NATCHITOCHES — The Northwestern State Demons expect a touch homecoming matchup with longtime in-state and Southland Conference rival Southeastern Louisiana at 6 p.m. Saturday in Turpin Stadium.

In SLC competition, SLU (1-4, 0-2), which is coming off an open date, is averaging 32.5 points (third in the Southland) and 431 yards (second). Including nonconference games against Tulane (47-33 loss) and Southern Mississippi (52-6 loss), the Lions rank second in the SLC with a 33.2 scoring average, and they lead the Southland in total offense (422.6 average).

The Demons (3-3, 2-1) gave up 460 yards, 360 passing, but only 17 points last week in a 37-17 road win at Lamar, a team which a week earlier rallied to win at SLU 48-38.

“This is a pivotal game in our season against an explosive, hungry opponent that is coming off an open date,” Demons coach Bradley Dale Peveto said. “Southeastern can hit you a lot of different ways offensively and they’ve done it all season long to their opponents.

“To be averaging 33 points a game against their schedule is impressive. When you watch their tape, you see big-time receivers, an athletic and scrappy offensive line, a tough and smart quarterback who makes a lot of plays, and a really good running game.

“Defensively, they create a lot of challenges because they are not conventional and predictable. It was just two years ago that they shut us out 27-0 when we had many of the same players on the field offensively.”

In the two meetings in Northwestern State’s first two seasons under Peveto, SLU won 27-0 (2009) and the Demons took the 2010 matchup 35-16.