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Lions have work to do to eliminate breakdowns

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.

HAMMOND — Film review for Southeastern Louisiana football coach Ron Roberts a day after his team’s 35-20 defeat at the hands of Tulane wasn’t any more palatable than Saturday’s original version. It only accentuated what Roberts saw firsthand in the Lions’ first loss of the season: a lack of execution offensively, coupled with three turnovers, the inability… Continue reading →

Charlie Stubbs resigns as Nicholls State football coach

Associated Press photo by DANNY JOHNSTON -- Nicholls State coach Charlie Stubbs walks along the sideline during the second half of a game at Arkansas on Sept. 6 in Fayetteville, Ark. Arkansas defeated Nicholls 73-7.

THIBODAUX — Charlie Stubbs resigned as football coach at Nicholls State University, citing “major health reasons” that a university spokesman didn’t elaborating on. A longtime assistant at a number of colleges, Nicholls State was the first collegiate head coaching job for the 59-year-old Stubbs. He took over in 2010, finishing with a 10-38 record in… Continue reading →

Around the state: Football preview capsules

Associated Press photo by DANNY JOHNSTON -- Nicholls State coach Charlie Stubbs walks along the sideline during the second half of a game at Arkansas on Sept. 6 in Fayetteville, Ark. Arkansas defeated Nicholls 73-7.

WHEN: 4 p.m. Saturday WHERE: Municipal Stadium (9,601), Daytona Beach, Fla. TV: None STAT THAT MATTERS: Stephen Johnson was the Tigers’ leading passer against Houston, going 11-of-18 attempts for 151 yards and two interceptions. NOTES: The tough road continues for Grambling heading into the third week of the season. After suffering a season-opening… Continue reading →

Cody Sokol throws 5 TDs in Louisiana Tech win

DENTON, Texas — Cody Sokol threw five touchdown passes as Louisiana Tech rolled over North Texas 42-21 at Apogee Stadium on Thursday night. Sokol connected with eight different receivers to claim Tech’s first Conference USA victory of the season. The senior was 20-for-31 for 243 yards, including two touchdown passes to Paul… Continue reading →

Ex-Tulane defensive back Jordan Batiste prepares to face former team as part of Southeastern Louisiana secondary

Photo provided by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public Information -- Southeastern Louisiana defensive back Jordan Batiste returning an interception against Southern Utah.

HAMMOND — Three years ago, Jordan Batiste couldn’t wait to get to Tulane and embark on his college football career. Batiste, then 17 years old, graduated a semester early from Lutcher High, enrolled for the spring semester at Tulane and went through spring workouts with Green Wave. Batiste put the finishing touches on what… Continue reading →

Louisiana Tech faces North Texas to open Conference USA play

Associated Press file photo by TONY GUTIERREZ -- Louisiana Tech running back Kenneth Dixon

DENTON, Texas — There is no rest for the weary. Especially not Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs prepare to play their third road game in 13 days, opening Conference USA play at North Texas at 7 p.m. Thursday. Louisiana Tech is coming off a 48-20 blowout of UL-Lafayette, a game in which the Bulldogs… Continue reading →

Southeastern anticipates seizing opportunity at Tulane

HAMMOND — The opportunity for Southeastern Louisiana to travel to Tulane and play at 7 p.m. Saturday in Yulman Stadium means a lot of different things to different people. To senior defensive back Marice Sutton, it represents a homecoming. He grew up several blocks from Tulane’s campus and graduated from St. Augustine High School. Sutton nearly… Continue reading →

Arkansas rolls over Nicholls State

Nicholls State quarterback Kalen Henderson (15) looks for a receiver before being sacked by Arkansas defensive tackle Taiwan Johnson, right, in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Sarah Bentham)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Bret Bielema enjoyed the little things like singing the fight song with the Arkansas student section and addressing his team following a win. It had been far too long for the Razorbacks and their second-year coach. Led by four touchdown passes from Brandon Allen, Arkansas (1-1) overwhelmed Football Championship Subdivision opponent… Continue reading →

Russell, Baylor rout Northwestern State

Northwestern State linebacker Adam Jones (3) attempts to stop Baylor running back Johnny Jefferson (2) in the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, in Waco, Texas. Baylor won 70-6. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

WACO, TEXAS — Baylor backup quarterback Seth Russell threw for 438 yards and five touchdowns while playing only the first half, freshman KD Cannon caught three of those scores and No. 10 Baylor overwhelmed FCS team Northwestern State 70-6 on Saturday night. Cannon went streaking past the secondary for TD catches of 50, 81 and… Continue reading →

