Southland media day preview: Team capsules

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Abilene Christian COACH: Ken Collums PLAYERS: DE Nick Richardson and TE Jonathan Parker WHAT TO WATCH FOR: When Abilene Christian won in 2013, it won big. Though the Wildcats only went 6-5, they outscored their opponents 370-114 in their victories. During his junior campaign, QB John David Baker … Continue reading →

15 Southeastern Lions on preseason All-Southland football teams

Advocate staff file photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Southeastern quarterback Bryan Bennett prepares to throw under pressure from Sam Houston State safety Desmond Fite in December 2013.

HAMMOND – Let by senior quarterback Bryan Bennett, the defending Southland Conference champion Southeastern Louisiana football team earned a league-high 15 selections on the preseason All-Southland teams. The teams were released by the league office on Wednesday. Southeastern, which finished No. 6 in the final Football Championship Subdivision polls in 2013, returns 15 starters from last … Continue reading →

Ex-teammates Marcus Mariota and Bryan Bennett meet again

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota (AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff)

THIBODAUX — It could have been a family get-together. In a way, it was. Only one seat separated Marcus Mariota and Bryan Bennett during Friday’s interview session at the Manning Passing Academy. They were clearly glad to see each other. Mariota, reserved and quiet off the field, is the standout quarterback for Oregon, possibly … Continue reading →

SLU’s Harlan Miller on Buchanan watch list

SLU Public Information photo by RANDY BERGERON -- Southeastern defensive back Harlan Miller returns an interception against McNeese State for 30 yards during a Nov. 2 game.

Southeastern Louisiana junior defensive back Harlan Miller is one of 20 student-athletes on the watch list for the Buck Buchanan Award, which is presented to the top defensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision. Miller is the latest Lion to be named a preseason candidate for a national award. Earlier this week, SLU senior quarterback Bryan … Continue reading →

College football notes: Tiger Stadium voted top venue

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- The LSU team comes onto the field prior to the first half at LSU's Tiger Stadium.

Tiger Stadium was ranked as the best college football stadium along with the best game day atmosphere, in a poll conducted by Athlon Sports that was released Monday. In a poll of 15 college football experts, LSU easily outpaced Ohio State (Ohio Stadium) as the best in college football. Oregon’s Autzen Stadium, Texas A&M’s Kyle Field … Continue reading →

Bryan Bennett, SLU offense roll at spring game

SLU public information photo by RANDY BERGERON -- Southeastern quarterback Brian Bennett passes Saturday during the spring game at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

Southeastern Louisiana football fans got their first taste of the upcoming football season Saturday in Strawberry Stadium, where the Lions offense defeated the squad’s defense 79-27 in the team’s spring game. Led by senior quarterback Bryan Bennett, SLU’s offense became known for its explosive nature last season. That versatile offense made its grand reappearance Saturday. … Continue reading →

SLU excited, ready for spring football game

Associated Press photo by JONATHAN BACHMAN -- A Southeastern Louisiana helmet is seen on the sideline this season.

HAMMOND — Even in the heart of baseball season, one sound resonates throughout Southeastern Louisiana’s campus that excites people for the fall. During past offseasons, some Lions football fans would have ignored the echo of helmets colliding in Strawberry Stadium. But following an 11-3 campaign and its first trip to the Division I playoffs in … Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana football team to begin spring drills

HAMMOND — The defending Southland Conference champion Southeastern Louisiana football team will begin its on-field preparation for 2014 when spring practice opens Tuesday. The Lions, who finished 11-3 overall, advanced to the quarterfinals of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs and finished ranked No. 6 in the final national polls, will take the practice field for the first … Continue reading →

Dennis Waldron takes over as Sugar Bowl president

Advocate staff photo -- Archie Manning stands with Dennis Waldron.

It was fitting that Dennis Waldron’s first public function as the 57th president of the Sugar Bowl was at the Riverside Hilton. That’s where Waldron, a recently retired criminal court judge, did his first volunteer duty as a committee member, working the hospitality suite for the teams that stayed there the week leading up to the game, … Continue reading →

Southeastern class highlighted by transfers, prep players

Advocate file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Jerqwinick Sandolph (43), seen here as an LSU freshman in 2012, has transferred to Southeastern Louisiana.

