Week 6 in the Southland turned out to be an interesting one, as Sam Houston let Incarnate Word hang with them for a bit, but pulled out a 63-48 win, while SFA and Nicholls went to double OT, with Nicholls getting a 35-28 win, and Southeastern Louisiana pulling a heartbreaker on McNeese, taking the victory 31-24. Let’s take a look at the week 7 matchups:
Southeastern Louisiana at Stephen F Austin
It’s homecoming in the Piney Woods as the Lumberjacks host the Lions. Southeastern Louisiana comes off of a last second victory over McNeese, getting the game winning score on a 82 yard touchdown with 8 seconds left on the clock. Justin Alo threw for 339 yards, and Southeastern had a fumble recovery for a touchdown as well. They look to be clicking as they head into Nacogdoches to take on the Lumberjacks. SFA is on a two game skid after taking a loss to Nicholls in double overtime. SFA went up early on the Colonels, but then the Nicholls defense turned it on and held SFA scoreless until the second half, and a fumble in the second OT frame sealed the win for Nicholls. SFA still is running a quarterback by committee, as Zach Conque took most of the snaps vs Nicholls. When one team is clicking, while the other has questions, it’s hard to pick the latter over the former, so I think Southeastern takes this and crushes any post season hopes SFA has remaining. Final score, SLU 38-31 over SFA.
Abilene Christian at Sam Houston State
Sam finally gets a home game after being on the road for the past three weeks, and they look to keep the undefeated season going vs the winless Wildcats. Sam comes off of a 63-48 win at Incarnate Word, and Sam definitely had troubles with the Cardinals, as Sam’s offense was scoring so fast, it was keeping their defense out on the field for long stretches of time. Jeremiah Briscoe is without a doubt the best quarterback in the conference, and with him at the helm, Sam looks to have an undefeated season. Their next true challenge is vs Central Arkansas in November. Abilene Christian’s woes just continue, as Lamar ran them out of Shotwell Stadium 38-10. ACU went for 187 on the ground, but couldn’t get their passing game going, only getting 119 yards through the air. ACU’s defense allowed Kade Harrington and the Cardinals to go for 309 yards on the ground, with Harrington amassing 149 of them. I cannot imagine that ACU has the same effect on Sam that Incarnate Word did. Sam takes this big, 63-21.
Central Arkansas at McNeese
If there is one team who is feeling pretty good right now, it’s Central Arkansas. After the week one loss to Samford, UCA has turned it on, blowing out their opponents and getting a FBS win over Arkansas State. UCA is averaging 39 points per game versus allowing 21, and they have been very balanced in their attack, amassing almost 1,200 yards in both rushing and passing. Coming off of the bye, they should be very focused to go play in the Hole. McNeese is coming off of a heartbreaking loss to Southeastern Louisiana, in which they allowed a last second 82 yard touchdown that sealed the win for the Lions. McNeese has had their struggles this year, and I think you can attest them to getting used to a new coach and new system. One thing they have going for them is a solid win over Nicholls, and they tend to play very well in Lake Charles. Quarterback James Tabary has a 137 efficiency rating, throwing for 12 touchdowns while only tossing 3 picks. If McNeese can get their passing game going, they might give UCA some fits and perhaps can give the DWA (Defense With Attitude) some breathing room. It’s definitely the game of the week in the Southland, and I think UCA inevitably takes this one 34-24.
Northwestern State at Lamar
Northwestern State comes into this game on a high, after finally getting their first win of the year over division 2 Kentucky Wesleyan 49-7. Northwestern State has struggled this year moving the ball on offense, while their defense has just been porous, giving up over 400 yards of offense per game. They travel to Beaumont to take on the Cardinals, who are coming off of the aforementioned win over Abilene Christian. Lamar’s Kade Harrington is one of the best running backs in the country, but their passing game is not strong, so if Northwestern State can stop the run, they could have a chance to pull the upset. I don’t think it happens, Lamar wins big 42-7
Nicholls State at Houston Baptist
Nicholls State is looking to make it two in a row in conference as they head to Houston to take on the Huskies. The Colonels are coming off of a double overtime win over SFA, in which their defense took control of the game. Overall, the Nicholls defense has kept them in for most of the games they have played, forcing 8 interceptions, and playing lights out. They have a pretty tough task in the Huskies, who surprisingly aren’t the doormat they have been in the conference. HBU has been able to move the ball on the ground, but their biggest weakness is their secondary. They have given up over 1,400 yards in the air, and if Nicholls can air it out, it could be a long day for the Huskies. Nicholls will take this, 24-17.