The McNeese Cowboys will host the No.5 Sam Houston Bearkats on Saturday in a Southland Conference match-up. Last season Sam Houston State defeated McNeese 28-17 on September 28, 2019. According to the football preseason poll, Sam Houston State was selected to finish second, and McNeese was selected to finish fourth.
Orgeron leads upset victory over NichollsThe McNeese Cowboys are 3-3 on the season after picking up a big 43-31 win as a 13.5 point home dog against Nicholls last Saturday. The total yardage battle was close, with Nicholls holding a 562 to 541 edge. The Cowboys have committed six penalties for 49 fewer yards and also committed two turnovers compared to three turnovers by the Colonels. Cody Orgeron, a 6'1 senior and the son of LSU head coach Ed Orgeron had a huge game completing 20 of 27 passes for 354 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. The Cowboys also ran for 187 yards on 35 attempts, led by junior Deonta McMahon was rushed for 111 yards and one touchdown.
The Cowboys are averaging 28.3 points, 211.5 passing yards, and 211.5 rushing yards per game. Orgeron has completed 60.3% of his passes for 1275 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions and has also rushed for a team-best 239 net yards while adding three touchdowns. On defense, the Cowboys have allowed 29.2 ppg, with 265.8 passing yards and 184.8 rushing yards allowed per game.
Bearkats play closer than expected game against the DemonsThe Sam Houston Bearkats are off to a perfect 4-0 start. After opening up a 43-38 win against SE Louisiana, the Bearkats also defeated Nicholls 71-17, Lamar 62-7, and Northwestern State 24-16 against an 0-5 Northwestern State team last Thursday. In the win over Northwestern State, Sam Houston State was outgained 453 to 445 in total yardage. Eric Schmid, a 6'1 junior completed 22 of 41 with 312 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Bearkats rushed for 133 yards on 38 carries. 410 of the total yards picked up by Northwestern State came through the air.
The Bearkats are averaging 58.7 points, 381.3 passing yards, and 196 rushing yards per game. Schmid completed 64.4% of his passes for 1137 yards with ten touchdowns and three interceptions and has also rushed for 125 net yards and four touchdowns on the season. Defensively Sam Houston State has only allowed 20.7 ppg, with 278 passing yards and 72.7 rushing yards allowed per game.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Before last week's results, I would say that this game looks like an easy win for Sam Houston State by at least three touchdowns. McNeese State however is coming off their best game of the season, picking up a 12 point win as a two-touchdown underdog to Nicholls, while Sam Houston State only won by eight points last week as a 27 point favorite against a winless opponent.
I do think last week's mediocre performance by Sam Houston State will inspire them to play much better this week, and they will not overlook the Cowboys after they have won their last two games. As impressive as McNeese's win over Nicholls was, a month ago Sam Houston State beat Nicholls by 54 points. I expect the Bearkats to roll here and cover.
Full-Game Total Pick
Sam Houston State is averaging just under 58 points offensively this season, and have combined with opponents for 69 or more points in three of its four games. The McNeese offense is heating up with Coday Orgeron throwing for a total of 658 yards over the last two weeks. Northwestern State had success moving the ball against the Bearkats in the air, so expect McNeese to do some positive things in the passing game as well.
Take the over on Saturday.