No team from the Boot plays another Louisiana team this weekend. With plenty of teams at or near .500, this weekend gives plenty of Louisiana schools the chance to take a step forward; but the threat of falling back is there as well.
The Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks are off this week. ULM jumped out to an earlier lead over Kentucky last Saturday but ended up getting blown out. The Warhawks are now 3-3 on the season. They have a home contest against Texas State up next.
Southern also has a bye this week. The Jags beat Alabama A&M by a single point last weekend and now have their first winning streak this season. Southern improved to 4-3 and has a week to prepare for their next game against Jackson State.
ULL crushed Texas State 34-10 on Tuesday night, improving to 2-0 in the Sun Belt and 3-3 overall. The Ragin Cajuns scored on their second offensive play and rolled for over 500 yards. Next up is another Tuesday night game, this time against Arkansas State in an important conference match-up.
Tulane gets things started for the Boot on Saturday with a trip out to Central Florida. The Green Wave edged out UConn last week. The defense only allowed a field goal and forced three turnovers and a safety. Nick Montana was in at quarterback and had a solid, if unspectacular, performance. Tulane is now 2-4 on the year.
The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs kick off at noon with a home game against the Texas San Antonio Roadrunners. Tech is coming off their bye after beating UTEP two weeks ago. UTSA snapped a four game losing streak last Saturday with a close win over FIU. The Bulldogs are 3-3 and sit alone atop the Conference USA West.
It's now 13 straight losses for Nicholls State and 7 this season.. The Colonels did score 20 points in their loss to Stephen F. Austin, their highest total of the year. Nicholls receives a visit from the Lamar Cardinals this weekend.
Grambling State continues to impress, and they ride a four game winning streak into their game against Arkansas Pine Bluff. The Tigers have now doubled their win total from the previous two seasons combined! While Grambling is on a roll, their opponent has now lost three straight.
Northwestern State won big over Incarnate Word last weekend 49-12, boosting their record to 3-3. They take on the #25 Sam Houston State Bearkats at 3 o'clock Saturday. After an 0-2 start to the season, the Demons have now won three of their last four.
McNeese State took a tumble in the rankings after a 38-22 loss to Sam Houston State, dropping to 10th. The Cowboys host the Abilene Christian Wildcast Saturday evening. McNeese now has a much narrower margin for error in the race to win the Southland title after last week's loss. The Cowboys still have the 11th ranked offense and remain in the hunt.
Southeastern takes on the Central Arkansas Bears in an important Southland Conference game. The Lions continued their climb back up the FCS rankings, moving up one spot to 8th after a blowout win over Lamar. Both teams are 3-0 in conference play, and the winner will be alone in first place. Watch out for a high-scoring affair. Southeastern and Central Arkansas both have top 10 offenses.
The LSU Fightin' Tigers return to Death Valley and play host to the Kentucky Wildcats in a Saturday night cat fight. The Bayou Bengals pulled out a hard fought win over Florida in the Swamp last week, drowning the Gators 30-27. Freshman running back Leonard Fournette had his most impressive game, rushing for 140 yards and two touchdowns against Florida. Fournette and the rest of the Tigers running back corps will need to exploit Kentucky's 62nd ranked rush defense. Getting the running game going will also take some pressure off QB Anthony Jennings, who has struggled this season. LSU is 5-2 but only 1-2 in SEC play.
The Wildcats, however, are 5-1, with their only loss coming in triple overtime to Florida. Since that loss, Kentucky has ripped off three straight wins, including two against SEC foes. Their offense relies mainly on QB Patrick Towles, who has passed for 1,541 yards and 10 touchdowns. Towles isn't a huge threat on the ground, but he does have the ability to make plays with his legs.
Both teams have highly ranked offenses and defenses. It should be a good game.
Louisiana Tech is off this weekend. The Bulldogs bounced back last Saturday with a crushing win over UTEP 55-3. Tech improved to 3-3, and they're in first place in Conference USA West. Next up is a home game against divisional foe UTSA.
ULL is also off this Saturday, in preparation for their Tuesday game against Texas State. In a back-and-forth contest, the Ragin Cajuns pulled out a win over the Georgia State Panthers last weekend with a late 4th quarter touchdown. ULL is now 2-3, but they're 1-0 in the Sun Belt.
ULM kicks things off the Boot on Saturday with a trip up to Kentucky to take on the Wildcats. The Warhawks lack of offense caught up with them last Saturday in a loss to fellow Sun Belt member Arkansas State. Louisiana-Monroe ranks just 118th in scoring offense, and they're averaging just 86 rushing yards per game. Kentucky has surprised this season, sitting at 4-1 with their only loss coming in triple overtime to Florida.
Southern travels east to the Alabama A&M Bulldogs. The Jaguars have been hot and cold so far, alternating wins and losses. Last Saturday was a win over Arkansas Pine-Bluff, and it was a big one, scoring over 50 points. The Jags are 2-1 in the SWAC and right in the thick of the race for the division title.
#4 McNeese State heads out to Sam Houston State for just their second road game of the season. The Cowboys are 3-1, with a high-powered offense and a stifling defense that both rank in the top 10 in the nation.
After losing three straight to start the season, the Grambling State Tigers are now on a three game winning streak, all conference wins. On Saturday, they received a visit from the #24 Alcorn State Braves, and it'll be a tough test for the Tigers. Grambling is one of two teams undefeated in SWAC play.