Southeastern pulls away from Southern Utah

Photo provided by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public InfoormationSoutheastern's Marice Sutton tackles Southern Utah receiver Justin Brown in the second quarter Saturday night at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

HAMMOND — It took Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Bryan Bennett and the Lions most of the game to find their rhythm, but once they did, Southern Utah had no answer for them. No. 3 Southeastern defeated the Thunderbirds 41-14 Saturday night after the Lions pounded Southern Utah for 21 points in the final 11 minutes of… Continue reading →

Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska shake McNeese

Associated Press photo by Nati HarnikNebraska running back Ameer Abdullah scores the game-winning touchdown ahead of McNeese State defensive back Jermaine Antoine on Saturday.

LINCOLN, Neb. — Desperation brought out the best in Ameer Abdullah. With No. 19 Nebraska and McNeese State of the second-tier FCS tied Saturday, Abdullah turned a short pass from Tommy Armstrong Jr. into a jaw-dropping 58-yard touchdown with 20 seconds left for a 31-24 victory. Abdullah broke five tackles on his way to… Continue reading →

Southeastern pulls away from Southern Utah

Photo provided by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public InfoormationSoutheastern's Marice Sutton tackles Southern Utah receiver Justin Brown in the second quarter Saturday night at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

HAMMOND — It took Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Bryan Bennett and the Lions most of the game to find their rhythm, but once they did, Southern Utah had no answer for them. No. 3 Southeastern defeated the Thunderbirds 41-14 Saturday night at Strawberry Stadium after the Lions pounded Southern Utah for 21 points in the final… Continue reading →

Around the state

Grambling (0-1) at Houston (0-1) WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday WHERE: TDECU Stadium (40,000), Houston TV: ESPN3 SERIES: Houston leads 1-0. STAT THAT MATTERS: Grambling may have allowed 525 yards of total offense against Lamar, but Houston was only able to muster 208 yards of offense in its season opener in a 27-7… Continue reading →

Southeastern benefits from transfers in secondary

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

HAMMOND — For all of his past achievements, there was still one thing missing from the collegiate football résumé of Southeastern Louisiana junior safety Micah Eugene. While it was commonplace for the former Class 5A All-Stater at Acadiana High to score touchdowns as a running back, Eugene had never reached the end zone in his… Continue reading →

Southeastern’s Xavier Roberson returns kickoffs a long way — and has come a long way himself

SLU Public Information Photos by RANDY BERGERON -- Southeastern's Xavier Roberson scores against Northwestern State during the 2012 season.

HAMMOND — Three years ago, Southeastern Louisiana junior running back/kick returner Xavier Roberson resigned himself to the fact that his recruiting process was over — and quite possibly his playing career, too. Five months had passed since the start of the national signing period in February 2012, and Roberson, an all-conference defensive back at Tri-Cities… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana, Southern Utah will test strengths of their leagues

Associated Press file photo by Jonathan Bachman -- Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Bryan Bennett passed for 311 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 93 yards and one touchdown Saturday in a 44-3 win over Jacksonville.

HAMMOND — What may have seemed an obscure season-opening FCS game to some had plenty of relevance when Eastern Washington took a 56-35 victory over Sam Houston State. The deeper meaning is still to be determined when the NCAA hands out its postseason football bids in less than three months, but Eastern Washington’s win translated… Continue reading →

Transfers shine in Southeastern’s season opener

Southeastern quarterback Bryan Bennett outruns Jacksonville defenders  for an 83-yard touchdown Saturday in the first quarter at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond. (Photo by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public Info)

HAMMOND — They may not have started their careers in Southeastern Louisiana jersies, but several transfers found a home in Hammond during the Lions’ season opener against Jacksonville. The No. 3 Lions handedly defeated the Dolphins 44-3 at home Saturday night behind multiple big plays from players who didn’t start their careers at Southeastern, including… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana ready to roar again

Advocate file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southeastern advanced to the FCS quarterfinals last season for the first time in school history.

HAMMOND — Third-year Southeastern Louisiana football coach Ron Roberts doesn’t belabor the point when it comes to this year’s defense. “I think this group has a special chance to be a special defense,” Roberts said. “They can be tops in the country. They’ve got to do the things that are going to separate them from the… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana relies on versatile running backs

Advocate file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southeastern advanced to the FCS quarterfinals last season for the first time in school history.

