No rest this week for the Boot, as no Louisiana teams have byes. Some teams are looking for a rebound, while others are hoping to keep rolling. The Boot has a highly ranked team in both FBS and FCS (LSU and McNeese State), and wins from a couple other schools could boost them into the top 25.
ULL took down Arkansas State on Tuesday night 23-7. The Ragin Cajuns had a 200 yard passer, a 100 yard receiver, and two 100 yard rushers against the Red Wolves. ULL sits alone atop the Sun Belt standings with three wins and no losses in conference play. Next up is New Mexico State on November 2nd.
Northwestern State kicks things off for the Boot today against the 8th ranked Sam Houston State Bearkats squad. The Demons are winless in Southland Conference play after dropping two in a row to fellow Louisiana teams. Northwestern has only turned the ball over 9 times, good enough for 21st in the nation. That could be an advantage against the Bearkats, who have forced just 10 turnovers.
The Grambling State football players ended their boycott on Monday and went back to practice preparing for today’s game against the Texas Southern Tigers. Grambling had to forfeit last weekend’s tilt against Jackson State after the team refused to travel to the game. To make matters worse, Jackson State now intends to sue Grambling to make up for lost revenue. The Tigers are 0-8, with their last win on Oct 20th of last year. Perhaps Grambling will come out inspired against 1-6 Texas Southern.
The Tulane Green Wave come off their bye to host the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Tulsa is just 2 and 4, while Tulane is 5 and 2 and looking to maintain momentum after an upset of East Carolina. The Green Wave isn’t ranked highly in any offensive or defensive categories but has been finding ways to win games. A win today would make Tulane bowl eligible.
In the day’s first match-up of teams from the Boot, McNeese State heads to Thibodaux to take on the Nicholls State Colonels at 3pm. The Cowboys wrangled the previously second ranked Bearkats of Sam Houston State last Saturday and jumped up to 7th in the FCS Coaches Poll. McNeese is chugging along with a balanced offense and an opportunistic defense.
Nicholls fell to 4 and 3 after losing a shootout to Stephen F. Austin. Despite the three losses, the Colonels have been much improved this season and remain in the Southland Conference race.
How the mighty have fallen. Just a year ago, Louisiana Tech’s offense was leading the nation in scoring en route to a 9 and 3 record. This season, the Bulldogs are 2 and 5 and rank 111th in scoring offense. Tech has a chance to rebound today, as they pay a visit to the hapless Florida International Golden Panthers at 5 o’clock. FIU ranks last or near last in both scoring offense and defense. The Bulldogs certainly have a golden opportunity.
At 6pm, the Warhawks of Louisiana-Monroe host a Georgia State team that has no business being in the top level of college football. The Panthers have lost all 7 of their games, including three to FCS teams. ULM is fresh off their bye week, and a victory over the Panthers would keep the Warhawks right in the hunt for a Sun Belt Conference title.
The Southeastern Lions are on fire right now. They’ve peeled off four straight wins and are tied with McNeese for 1st place in the Southland Conference with a 5 and 2 overall record. Tonight, they’ll take on the Lamar Cardinals, who’ve lost two in a row. The Lions high-octane offense ranks 16th in the nation and will be tested against the Cardinals 17th ranked defense.
At 5:30, Southern hosts the Alcorn State Braves in an attempt to win their third in a row. The Jaguars had a back and forth contest against Arkansas Pine Bluff last week, but a 4th quarter touchdown by star quarterback Dray Joseph enabled Southern to pull away. The Jags sit atop the standings in the SWAC West division, but Prairie View A&M is nipping at their heels.
After losing to Ole Miss on a last second field goal last weekend, LSU premiered at 13th in the first BCS rankings. Zach Mettenberger’s three first half interceptions and a defense that gave up over 500 yards proved to be too much for LSU to overcome. The Tigers have a glorified scrimmage against the Furman Paladins tonight at 6 o’clock. The match-up should give the Bayou Bengals a chance to recover and potentially reestablish a running game that ranks only 50th in the nation. After Furman, the Tigers have an off week to prepare for the annual slugfest with Alabama.