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Southeastern spring game: Lions fans get their first look at their team’s Ron Roberts-led defense

Associated Press photo by JONATHAN BACHMAN -- Southeastern Louisiana coach Ron Roberts

Southeastern football coach Ron Roberts wasn’t pleased with his defense last season. For the first time since 2012, the Lions weren’t the best defense in the Southland Conference. And as a result, they went 4-7 and had a four-game losing streak to end the season. So Roberts decided to do something he hadn’t done since 2009:… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana goes for needs with signing class

Associated Press photo by JONATHAN BACHMAN -- Southeastern Louisiana coach Ron Roberts

When it comes to Southeastern Louisiana’s signing class, it’s pretty straightforward. The Lions focused on needs in assembling a 28-man class, which features seven mid-year signees and 21 who signed Wednesday. “We went after the areas that were needed, and I’m really excited about some of the kids we got in here,” SLU coach Ron… Continue reading →

LSU’s Leonard Fournette, McNeese State’s Wallace Scott grab top honors on LSWA all-state college team

Associated Press file photo -- Matt Viator was voted Louisiana college coach of the year after leading McNeese State to its fourth Southland Conference title in his tenure. Viator has since left McNeese for the top job at ULM.

The three state college football teams that reached the postseason shared the top awards on the 2015 Louisiana Sports Writers Association All-Louisiana college football squad. Leonard Fournette, LSU’s record-setting sophomore running back, was named the state’s top offensive player, while Wallace Scott of Southland Conference champion McNeese State was chosen the defensive player of the year. Louisiana… Continue reading →

Ole Miss players embrace school’s history with Sugar Bowl

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Mississippi tight end Evan Engram (17) runs after the catch and scores on the play as LSU defensive back Donte Jackson (1), safety John Battle (26), and cornerback Tre'Davious White (18) give chase during the second half Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Oxford, Miss. LSU lost 38-17.

Ole Miss’ first invitation to the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 45 years has been a revelation for many of the Rebels players. The school’s long absence from the game belies its rich history in the Sugar Bowl. Ole Miss’ game against Oklahoma State on Friday will be its ninth in the Sugar Bowl, tied with… Continue reading →

Lewis: Too many bowls? C’mon — what’s wrong with more football?

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Arkansas State call out to the marhing band Saturday during the New Orleans Bowl at the Mercedes-Benze Superdome.

Enjoy your first day of the bowl season? Five games, ending with Saturday night’s New Orleans Bowl between Louisiana Tech and Arkansas State in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, were certainly a plateful. Want more? There are 34 more to come over the next two weeks, followed by the College Football Playoff championship game Jan.… Continue reading →

Quarterback Jeff Driskel finds redemption at Louisiana Tech

Louisiana Tech quarterback Jeff Driskel (6) passes to a teammate before getting hit by Kansas State defensive tackle Travis Britz (95) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Kansas State defeated Louisiana Tech 39-33 in triple overtime. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

As a hotshot high school signee with Florida, Jeff Driskel never imagined he would end his college career in the New Orleans Bowl. When he thought of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, he pictured himself as a starting NFL quarterback, certainly by 2015. Yet, he is quite content with the way things worked out.… Continue reading →

Tech seniors looking to go out with win

When Skip Holtz began his first year as head coach at Louisiana Tech, he knew he had a special group of young players to help build the program. Those young players grew into the winningest class of seniors in school history, and with a win in Saturday’s New Orleans Bowl against Arkansas State, the… Continue reading →

Lance Guidry named McNeese State coach

LAKE CHARLES — Lance Guidry, an All-Southland Conference defensive back for McNeese State in the early 1990s, was named the school’s 15th head coach Wednesday. Guidry , whose contract is pending approval by the Louisiana System Board of Supervisors, has been the Cowboys defensive coordinator and assistant head coach. He replaces Matt Viator, who left… Continue reading →

Well-rested — and then some — McNeese State welcomes Southland rival Sam Houston State in second round of the FCS playoffs

