LAKE CHARLES - McNeese State’s No. 15 ranked Cowboys return to nonconference play Saturday when they host former Southland Conference member Texas State.
Kickoff is 7 p.m. in Cowboy Stadium.
The teams are meeting for the 29th time and possibly last time. Coach Dennis Franchione’s Texas State team is playing as an independent this season. The school is moving to the Football Bowl Subdivision and will officially become a member of the Western Athletic Conference on July 1.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Central Arkansas is at Nicholls State and Northwestern State visits Lamar in SLC games, Troy is at Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State at UL-Monroe in Sun Belt contests, Louisiana Tech at WAC foe Idaho and East Texas Baptist at Louisiana College in a American Southwest battle.
Syracuse meets Tulane in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for a nonconference game.
Both McNeese State and Texas State are riding three-game winning streaks.
McNeese - 3-1 overall and leading the Southland Conference with a 2-0 record - has defeated Sioux Falls (31-17), Southeastern Louisiana (48-27) and Northwestern State (20-18) after losing to Kansas of the Big 12 Conference in the season opener.
Texas State (3-2) lost to Texas Tech (50-10) and Wyoming (45-10) but has rebounded for wins over Tarleton (38-28), Stephen F. Austin (35-26) and Nicholls State (38-12).
Cowboys tailback Andre Anderson rushed for 170 yards and touchdowns to lead McNeese to a 36-6 win over the Bobcats in 2010.
A senior, Anderson enters Saturday’s game as the Cowboys leading rusher this season with 216 yards, including a 118-yard effort against Southeastern.
Anderson has 1,071 career rushing yards in two seasons at McNeese.
Sophomore quarterback Cody Stroud will be making his seventh start for McNeese. Stroud has completed 72 of 106 passes (67.9 percent) for 806 yards and five TDs.
Darius Carey is the Cowboys’ top receiver with 23 catches for 275 yards and two TDs. Sophomore Wes Briscoe, a former Central High School standout, is averaging 26.3 yards on nine catches.
Shaun Rutherford, who has completed 39 of 71 passes for 552 yards and seven touchdowns, is expected to start at quarterback for Texas State.
The Bobcats are averaging 210 yards on the ground. Running back Terrence Franks is averaging 5.4 yards a carry for a total of 285.
Defensive leaders on the two teams are safeties Malcolm Bronson (33 tackles) and Darrell Jenkins (two pass interceptions) for the Cowboys and safety Xavier Daniels (33 tackles, pass interception) for Texas State.