Louisiana Tech (4-2) at Mississippi State (4-2)
WHEN: 11 a.m. Saturday
WHERE: Davis Wade Stadium (61,337), Starkville, Miss.
TV: SEC Network
SERIES: Mississippi State leads 8-3
STAT THAT MATTERS: Tech is 14th among FBS schools, averaging 39.5 points per game and ranking 17th in total offense with 493.7 yards per outing.
NOTES: Through the first six games of the season, the Louisiana Tech offense is off to the third-best start statistically in school history behind only the 1998 (556.2 yards per game) and 2012 (538.7). Quarterback Jeff Driskel, a Florida transfer, has already established a career-high with 1,812 passing yards in six games. Driskel’s top target has been 5-foot-8 wideout Trent Taylor, who has recorded a first down or TD on 32 of his 49 receptions this season. Tech had 444 total yards in a win over UTSA last week and has at least 400 yards in all six games this season. Tech has won two of the past three meetings against Mississippi State with the loss coming in overtime in 2011.
Grambling (4-2, 4-0 SWAC) at Alcorn State (4-1, 3-0)
WHEN: 2:25 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Jack Spinks Stadium (22,500), Lorman, Miss.
SERIES: Grambling leads 41-19-1
STAT THAT MATTERS: Grambling quarterback Johnathan Williams leads the SWAC with 21 touchdown passes, eight more than two others.
NOTES: Considering these teams were tabbed to win their respective divisions, this one could be a preview of the SWAC title game to be played in December. Both teams feature prolific offenses; Grambling leads the SWAC in scoring at 44.5 points per game, while Alcorn is third with 38.6 point per game. They’re also 2-3 in total offense at 477.0 and 451.8 yards per game, respectively. The Alcorn defense may have something to say about it as the Braves lead the league in scoring defense in allowing 23.6 points a game and lead all FCS schools with 24 sacks in five games. Grambling running back Martez Carter leads the SWAC with 185.2 all-purpose yards per game.
Houston Baptist (2-4, 0-3 Southland) at Nicholls State (0-5, 0-3)
WHEN: 3 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: John L. Guidry Stadium (10,500), Thibodaux
SERIES: Houston Baptist leads 1-0
STAT THAT MATTERS: The Nicholls State defense recorded three sacks in a loss to Stephen F. Austin last week after having two in 12 games last season.
NOTES: The game will feature the two worst offenses statistically in the Southland Conference. Houston Baptist ranks 10th in the 11-team league in scoring and total yards, while Nicholls State is at the bottom of the conference in both categories. Nicholls State’s defense forced five fumbles and recovered four of them against Stephen F. Austin. The Colonels came close to ending their 22-game losing streak when they led for 59 minutes and 10 seconds against SFA before dropping their 17th consecutive conference game. Nicholls State now has the nation’s longest losing streak at 23 games after Columbia, which had dropped 24 games in a row, defeated Wagner last Saturday.
Appalachian State (4-1, 1-0 Sun Belt) at UL-Monroe (1-4, 0-1)
WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Malone Stadium (30,427), Monroe
SERIES: Appalachian State leads 1-0
STAT THAT MATTERS: Appalachian State’s offense averages 35.2 points per game, while its defense gives up just 11.4 per outing.
NOTES: Appalachian State has been good at taking the ball away with seven interceptions and five fumble recoveries in its first five games. ULM junior wide receiver Ajalen Holley has enjoyed playing in front of the home crowd this season, catching 16 passes for 324 yards and two TDs while averaging 20.3 yards per reception in two games. ULM rushed for 173 yards in last week’s loss against Tulsa, its most against an FBS foe this season. In the inaugural meeting of the two schools last Nov. 8 in Boone, North Carolina, there were seven lead changes — including three in the final 6:10 of the game — before Appalachian State prevailed 31-29.
McNeese State (5-0, 4-0 Southland) at Central Arkansas (3-2, 2-0)
WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Estes Stadium (9,000), Conway, Arkansas
SERIES: Tied 4-4
STAT THAT MATTERS: McNeese leads all FCS schools in scoring defense (6.8 points per game) and total defense (243.8 yards per game).
NOTES: In addition to leading the nation in total defense, McNeese State ranks third against the run in giving up 73.2 yards per contest. The Cowboys are extra stingy in the second half, allowing just 19.2 rushing yards after halftime in five games. The McNeese defense has yielded a total of five touchdowns — one on the ground. It has not allowed a point in 16 of a possible 20 quarters and hasn’t been scored on in the third quarter. Sophomore running back Ryan Ross rushed for a career-high 149 yards, including 137 in the first half, of a 21-7 win over Southeastern last week. As a team, McNeese State has five consecutive 200-yard rushing games, one shy of the school record set in 1976.
Lamar (3-2, 2-1 Southland) at Northwestern State (0-5, 0-3)
WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Turpin Stadium (15,971), Natchitoches
SERIES: Northwestern State leads 10-7-1
STAT THAT MATTERS: After ranking fifth in the FCS a year ago with 30 takeaways, Northwestern State has only five this season.
NOTES: Northwestern State’s defense has given up 312.0 rushing yards per game, which ranks 121st out of 123 FCS teams, and 6.8 yards per carry as well as 22 TDs. That’s not good considering the Demons have to face Lamar’s Kade Harrington, who last week shattered the Southland Conference’s single-game rushing mark with 347 yards on 28 attempts (12.4 average) against Abilene Christian. The Demons have given up 34 explosive plays (plays of 20 yards or longer), which has accounted for 1,274 yards, or 48 percent, of the total yards they’ve allowed this season. Senior wide receiver Ed Eagan has 21 catches this season, giving him a school-record 140 receptions for his career.
Stephen F. Austin (1-5, 1-3 Southland) at Southeastern (3-2, 2-1)
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Strawberry Stadium (7,408), Hammond
ONLINE: Fox College Sports on Fox Sports Go app; WUPL in Hammond (Charter Channel 16, DirecTV Channel 54, DISH Channel 54).
SERIES: Stephen F. Austin leads 10-7-1
STAT THAT MATTERS: SLU had its worst offensive performance of the season in gaining 239 yards in a loss to McNeese State last week.
NOTES: Southeastern, which is ranked 23rd in the FCS coaches poll, will attempt to get back on track after a 21-7 loss to Southland Conference leader McNeese. The game will be the home conference opener for the Lions after playing Northwestern State and McNeese on the road. SLU ranks third in the Southland in scoring defense (24.0 ppg) and total defense (376.8 ypg). Stephen F. Austin picked up its first win of the season last week when Zach Conque threw for 163 yards and ran for 143 more to bring his team back from a 21-7 halftime deficit against winless Nicholls State. Southeastern has won 14 consecutive regular-season home games dating to the 2012 season.