McNeese State coach Matt Viator admitted his lengthy coaching background hadn’t quite prepared him to deal with his recent quandary. Between polishing off an undefeated run to the Southland Conference championship and embarking on postseason play, the Cowboys have played just twice in a month. “It’s good to be rested, but it’s not good if you’re… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana defensive back Harlan Miller, three Louisiana Tech players selected to Senior Bowl

HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana defensive back Harlan Miller accepted an invite to compete in the 2016 Senior Bowl on Tuesday. Miller was one of 17 student-athletes to have their acceptance officially announced by the prestigious bowl game Tuesday. A total of 36 of the eventual 110 participants have now accepted invitations to the contest, scheduled for… Continue reading →

Nicholls State rallies, drops Southeastern Louisiana on last-second field goal to win River Bell Classic

SLU Public Information photo by RANDY BERGERON -- Southeastern running back Julius Maracalin faces Nicholls State defenders in the first half Thursday at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

HAMMOND — The River Bell trophy is headed back to Thibodaux. Francisco Condado kicked a 40-yard field goal with no time remaining to lift Nicholls State to a 27-24 win over Southeastern Louisiana in the 25th River Bell Classic on Thursday night. Southeastern (4-7, 3-6 Southland Conference) led 17-3 at halftime — but… Continue reading →

Harlan Miller and a stellar class of seniors at Southeastern Louisiana play their home finale against Nicholls State

SLU Public Information photo by RANDY BERGERON -- Southeastern’s Harlan Miller and Kaleb Muse drag down Lamar’s Kade Harrington during a game last season. Miller and the Lions host Nicholls State at 6 p.m. Thursday in their home finale.

HAMMOND — There wasn’t an abundance of college options for Harlan Miller coming out of Kentwood High, even with an accomplished career that included Class 1A Offensive MVP honors in 2011. Despite its proximity to home along the Interstate 55 corridor, Southeastern Louisiana didn’t emerge as a destination for Miller until an impassioned pitch from newly… Continue reading →

Sagging Southeastern Louisiana looks ahead to finale with Nicholls State

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southeastern Louisiana coach Ron Roberts

HAMMOND — This long season cut even deeper into a Southeastern Louisiana team that was already among the nation’s leaders in heartbreak. Less than a month after having Stephen F. Austin conclude a 17-play drive in the final minute for a 28-27 victory, Abilene Christian scored on a 1-yard pass play with 22 seconds… Continue reading →

Abilene Christian stuns Southeastern

Photo provided by Photo by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public Info -- Abilene Christian linebacker Bryson Gates trips up Southeastern running back Julius Maracalin in the first half Saturday at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene, Texas.

ABILENE, Texas — Parker McKenzie threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jamie Walker on fourth down with 22 seconds remaining to give Abilene Christian a 21-17 victory over Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday. Starting at their own 20, the Wildcats drove down the field in 18 plays, using 7:46 of the clock. McKenzie and Walker… Continue reading →

ULM coach Todd Berry relieved of duties

Louisiana-Monroe head coach Todd Berry gives instructions to his players during the first half of an NCAA college football game against New Mexico State in Las Cruces, N.M., Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

MONROE — Louisiana-Monroe Athletic Director Brian Wickstrom said football coach Todd Berry has been fired. The move, announced Saturday, comes on the heels of ULM’s 59-21 loss to Arkansas State, which dropped the Warhawks to 1-9. Defensive line coach John Mumford will serve as the interim head coach for the rest of this season,… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana defensive back Denzel Thompson is glad he’s been part of a program turnaround

File photo by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public Information -- Southeastern defensive back Denzel Thompson returns an interception against Northwestern State last season at Strawberry Stadium. Thompson is the only remaining player who was not recruited by current coach Ron Roberts.

