We’re nearing the end of the college football season. Southeastern and Nicholls both wrapped up their regular seasons Thursday, but Southeastern will begin looking towards the FCS playoffs. A few other teams conclude their regular seasons today, and the remaining inch closer to Rivalry Week.
ULL gets a week to rest up before their annual contest against Louisiana-Monroe, the Battle on the Bayou. The Ragin’ Cajuns have reeled off 8 wins in a row after last Saturday’s victory over Georgia State. They’ve done it with a balanced offense, gaining 225 yards on the ground and 215 through the air per game.
Southern and Grambling State both get bye weeks in preparation for the Bayou Classic on November 30th. This is actually Grambling’s second straight off week. The Tigers had a rough year, winning only one game so far, but a win in the Bayou Classic would go a long way.
Southern, on the other hand, had a solid season, improving to a 7-4 record after last weekend’s shutout win over Clark Atlanta. The Jaguars boast the FCS’s 10th most prolific quarterback, Dray Joseph, who’s passed for over 3,000 yards. Southern has a spot in the SWAC championship guaranteed, but they can’t get caught peeking ahead to Jackson State.
The #10 Southeastern Lions roared over Nicholls State Thursday night, crushing the Colonels 52-27. Nicholls led at halftime, but Southeastern dominated the second half and won their 10th game of the season. The Lions are the Southland Conference champions and have a guaranteed spot in the FCS playoffs.
Nicholls hung around with Southeastern for a while, but allowed 32 3rd quarter points and couldn’t recover. The Colonels will end their season 4-8, but it’s a significant improvement over the last two years. The 4 wins is double the total of the past two seasons combined.
Northwestern State gets the day started for the Boot at 1pm with a home game against Stephen F. Austin. The Demons took a beating from McNeese last weekend, but they are 5-6 and have a shot to avoid a fifth straight losing season.
The Tulane Green Wave host the UTEP Miners in their last ever game in the Superdome. The Green Wave is coming off their bye and faces a struggling UTEP program that lost 7 of their last 8. The match-up could be a contest of strengths. The Miners are averaging 199 rushing yards a game while the Green Wave allows just 126.7. Tulane must win out to have any hope of winning the Conference USA title.
Louisiana-Monroe is also coming off their bye, and the Warhawks will pay a visit to the South Alabama Jaguars tonight at 6 o’clock. ULM sits at 5-5 and 3-2 in conference play, and the Jags are just 3-6. However, a 71st ranked Warhawks passing defense can’t take it easy against the nation’s 35th best passing attack.
The Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech take on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at 6pm. Tulsa is 2-8 overall and has just 1 conference win. The Bulldogs were walloped by Rice last weekend and need to beat Tulsa and then UTSA the following week to reach bowl 6-6 and have a shot at a bowl game.
The McNeese State Cowboys close out the action for the Boot with a road game against the Lamar Cardinals. McNeese took down Northwestern State last week to improve to 9-2. They also moved back into the top 10 of the FCS Coaches Poll, jumping to 8th in the nation. The Cowboys high-scoring offense ranks 4th in the country, averaging an impressive 42.5 points a game. McNeese is likely to make the FCS playoffs for a Southland Conference record 15th time.
Your #22 LSU Fightin’ Tigers welcome in the 12th ranked Texas A&M Aggies into Death Valley at 2:30. LSU had a bye last week, giving them extra time to recover from a 38-17 loss to top-ranked Alabama. The Tigers don’t have much of a shot at a BCS bowl, but they still have a lot to play for. If the Bayou Bengals win out, it will be their 4th straight 10-win season, the first such stretch in LSU history. The Tigers also have a chance to be the only team to beat Johnny Manziel twice, since he’s likely to enter the NFL draft. Slowing down Johnny Football will be a tall order, however. The Aggies are churning out over 49 points per game, and Manziel has eclipsed the 400-yard mark in four different games. Despite some struggles, LSU’s pass defense still ranks 17th in the nation.