Jordan Batiste, DB, 5-8, 169, Gramercy/Tulane Second-team All-Louisiana selection last season with four forced fumbles, seven sacks. Micah Eugene, DB, 5-11, 188, Lafayette/LSU Had 62 tackles in two seasons at LSU. Byron Smith, OL, 6-8, 260, Ontario, Calif./Citrus College Earned All-West honors at Citrus College — the same school former SLU defensive lineman Greg … Continue reading →

Southeastern roster deepens with transfers, signees, walk-ons

Associated Press photo by JONATHAN BACHMAN -- Southeastern Louisiana coach Ron Roberts paces the sideline during the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinal against New Hampshire on Dec. 14. New Hampshire won 20-17.

Southeastern Louisiana’s football program reached new heights last season, and Lions coach Ron Roberts is hoping this year’s signing class will help bring greater success in the future. The additions total 31 players, including seven with Division I experience and five junior college transfers. Eleven players were midyear additions, and the remainder of the class is … Continue reading →

Southeastern finalizes list of football transfers

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU cornerback Derrick Raymond (19) keeps his eyes on the ball during drills as the LSU Tigers have their third preseason practice Wednesday at McClendon Practice Facility in Baton Rouge.

The Southeastern Louisiana football team finalized its list of midyear additions Thursday, when coach Ron Roberts announced two players who previously participated at the Football Bowl Subdivision level would continue their athletic endeavors in Hammond. The newest Lions are defensive back Derrick Raymond (6-1, 175) and wide receiver Chris Briggs (6-5, 214). Raymond, who comes to … Continue reading →

SLU football program adds six junior-college transfers

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Southeastern wide receiver Tony McCrea, center, and the rest of the team celebrate stopping Sam Houston State's offense on fourth down to win the game during the FCS playoff game between Southeastern University and Sam Houston State University on Saturday at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

HAMMOND — Six junior-college players will be joining Southeastern Louisiana, the school announced Wednesday. Offensive lineman Bryon Smith (Ontario, Calif.), Copiah-Lincoln Community College defensive lineman Philanteus “PJ” Jarrett (Hollandale, Miss.), Iowa Western defensive lineman Ashton Henderson (Tulsa, Okla.), Ventura College defensive back Jordan Howard (Ventura, Calif.), Holmes Community College defensive back Terrious Triplett … Continue reading →

Southeastern aims to build on ‘special’ season

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southeastern running back Xavier Roberson keeps New Hampshire Wildcats kicker Mike MacArthur away Ssaturday's game.

Ron Roberts began to answer the question — Is the Southeastern Louisiana program ahead of expectations? — just like any other coach. “I don’t know if it’s ahead …” he began before trailing off. Because he’s unlike any other coach, Roberts then searched for the truth: OK, yeah. It’s ahead. “This team has exceeded my … Continue reading →

Monday Morning Rewind: Southeastern Louisiana

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNONSoutheastern coach Ron Roberts, right, talks with New Hampshire coach Sean McDonnell following the Lions' 20-17 FCS playoff loss Saturday.

An exciting offseason awaits a program that had the best season in school history. Sure, it ended bitterly — a 20-17 home loss in the FCS quarterfinals to New Hampshire on Saturday — but that won’t dull the buzz around Hammond. Coach Ron Roberts heads into a promising third year … Continue reading →

Surging Southeastern, New Hampshire square off

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Southeastern wide receiver Marquis Fruge dives into the end zone for a touchdown against Sam Houston State on Dec. 7, 2013.

One thing’s for certain in Saturday’s Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinal between Southeastern Louisiana and New Hampshire: One team will see its winning streak — and season — come to an end. “It’s a one-game playoff,” Southeastern coach Ron Roberts said. “It’s one at a time. There it is — all the marbles on the table. That’s the … Continue reading →

Quick read: New Hampshire at Southeastern

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Southeastern running back Rasheed Harrell runs the ball in for a touchdown during the FCS playoff game between Southeastern University and Sam Houston State University on Saturday at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

Top storyline: Are the jitters gone? Coach Ron Roberts candidly said this week that his Southeastern Louisiana football team appeared on edge in its Football Championship Subdivision playoff opener against Sam Houston State last week. Worse, three miscues netted the Bearkats 16 points: a pick-six, a muffed punt inside the SLU 5-yard line that set up … Continue reading →

Depth, smart players fortify Southeastern secondary

SLU Public Information photo by RANDY BERGERON -- Southeastern defensive back Harlan Miller returns an interception against McNeese State for 30 yards during a Nov. 2 game.