HAMMOND — Having been his teammate for the past two seasons, Southeastern Louisiana senior defensive tackle Ashton Henderson knows the reserved nature of senior defensive back Denzel Thompson. During last week’s home game, with the offense on the field against Incarnate Word, the jovial Henderson decided to prod Thompson going into their series on the… Continue reading →

McNeese State claims Southland Conference title

LAKE CHARLES — Daniel Sams threw for 168 yards and one touchdown and ran for 164 yards and another score as McNeese State rallied past Sam Houston State 27-10 to claim the Southland Conference title on Saturday night. The Bearkats (6-3, 5-2) who could have moved into a tie for the conference championship… Continue reading →

Incarnate Word stuns Southeastern

Photo by RANDY BERGERON/SLU Public InformationSoutheastern Louisiana running back Kody Sutton takes a blocked punt out of the end zone in the first quarter against Incarnate Word last Saturday at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

HAMMOND — After losing three of its previous four games, Southeastern Louisiana was looking for offensive consistency against Southland Conference foe Incarnate Word. Instead, the Lions found few positives on a rainy evening at Strawberry Stadium. Stymied by an ineffective offense, Southeastern wasted a solid defensive effort as it fell to Incarnate Word 16-2 amid… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana lineman Joe Graves, an academic and athletic standout, is proud of what the Lions have built

HAMMOND — Two of the greatest life lessons that continue to impact Southeastern Louisiana center Joe Graves came at two entirely different junctures. The first was courtesy of his mother, Carla, who stipulated that before he could entertain the thought of after-school play, Graves had to complete all of his homework at the family dinner table.… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana has ‘plenty of reasons to play’ as it prepares for Incarnate Word

Photo by RANDY BERGERON/SLU Public InformationSoutheastern Louisiana tailback Kody Sutton stretches for more yardage close to the end zone against Lamar on Oct. 1 at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana officially ran out of chances in trying to preserve the championship mantra it established over the previous two years. Now comes the hard part; moving forward to secure just the fourth winning season since the school resurrected its football program in 2003. Southeastern Louisiana (4-4, 3-3) hosts Incarnate Word (4-4, 3-3) in… Continue reading →

Blake Veasley runs for 191 yards to lead Central Arkansas past Southeastern

CONWAY, Ark. — Blake Veasley ran 27 times for 191 yards and a touchdown to lead Central Arkansas over Southeastern Louisiana 21-16 in college football Saturday night. Veasley capped the game’s opening possession with a 1-yard touchdown run, and Kirk Baugh and Dominique Thomas added touchdown runs to keep the Bears (5-3, 5-1 Southland Conference)… Continue reading →

Southeastern football players perk up after ending losing streak

HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana defensive back Will Hines said there was a noticeable bounce in everyone’s step before and after Sunday’s team meeting. Although the sun hadn’t made its way through perpetual dark clouds, there was a smile on the faces of a locker room previously reeling from a two-game losing streak.… Continue reading →

McNeese State topples Northwestern State

LAKE CHARLES — Daniel Sams scored five touchdowns and racked up 357 total yards as McNeese State defeated Northwestern State 47-27 on Saturday night. Both teams thrived on the big plays but Sams, who threw for 242 yards and rushed for 115, led McNeese State (7-0, 6-0 Southland Conference) to the win. Northwestern… Continue reading →

Southeastern churns out win over Houston Baptist

Photo provided by Juan DeLeon  --  Southeastern Louisiana running back Kody Sutton runs out of a tackle by Houston Baptist defensive back Josh Erwin in Saturday's 22-7 win over Houston Baptist. Sutton fueled the win with a career-high 156  rushing yards.

HOUSTON — Southeastern Louisiana running back Kody Sutton rushed for a career-high 156 yards, while the Lion defense held Houston Baptist at bay in a 22-7 Southland Conference victory Saturday afternoon at Husky Stadium. Playing the majority of the game in a driving rain storm, the Lions (4-3, 3-2 Southland) avoided… Continue reading →

Southeastern has little room for error facing Houston Baptist

Photo by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public InformationSoutheastern running back Kody Sutton runs away from Stephen F. Austin defenders Allen Stewart and Justin Owens in the first half Saturday at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

