC fan is wondering if Nicholls will be a serious competitor for the championship. I’m calling it now; Nicholls gets their FBS scalp, beating the Jags 24-21
Central Arkansas at Arkansas State
Central Arkansas still has bragging rights in the Southland Conference, since they are the only team with two conference wins, they can boast about being top dog. They are going to travel to Jonesboro to take on the Red Wolves, who are currently 0-3 on the year. I think we see another FBS scalp here as well as UCA is going to take this one 28-17