Two years ago, Pete Golding administered a final test during Harlan Miller’s official visit to Southeastern Louisiana. Miller was an undersized quarterback from Kentwood, and the Lions’ defensive coordinator pondered a position switch for the 6-foot prospect. Instead of throwing passes, Golding had Miller try to blanket receivers and make interceptons. Golding also wanted to test … Continue reading →

Early tests prepared Southeastern for playoff push

SLU Punlic Information photo by RANDY BERGERON -- Southeastern running back Xavier Roberson shakes a tackle from Samford linebacker Justin Shade on a 57-yard run in Birmingham, Ala., on Sept. 21. Southeastern defeated Samford 34-31.

Southeastern Louisiana may be the new kid on the Football Championship Subdivision playoff block, but Lions coach Ron Roberts is hoping his team’s regular-season schedule works to the team’s advantage as the Lions host New Hampshire in the quarterfinals on Saturday. Game time is 6 p.m. at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond. Roberts pointed to a pair of three-game … Continue reading →

Southeastern receives NCAA infraction penalties

SLU Public Information photo by Randy Bergeron -- Southeastern Louisianaa defenders, from left, Trenon Trosclair, Drew Misita and A.J. Bowen tackle Samford running back Jeremiaha Gates in the second half of Southeastern's 34-31 win Saturday at Seibert Stadium in Birmingham, Ala.

Southeastern Louisiana University received NCAA penalties for a lack of institutional control after self-reporting 137 athletes were academically ineligible over a five-year period, but was largely spared severe punishment Tuesday. The school, which first reported the violations in late March, self-imposed a myriad of penalties, including scholarship reductions, a two-year probationary period and vacating victories from … Continue reading →

Southeastern is next for surging New Hampshire

SLU Punlic Information photo by RANDY BERGERON -- Southeastern running back Xavier Roberson shakes a tackle from Samford linebacker Justin Shade on a 57-yard run in Birmingham, Ala., on Sept. 21. Southeastern defeated Samford 34-31.

Thirty-six hours didn’t dull the edge in New Hampshire coach Sean McDonnell’s voice. Euphoria can leave a residue when advancing in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs means knocking out a rival at the same time. So in the wake of the Wildcats notching a 41-27, second-round victory Saturday against No. 5 seed Maine, McDonnell’s raspy … Continue reading →

Lewis: Bama-OU: Preview of bowl games to come

Death to the BCS! — and other post-Selection Sunday thoughts:

The final Sugar Bowl as we’ve come to know it will look exactly like the one we’ll come to know over the next dozen years.

Well, two out of three times, at least.

Alabama against Oklahoma is what the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12 had in mind when they came … Continue reading →

Alabama, Oklahoma set for Sugar Bowl clash of titans

Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper (9) catches a pass over Auburn defensive back Jonathon Mincy (6) and defensive back Jermaine Whitehead (9) and runs in for a 99 yard touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

The last time Alabama played in the Sugar Bowl, the Crimson Tide was coming off a bitter defeat that knocked them out of the BCS championship picture. And when the team reacted with a dispirited 31-17 loss to BCS-buster Utah, Nick Saban famously said he was “responsible for the whole kit and caboodle.” Now the … Continue reading →

Monday Morning Rewind: Southeastern Louisiana

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELDSoutheastern's Justin Church, left, and A.J. Bowen, right, take down Sam Houston State's Timothy Flanders.