HAMMOND — The past two Southland Conference championship seasons for Southeastern Louisiana haven’t been without their share of adversity. The difference, though, between those previous teams, which went on to hoist league trophies and participate in postseason play, was that they had time to rally to continue the program’s upward trend.… Continue reading →

Southeastern receiver William French, linebacker Tré Bennett among several players thrown into starring roles

Photo by RANDY BERGERON/SLU Public Information -- Southeastern wide receiver William French shakes a tackle by Stephen F. Austin defensive back Demander Freeman in the first half Saturday at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

HAMMOND — Junior college wide receiver William French was well on his way to fitting into Southeastern Louisiana’s offense, showing the ability to become the team’s second or third receiving option. Two weeks after the Lions lost their most veteran playmakers in consecutive games — leading receiver Jeff Smiley and top rusher/return specialist Xavier Roberson —… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana, on a two-game losing streak, vows to get back in the thick of the Southland Conference race

HAMMOND — During the past two years, when Southeastern Louisiana reached the summit of the Southland Conference, a 20-point lead more than a quarter into the game would have been cause for celebration. This season, such scenarios have been more cause for concern, brought on by inconsistent play and injuries. “Great teams are consistent,” Southeastern coach… Continue reading →

Nicholls State snaps losing skid

THIBODAUX — Michael Henry and Tuskani Figaro combined to rush for four touchdowns and 183 yards as Nicholls State snapped a 23-game losing streak with a 38-17 victory over Houston Baptist on Saturday. Henry rushed for 92 yards on 23 carries and two scores and Figaro, who also passed for 134 yards, rushed for 91… Continue reading →

Stephen F. Austin rallies to stun SLU

Southeastern linebacker Dereck Robinson wraps up Stephen F. Austin running back Loren Easly in the first half Saturday at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond. (Photo by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public Info)

HAMMOND — Southeastern’s defense played so well in the first quarter that it forced Stephen F. Austin to turn to its backup quarterback. But problems arose from there for the Lions. Hunter Taylor picked apart the Lions defense rallying the Lumberjacks with four scoring drives. The last drive culminated in Zach Conque’s 1-yard… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana safety Josh Dakin makes big impact

HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana had three defensive players in the vicinity converging on McNeese State’s David Bush when a blur emerged. The Cowboys, already holding a two-touchdown lead, were driving into Lions territory when senior free safety Josh Dakin closed on the play with a vengeance, one that resulted in some collateral damage.… Continue reading →

Southeastern coach Rob Roberts say the Lions have little room for error

HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana coach Ron Roberts was quick to remind his team Sunday that all of their preseason goals are still attainable. The one caveat, though, after Saturday’s 21-7 loss at No. 15 McNeese State, was the Lions have left themselves without any wiggle room in order to win a third… Continue reading →

McNeese State trips up Southeastern

Southeastern wide receiver Jeff Smiley is tackled by McNeese line backer Bo Brown in the first quarter Saturday at Cowboy Stadium in Lake Charles. (Photo by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public Info)

LAKE CHARLES — Fans of the immovable object were rewarded Saturday evening as McNeese State’s Southland Conference-leading defense put on a show. The affected force, Southeastern’s previously irresistible rushing attack, was held to 193 yards below its season’s average. The result was a hard-fought 21-7 win for McNeese as it won a showdown between two… Continue reading →

Grambling extends win streak

GRAMBLING — Jonathan Williams threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score as Grambling extended its conference winning streak to four games with a 37-14 win over Alabama A&M on Saturday. Williams had 255 yards passing for the Tigers (4-2, 4-0 Southwestern Athletic Conference). Martinez Carter rushed for 123 yards. Grambling scored four… Continue reading →

Daniel Sams leads McNeese State over Nicholls State

THIBODAUX — Daniel Sams threw for 140 yards and one touchdown and ran for 89 yards and another score as McNeese State rolled over Nicholls State 37-7 on Saturday at John L. Guidry Stadium. Sams, who has totaled 647 passing yards and 346 rushing yards through four games, completed a 34-yard scoring pass to Tavarious… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana offense looks to light up in Thursday night home game against Lamar