The Demons of Northwestern State have their first home game since their season opener on August 28th. They take on the 1-5 Incarnate Word Cardinals at 6pm on Saturday. Northwestern State rallied late last Saturday but couldn't quite pull of the comeback against Southeastern. Head Coach Jay Thomas is glad his team is back at home.
The #9 Southeastern Lions head back out on the road with a visit to the Lamar Cardinals. The Lions won a tight one against Northwestern State last week and jumped back into the top 10. The game could be a high-scoring one, as the Lions rank 13th in scoring offense while the Cardinals aren't far behind at 24th. A win is important for Southeastern to stay at the top of the race for the Southland Conference title.
Another weekend, another loss for Nicholls State. The Colonels fell to 0-6 on the year and have lost 12 straight dating back to last season. On Saturday, they host the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks Nicholls now ranks dead last in the country in points allowed.
Tulane comes off their bye to host fellow AAC member UConn. Tulane is just 1-4 and have yet to beat an FBS team. The Green Wave are struggling on both sides of the ball, scoring just 21.2 points per game while allowing 34.8. The Huskies are in the same boat with a 1-5 record, their only victory coming after barely edging out Stony Brook.
LSU is on the road in a tough environment for the second straight week, this time in the Swamp against the Florida Gators. Florida has had their own struggles and quarterback issues this season. The Gators are 3-1 with their lone loss on the road at Alabama; but they've struggled in their other two SEC games, barely eeking out wins. Florida will return to quarterback Jeff Driskel after back-up Treon Harris was suspended due to assault allegations.
The Tigers were knocked out of the rankings for the first time since 2008 after receiving a drubbing from Auburn last Saturday. LSU was beat on both the offense and defensive line and continued to have frustrating play from the quarterback position. Though they fell out of the rankings, LSU's two losses have come at the hands of the current #2 and #3 teams in the country.
Tulane is the only Louisiana team off this weekend, and the bye comes at a good time for the Green Wave. Tulane dropped to 1-4 after a loss to Rutgers, and their lone win is against Southeastern, an FCS team. The Green Wave return to Yulman Stadium next Saturday to take on the UConn Huskies.
Grambling opens the day for the Boot with a road trip to Alabama A&M. After last weeks' 26-20 win over Prairie View A&M, the Tigers have won back-to-back games for the first time since 2011. Grambling is 2-3, and both wins have come against SWAC foes.
In the week's first Boot-on-Boot match-up, Southeastern hosts Northwestern State. The Demons were off last week after their upset win over Louisiana Tech. They sit at 2-2, and this will be their Southland Conference opener.
Southeastern rebounded after a 1 point loss by dominating Incarnate Word last Saturday 63-7. The Lions remain 11th in FCS and have a top 20 offense and defense. That 17th ranked offense and dual threat quarterback Bryan Bennett could take advantage of a Demons defense that ranks just 105th in the country.
The ULL Ragin' Cajuns are fresh off their bye and take on the Georgia State Panthers. ULL has lost three straight by double digits, but the good news is that the Cajuns losses are out of conference. Georgia State is also on a three game losing skid, but their QB Neil Arbuckle already has two 400 yard passing games and the Panthers passing offense ranks 14th in the country.
The Warhawks of Louisiana-Monroe are flying high this season. ULM eeked out a 22-20 win over fellow Sun Belt member Troy last week, improving to 3-1 with their sole loss coming at the hands of LSU. Today they pay a visit to the Arkansas State Red Wolves at 6. The Warhawks will be out for some revenge after they beatdown the received at home against Arkansas State last year.
Southern returns to Baton Rouge for a home game against the Arkansas Pine Bluff Lions. The Jaguars were crushed by Alcorn State last Saturday 56-16. Preseason favorites to win the SWAC West, the Jags are just 2-3 and in third place in their division. However, a win today will keep them right in the thick of the race.
Louisiana Tech hosts the UTEP Miners. The Bulldogs took their licks last Saturday, losing to Auburn 45-17. Tech is 2-3, but they're alone at the top of the Conference USA West as they get into the meat of conference play. A key match-up in this game will be the Miners 21st ranked run attack against Tech's 71st ranked rush defense. The Bulldogs will have to slow down that ground game.
In the other match-up of two Louisiana schools, 0-5 Nicholls State heads over 2-1 McNeese State. The Colonels have now dropped 11 in a row after last weekend's loss to Central Arkansas. Nicholls is averaging a mere 10.8 points per game while allowing 54.6 points.
The Cowboys remained the highest ranked Louisiana team, staying at #4 in the FCS Coaches Poll after a blowout win over Arkansas Tech. McNeese's only loss came at the hands of an undefeated Nebraska in the last seconds. The Cowboys have been riding their rushing attack to the tune of 261 yards per game. It could be a long evening for the Colonels.
The #15 LSU Tigers are off to the Loveliest Little Village on the Plains to take on the #5 Auburn Tigers. LSU was the only team to beat Auburn in the regular season last year and have won three in row against them. On the offensive side of the ball, true freshman Brandon Harris was named the starting quarterback earlier this week. Harris has completed 73% of his passes and has a 6:1 touchdown to interception ratio. He'll face an Auburn secondary that has struggled against the pass at times.
An area to watch is how LSU's defense, especially the defensive line, is able to handle Auburn's potent run game, which is racking up over 260 yards per game. The Bayou Bengals were gashed by Mississippi State on the ground, so it is a concern. Running backs Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant have combined for over 750 yards while quarterback Nick Marshal has added another 273."