Nicholls State (0-2) at Colorado (2-1)
WHEN: 12:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Folsom Field (50,183), Boulder, Colo.
SERIES: First meeting
STAT THAT MATTERS: Nicholls State, which has lost 20 games in a row since 2013, has dropped 14 consecutive road games.
NOTES: Nicholls State takes on a Pac-12 foe for the third time in the past four seasons after falling to Oregon State 73-7 (2012) and Oregon 66-3 (2013). The Colonels’ defense last week held Incarnate Word to 294 total yards — the first time since Oct. 2013 that Nicholls State kept an opponent under 300 yards. Colorado ranks third in the Pac-12 with 243.3 rushing yards per game. Linebacker Hezekiah White leads Nicholls with 9.0 tackles per game, while wide receiver C.J. Bates is averaging 18.4 yards per catch with five receptions for 92 yards. Nicholls State has three wins over FBS competition, with the last one coming against Western Michigan in 2013.
FIU (2-1, 0-0 C-USA) at Louisiana Tech (1-2, 0-1)
WHEN: 1:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Joe Aillet Stadium (28,019), Ruston
TV: Fox College Sports
SERIES: : Louisiana Tech leads 1-0
STAT THAT MATTERS: Tech’s offense ranks 16th nationally with 539.3 yards per game, the best three-game start since moving to Division I in 1975.
NOTES: Louisiana Tech is coming off a 39-33 triple-overtime loss to Kansas State, the longest game in program history. While Tech leads the conference in total offense with 539.3 yards a game, FIU leads in total defense (314.3 ypg) and also tops the league in run defense (96.3 ypg). Bulldogs quarterback Jeff Driskel, who completes 61.4 percent of his passes, is second in the league with 315.0 passing yards per game and Trent Taylor, who has 24 catches for 325 yards, tops the conference with 8.0 receptions per game. Tech coach Skip Holtz is 5-1 in the game after a guarantee game against a Power 5 conference foe since taking over the program in 2013.
Grambling (1-2, 1-0 SWAC) vs. Prairie View (2-1, 2-0)
WHEN: 4 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Cotton Bowl Stadium (92,100), Dallas
SERIES: Grambling State leads 49-18-1
STAT THAT MATTERS: Grambling’s 26-20 victory in last year’s matchup ended a three-game winning streak for Prairie View in the series.
NOTES: After allowing 129 points in its 0-2 start, Grambling broke into the win column in its conference opener last Saturday with a 34-10 victory over Alabama State. Grambling quarterback Johnathan Williams has thrown for 725 yards and seven TDs in three games and running back Martez Carter has rushed for 237 yards and is averaging 8.5 yards per attempt. Williams could hook up in a quarterback duel with Prairie View’s Trey Green, who is averaging 279.7 yards per game through the air. PVU running back Nick Pitre and wide receiver Courtney Brown each had three TDs last week to help the Panthers outlast Alabama A&M 53-49.
Central Arkansas (0-2, 0-0 SLC) at Northwestern State (0-3, 0-1)
WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Turpin Stadium (15,971), Natchitoches
SERIES: Central Arkansas leads 5-3
STAT THAT MATTERS: Northwestern State coach Jay Thomas has started three different quarterbacks in his team’s first three games.
NOTES: After facing a tough three-game stretch against Southeastern Louisiana, UL-Lafayette and Mississippi State to open the season, Northwestern State gets into its Southland Conference schedule. Thomas still hasn’t settled on one quarterback and will likely use multiple signal-callers against UCA. Demons wide receiver/kick returner Ed Eagan is closing in on two conference records for career kick returns. Eagan has 2,337 yards to rank third all time and is 194 yards from the SLC record; he also has 102 kickoff returns and needs five more to set the record. Senior Chris Moore kicked a 52-yard field goal, the second-longest in school history, last week at Mississippi State.
Mississippi College (2-1) at McNeese State (2-0)
WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Cowboy Stadium (17,410), Lake Charles
SERIES: McNeese State leads 2-0
STAT THAT MATTERS: McNeese State is 11-0 against Gulf South Conference competition since the 1978 season.
NOTES: A win would give McNeese State a 3-0 start for the fifth time in coach Matt Viator’s 10-year tenure with the Cowboys. Senior free safety Wallace Scott was named the Southland Conference defensive player of the week after returning a fumble 97 yards for a touchdown and collecting seven tackles in a 14-point win at Stephen F. Austin. McNeese quarterback Daniel Sams rushed for 164 yards against SFA, which was the fourth 100-yard rushing game of his career. The Cowboys are averaging 240.5 rushing yards per game and 5.2 yards per carry in their first two outings. McNeese State is 61-5 when leading at halftime since Viator took over.