From SLU Athletics
HAMMOND – The Southeastern Louisiana University football team opens its eighth season as a member of the Southland Conference on Saturday when it plays host to nationally-ranked McNeese State at Strawberry Stadium.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game can be heard in the Hammond area on KSLU-FM (90.9) and on the internet at www.LionSports.net. The game can also be heard on Smartphones through a free app provided by KSLU and also on TuneIn Radio.
The game will be televised on a tape-delayed basis by the Southeastern Channel (Charter Cable 18 in Tangipahoa, Livingston, St. Helena and St. Tammany Parish; Charter Cable 17 in Washington Parish). A live video stream will be available at LionSports.net.
The game is also the Hall of Fame game for Southeastern with the University inducting its three newest members – Donald Dykes (football/track), Kim McNally (soccer), Kendra Oney (soccer). The trio will be inducted in a 5:15 p.m. ceremony in Southeastern's Hall of Champions, located in the University Center, before being introduced at halftime.
Southeastern (0-3), which is 3-4 in Southland Conference openers dating back to 2005, looks for its first victory of the season after dropping a 23-6 decision at Ohio Valley Conference member UT Martin nine days ago. The Lions recorded a season-high 358 yards of total offense while holding UTM to 2.9 yards per carry, but three missed opportunities in the red zone along with a 16-point fourth-quarter outburst was too much to overcome.
Nathan Stanley set a career-high with 280 yards passing against the Skyhawks and enters Saturday's game ranked fourth in the Southland Conference in passing (211.7 yards per game) and fifth in total offense (198.3). Stanley Moore, who caught a career-high five passes for 131 yards last week, is third in the Southland Conference in receiving yards per game (64.7) and is tied for fourth in receptions (13). Michael Chaney is next in receptions for Southeastern with 11, followed by Tony McCrea, Jeremy Meyers and Marquis Fruge' with seven.
Defensively, former Ponchatoula standout Kaleb Muse is tied for the Southland Conference lead with 9.0 tackles per game. Former Catholic High product Devan Walker is tied for the league-lead in sacks (2.0) while leading the conference with five tackles for loss. Punter Beau Mothe – a former Jesuit product – is second in the Southland Conference with a 41.9 average with a league-high six punts of 50 yards or more.
McNeese State (3-0), which holds a 22-15 advantage in the series and has won the last six meetings, has won six straight games dating back to last season. The Cowboys opened the 2012 season with a 27-21 victory at FBS opponent Middle Tennessee before blasting Division II McMurry, 69-7, in their home opener on Sept. 8.
The Cowboys, ranked No. 17 in the FCS Coaches' Poll and No. 19 in the Sports Network Poll, gained 301 yards on the ground in a 35-21 victory last week at Weber State. Javaris Murray and Dionte Spencer gained 122 and 106 yards on the ground, respectively, for McNeese State while quarterback Cody Stroud recorded 254 yards of total offense.
Stroud, who is 36-for-54 for 493 yards with four touchdowns, is sixth in the Southland Conference in both passing yards (164.3) and total offense (165.7). Murray has rushed for 201 yards on the season to rank third in the Southland Conference while Marcus Wiltz ranking seventh in the league with 151 yards on the ground.
Three players – Darius Carey, Ernest Celestie and Champlain Babin – have a team-high six receptions for McNeese State with Carey recording a team-high two TD receptions.
Defensively, the Cowboys have recorded eight sacks through the first three games after recording 13 in 2011. Joe Narcisse leads McNeese State with 23 tackles, including 3.5 for loss. Everett Ellefsen has a pair of sacks for the Cowboys with Chris Raggett and Guy Morgan pacing the team with a pair of interceptions each.