Sam Houston State (3-3, 2-0 SLC) at Northwestern State (3-3, 1-1)
WHEN: 3 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Harry Turpin Stadium (15,971), Natchitoches
TV: SLC Network (Baton Rouge: WBTR, New Orleans: WUPL, Lafayette: KLFY)
SERIES: Northwestern State leads 19-17
STAT THAT MATTERS: The Demons gained 6.6 yards per rush and 7 yards per play against Incarnate Word last Saturday.
NOTES: Being back in Natchitoches was what the Demons needed last week. For homecoming, Northwestern State routed Incarnate Word 49-12 and piled up 581 yards of offense. Senior RB Garrett Atzenweiler rushed 12 times for 146 yards and a touchdown. The Demons rushed for 390 yards and two scores.
Lamar (4-3, 1-2 SLC)
at Nicholls State (0-7, 0-3)
WHEN: 3 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Guidry Stadium (10,500), Thibodaux
SERIES: Lamar leads 5-1.
STAT THAT MATTERS: Nicholls State has averaged only 4.1 yards per play.
NOTES: The nightmare season for Nicholls State continues to get worse as the weeks drag on. The Colonels suffered their 13th-straight loss dating to last season after falling 42-20 to Stephen F. Austin. Nicholls State continues to look for consistency at quarterback after senior Kalen Henderson finished 12-for-28 for 123 yards. On the bright side, the 20 points scored was the most by the Colonels this season.
Abilene Christian (4-3, 2-1 SLC)
at McNeese State (3-2, 1-1)
WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Cowboy Stadium (12,975), Lake Charles
SERIES: McNeese leads 1-0.
STAT THAT MATTERS: McNeese State has allowed only 186.6 yards per game through the air in 2014.
NOTES: The Southland’s top rushing offense in McNeese State squares off against the conference’s best run defense in Abilene Christian. But that’s not all. Abilene Christian boasts the No. 1 passing offense in the Southland, while McNeese has the best overall pass defense in the conference. Junior quarterback Daniel Sams continues to be the leading rusher for the Cowboys, averaging 93.2 yards per game. Sams has rushed 60 times for 466 yards and one touchdown this season, averaging 7.8 yards per attempt.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-4, 0-3 SWAC) at Grambling (4-3, 4-0)
WHEN: 2 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Eddie Robinson Stadium (19,600), Grambling
STAT THAT MATTERS: Grambling QB Johnathan Williams is undefeated as the starter, going 36-for-66 for 513 yards, three TDs and three interceptions.
NOTES: After an 0-3 start, Grambling has become a force in the SWAC. The Tigers have won their past four games heading into their homecoming game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, including a 28-21 victory over Alcorn State last weekend. Williams went 13-for-29 for 222 yards, one TD and one interception but also rushed 15 times for 65 yards and two scores. Considering UAPB is winless in conference play, Grambling seems in line for another SWAC victory.
UTSA (2-4, 1-1 C-USA)
at Louisiana Tech (3-3, 2-0)
WHEN: 11 a.m. Saturday
WHERE: Joe Aillet Stadium (27,717), Ruston
SERIES: Series tied 1-1.
STAT THAT MATTERS: Louisiana Tech QB Cody Sokol has averaged 226.5 yards per game at home.
NOTES: Following its loss to Auburn two weeks ago, Louisiana Tech rebounded against UTEP, racking up 443 yards of total offense, including three passing touchdowns from Sokol. But UTSA is no slouch against the pass. It ranks No. 4 in the C-USA in pass defense, allowing 217.2 yards per contest through the air. It also ranks fourth in the conference in total defense, allowing 362.8 total yards per game.