Southeastern Louisiana lives to see another week of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. And the Lions (11-2) get another home game at Strawberry Stadium at 6 p.m. Saturday against New Hampshire in the quarterfinals. The program’s first foray into the postseason was almost short. The No. 4 overall seed trailed by … Continue reading →

In postseason debut, Southeastern rises up late

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Southeastern's Jeff Smiley celebrates his game-winning touchdown during the FCS playoff game between Southeastern University and Sam Houston State University on Saturday at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

HAMMOND — The postseason dream lives on for the Southeastern Louisiana football team. Thanks to a late touchdown from sophomore receiver Jeff Smiley, the Lions eliminated Southland Conference rival Sam Houston State 30-29 on Saturday night at Strawberry Stadium in the second round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. In the quarterfinals, the No. … Continue reading →

Harris: Lions pass the stress test in their playoff debut

HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana knows there are no bonus points awarded for difficulty, right? Common sense dictates that you don’t spot Sam Houston State, the back-to-back runner-up for the Football Championship Subdivision title, a two-score lead or trail by five points late in the fourth quarter. Pish-flippin’-posh. … Continue reading →

UL-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth seeks more fire from team

Associated Press photo by Charlie RiedeLouisiana-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth: “I might have to tear the hinges off the door in the locker room, but we will be ready to play (South Alabama). We have got to be more aggressive and play with more emotion than we did the last three quarters (against UL-Monroe).

LAFAYETTE — It might be the final regular-season football game for Louisiana- Lafayette, but there’s nothing anticlimactic about Saturday’s game with South Alabama. The Cajuns have a chance to win an outright Sun Belt Conference championship and re-establish some momentum entering preparations for their third straight R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl appearance on Dec. 21. … Continue reading →

Southeastern, Sam Houston State clash again

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Southeastern coach Ron Roberts, left, and Xavier Roberson runs onto the field after winning a share of the Southland Conference football title.

If it seems like the Southeastern Louisiana and Sam Houston State football teams have been here before, they have. Only this time, the stakes are a bit higher. Just weeks removed from the Lions’ 34-21 win over the Bearkats — a victory that helped the Lions clinch a share of the Southland Conference title — the teams … Continue reading →

Harris: Lions make it easy to pull for them

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELDSoutheastern Louisiana’s lion mascot leads cheerleaders and the team onto the field before the game between Sam Houston State and Southeastern on Oct. 16 in Hammond.

HAMMOND — Before reaching for the door at the Dugas Center, Southeastern Louisiana visitors have little option but to be partisan. A small black plaque is mounted above the handle. Four words are lightly etched in white font. The message, affixed in glue, is so humbly clever in its appeal … Continue reading →

Sam Houston at SLU quick read

Southeastern running back Xavier Roberson shakes a tackle from Samford linebacker Justin Shade on a 57-yard run in the first half Saturday at Seibert Stadium in Birmingham, Ala. Southeastern defeated Samford 34-31. (Photo by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public Info)

Sometimes, stating the obvious isn’t lazy. In this case, Southeastern Louisiana’s maiden voyage in the FCS playoffs stands starkly against the relative experience of Sam Houston State. The Bearkats are back-to-back national runners-up. They’ve played in nine playoff games over the past three seasons alone, including a 55-13 drubbing of Southern Utah last … Continue reading →

Southeastern to hold pep rally

Southeastern Louisiana University will host a student appreciation tailgate and pep rally at the War Memorial Student Union Park on Wednesday as the school prepares to host its first Football Championship Subdivision playoff game against Sam Houston State on Saturday. … Continue reading →

Breaking down bowl possibilities

Associated Press photo by L.G. PattersonMissouri receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, right, catches a 38-yard touchdown pass as Texas A&M defensive back Deshazor Everett defends during the second quarter of Saturday's game.

Amazing how such an everyday occurrence as a 109-yard return of a missed field goal on the final play of the game can alter the national championship picture in an instant. But that’s exactly what Chris Davis of Auburn’s sledgehammer to Alabama’s three-peat hopes accomplished on Saturday, along with shaking up the rest of the BCS … Continue reading →

10 finalists announced for Manning Award

The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced its 10 finalists for this year’s award Tuesday. The winner will be announced after the bowls and will be honored at a ceremony in New Orleans. The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton … Continue reading →

Southeastern La. racks up three major SLC honors

FRISCO, Texas — After claiming its first Southland Conference championship, Southeastern Louisiana has dominated the All-Southland Conference football teams announced Tuesday by the conference office. The Lions led all teams with 16 all-conference selections, placing eight players on the first team and six on the second team. Headlining the list of Lions is junior quarterback … Continue reading →