McNeese State (7-0, 6-0 SLC) at Abilene Christian (2-5, 2-4)
WHEN: 2:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Shotwell Stadium (15,075), Abilene, Texas
TV: American Sports Network
SERIES: McNeese State leads 2-0
STAT THAT MATTERS: McNeese State has given up nine touchdowns in seven games and leads the FCS in allowing just 10.6 points per outing.
NOTES: In trying to remain in control for the Southland Conference title, seventh-ranked McNeese State will try to go 8-0 for only the fifth time in school history (1963, 1979, 1995, 2007). The Cowboys could also tie the conference record for wins in a season with seven after claiming their first six league games by an average of 20.2 points. McNeese quarterback Daniel Sams and running back Ryan Ross have reached the 1,000-yard mark in career rushing in their second seasons at the school. Cowboys coach Matt Viator can make school history with a win over Abilene Christian as he’s tied with former Sam Houston State coach Ron Randleman with 51 victories in league play.
Northwestern State (1-6, 1-4 SLC) at Nicholls State (1-6, 1-4)
WHEN: 3 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: John L. Guidry Stadium (10,500), Thibodaux
SERIES: Northwestern State leads 27-15
STAT THAT MATTERS: Nicholls State quarterback Tuskani Figaro had an 80-yard TD run in a loss to Sam Houston State last Saturday.
NOTES: Figaro and senior running back Michael Henry hope to get the Nicholls State running game going against a Northwestern State defense that is allowing 297.0 yards per game, which ranks last among FCS schools. Henry had 146 yards against the Demons a year ago. Nicholls State has given up lots of yards this season, but the Colonels defense ranks second in the Southland Conference in allowing opponents to score points on 65.9 percent of their trips into the red zone. After starting the season with five consecutive losses, Northwestern State will be looking for its second win in three weeks after hanging with nationally ranked McNeese last week before falling 47-27.
Southeastern (4-3, 3-2 SLC) at Central Arkansas (4-3, 4-1)
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Estes Stadium (9,000), Conway, Ark.
SERIES: Central Arkansas leads 5-3
STAT THAT MATTERS: Southeastern Louisiana piled up 288 rushing yards last Saturday in a rain-soaked 22-7 victory over Houston Baptist.
NOTES: At 3-2 in the Southland Conference race, Southeastern needs a win to remain in the race for the league title. The Lions go into Saturday’s play 2½ games behind pace-setting McNeese State (6-0). Senior Kody Sutton churned out a career-high 156 rushing yards in Southeastern’s win at Houston Baptist to snap the Lions’ two-game losing streak. Central Arkansas has a strong running game of its own as Blake Veasley is coming off a 292-yard, four-touchdown performance in a 35-17 win over Lamar. SLU’s defense could be up to the challenge as it also had a big day in the win over HBU, holding the Huskies to just 10 first downs and 199 total yards — with 77 of those coming on one play.