Southeastern wide receiver Dylan Bossier goes to the air over Ohio University defenders Nathan Carpenter and Devin Bass for a touchdown reception in the second half Saturday at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio. (Photo by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public Info)

HAMMOND — Count Southeastern Louisiana coach Ron Roberts among those eager to see his offense start to operate at a more optimum level. “We’re into Game 4,” Roberts said. “It’s time for us to start clicking on all cylinders.” Through the first three weeks of the season, Southeastern, which had an open date last week, has… Continue reading →

After open week, SLU preps for Lamar

HAMMOND — Through the first four weeks of the season Southeastern Louisiana’s schedule has featured a little bit of everything. The Lions kicked off defense of their Southland Conference championship with a 34-20 victory at Northwestern State and opened their home schedule with a 28-17 win over Division II Florida Tech. Before an earlier-than-usual bye week, SLU pushed… Continue reading →

Alabama big favorite against ULM, but 2007 game looms

Alabama running back Derrick Henry, center, carries the ball in for a touchdown between Mississippi linebacker Christian Russell, left,  and defensive back Kendarius Webster, right, during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The biggest upset of Nick Saban’s Alabama tenure came eight years and three national champions ago. That stunning loss to ULM during Saban’s first season in Tuscaloosa is relevant now because of how far the 12th-ranked Crimson Tide has come since and because the Warhawks finally return Saturday. This one would… Continue reading →

Colorado leery of letdown against Nicholls State

Colorado placekicker Diego Gonzalez, back, kicks the winning field goal as holder Colin Johnson places the ball in the overtime session of an NCAA college football game against Colorado State Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Denver. Colorado won 27-24.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

BOULDER, Colo. — The Colorado Buffaloes don’t have any bye weeks on their 13-game schedule. They do catch a breather Saturday against Nicholls State, though, before they dive into Pac-12 play. The Colonels (0-2), of the Southland Conference, have lost 20 straight. Of course, they thought they had a gimme against Sacramento State in… Continue reading →

Saturday’s state football capsules

Louisiana Tech quarterback Jeff Driskel (6) passes to a teammate before getting hit by Kansas State defensive tackle Travis Britz (95) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Kansas State defeated Louisiana Tech 39-33 in triple overtime. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Nicholls State (0-2) at Colorado (2-1) WHEN: 12:30 p.m. Saturday WHERE: Folsom Field (50,183), Boulder, Colo. TV: None SERIES: First meeting STAT THAT MATTERS: Nicholls State, which has lost 20 games in a row since 2013, has dropped 14 consecutive road games. NOTES: Nicholls State takes on a Pac-12 foe for the third time in the past four seasons… Continue reading →

Saturday’s state football capsules

Louisiana Monroe wide receiver Rashon Ceaser (81) catches a touchdown pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Troy in Troy, Ala., Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. Louisiana-Monroe beat Troy 49-37. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) ORG XMIT: otkdm213

Florida Tech (0-1) at Southeastern La. (1-0) WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday WHERE: Strawberry Stadium (7,408), Hammond TV: None SERIES: First meeting STAT THAT MATTERS: SLU’s offense was 4-for-4 in the red zone with four TDs in last week’s 34-20 win against Northwestern State. NOTES: The Lions, ranked 18th in the latest FCS coaches poll, displayed a powerful offense… Continue reading →

Given a shot, Julius Maracalin makes mark with Southeastern

HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana senior left tackle Aaron Reed believed Julius Maracalin could have been a part of the Lions running back rotation last season. As a true freshman. Each Thursday, at the end of practice, Reed said all players that were targeted for redshirt seasons went toe-to-toe against one another, a forum in which Maracalin… Continue reading →

Once ground game started rolling, Southeastern stayed with it

HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana football coach Ron Roberts said the complexion of Thursday’s season-opener with Northwestern State was more out necessity than by design. “For me, that’s the old school part of it,” Roberts said Tuesday during his weekly media luncheon. “I want to run the football. You’ve got to run the… Continue reading →