Jacksonville at SLU
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Strawberry Stadium
SERIES: Southeastern leads 3-0.
STAT THAT MATTERS: SLU senior quarterback Bryan Bennett has a season to remember in his premier campaign with the Lions, finishing with 4,211 total yards and 37 touchdowns.
NOTES: For SLU coach Ron Roberts, 2014 is the year. With senior quarterback Bryan Bennett leading the Lions in his final season, SLU is poised to repeat as Southland Conference champions. Bennett should thrive against Jacksonville, considering it gave up 447.5 yards per game and 34.1 points per contest in 2013.
Grambling at Lamar
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Provost Umphrey Stadium (16,000), Beaumont, Texas
SERIES: Lamar leads 1-0
STAT THAT MATTERS: Lamar was impressive at home in 2013, posting a 4-2 record, with its only two losses coming against nationally ranked opponents.
NOTES: If Grambling’s 1-10 2013 record wasn’t difficult enough to overcome on Saturday’s season opener against Lamar, then the Cardinals’ record in home openers was sure to tip the scales. Lamar is 33-9-1 all-time when beginning its season at Provost Umphrey Stadium, including 4-0 since restarting the program in 2010. Grambling will certainly have its hands full when it arrives in Beaumont, Texas, this weekend.
Louisiana Tech at No. 4 Oklahoma
WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (82,112), Norman, Okla.
SERIES: First meeting
STAT THAT MATTERS: Oklahoma is 48-9-5 all-time in home openers. Bob Stoops has won 14 of 15 of his week one matchups since joining the Sooners.
NOTES: There’s one simple fact about Oklahoma — they don’t lose to nonconference opponents. The Sooners are 36-2 against nonconference foes under Bob Stoops, outscoring his adversaries 45.4 to 13. To make matters worse for Tech, the Bulldogs are 0-20 against AP Top 25 foes dating to 2000.
Nicholls State at Air Force
WHEN: 1:00 Saturday
WHERE: Falcon Stadium (46,692), Colorado Springs, Colo.
SERIES: Air Force leads 1-0.
STAT THAT MATTERS: The last time AFA and Nicholls matched up back in 2009, the Falcons crushed the Colonels 72-0, the second-worst loss in program history.
NOTES: Dating to 1994, Air Force Academy has been unbeatable in home season openers. AFA has won 16 straight opening contests at Falcon Field, though a rising Nicholls State squad could give it a run for its money to begin the 2014 campaign. Nicholls State is .500 all-time in season openers.