HAMMOND — Competition and camaraderie have been at the core of a budding relationship that’s galvanized a bond between Southeastern Louisiana’s junior running back trio of Rasheed Harrell, Kody Sutton and Darrius Guy. It’s become commonplace during their two years together at SLU to find any of the triumvirate enjoying a spirited evening of video… Continue reading →

Around the state: Week 1 capsules

Advocate file photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Nicholls State coach Charlie Stubbs, left, and Southeastern coach Ron Roberts shake hands at midfield during the game between Nicholls State and Southeastern Louisiana in November at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday WHERE: Strawberry Stadium TV: None SERIES: Southeastern leads 3-0. STAT THAT MATTERS: SLU senior quarterback Bryan Bennett has a season to remember in his premier campaign with the Lions, finishing with 4,211 total yards and 37 touchdowns. NOTES: For SLU coach Ron Roberts, 2014 is the year. With senior quarterback Bryan… Continue reading →

Around the state

Grambling at Lamar WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday WHERE: Provost Umphrey Stadium (16,000), Beaumont, Texas TV: None SERIES: Lamar leads 1-0 STAT THAT MATTERS: Lamar was impressive at home in 2013, posting a 4-2 record, with… Continue reading →

Lions on the run: Trio powers SLU

Advocate file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southeastern advanced to the FCS quarterfinals last season for the first time in school history.

HAMMOND — Competition and camaraderie have been at the core of a budding relationship that’s galvanized a bond between Southeastern Louisiana’s junior running back trio of Rasheed Harrell, Kody Sutton and Darrius Guy. It’s become commonplace during their two years together at SLU to find any of the triumvirate enjoying a spirited evening of video… Continue reading →

Pete Thomas, Warhawks edge Wake Forest

Louisiana-Monroe's Michael Johnson (34) and Cody Robinson, right, bring down Wake Forest's John Wolford (10) during an NCAA college football game Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in Monroe, La. (AP Photo/The News-Star, Dacia Idom) NO SALES

MONROE — Pete Thomas ran in a 9-yard go-ahead touchdown with 3:27 remaining to lift Louisiana-Monroe to a 17-10 victory over Wake Forest Thursday night at Malone Stadium. The Warhawks (1-0) trailed 10-0 at halftime before rallying for 17 unanswered points on Wake Forest (0-1). With the win, ULM swept the home-and-home series against… Continue reading →

ULM, Wake Forest to meet

Associated Press file photo by DAVE MARTIN --UL-Monroe coach Todd Berry

MONROE — The Louisiana-Monroe football team opens the season on Thursday hosting Wake Forest in a nationally televised game on ESPNU at 6:02 p.m. ULM grabbed a 21-19 win at Wake Forest last season. ULM begins the season with three of its first four games at home as the Warhawks host Wake Forest in… Continue reading →

Demons to host Missouri State

NATCHITOCHES — Northwestern State and Missouri State will meet for the second straight year to open the season. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at Turpin Stadium in Natchitoches. The Demons, coached by Baker native Jay Thomas, won last Aug. 29 in a hard-fought 23-17 decision in Springfield in the first meeting in… Continue reading →

Southeastern’s Kaleb Muse happy to get back to full contact

Photo provided by SLU Public InformationSoutheastern Louisiana linebacker Kaleb Muse sacks Northwestern State  quarterback Brad Henderson in 2012.

HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana senior outside linebacker Kaleb Muse was almost giddy at the thought of getting hit again. The Lions were into their first day of full-contact drills when Muse was presented with the first opportunity to test his surgically repaired shoulder. He took on offensive guard Aaron Reed in a drill that Reed… Continue reading →

Southeastern is flying high but staying grounded

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Southeastern quarterback Bryan Bennett celebrates a running touchdown,

A Southland Conference championship and a trip to the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals a year ago are certain to raise the expectation level to greater heights for Southeastern Louisiana this fall. But the expectations that come with being ranked third in the preseason national polls and having a Walter Payton Award Watch List candidate in quarterback Bryan… Continue reading →

Reinforcements will be pivotal for McNeese State

Associated Press file photo by L.G. Patterson -- McNeese State coach Matt Viator

When McNeese State coach Matt Viator stares out over his squad on the practice field in Lake Charles, he will be looking for not one but two new generals for his offense. A combination of quarterback Cody Stroud and running back Marcus Wiltz carried the Cowboys to a 10-3 record in 2013 after combining for 4,318… Continue reading →

QB Zach Adkins has the Golden touch for Northwestern State

Advocate file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southern linebacker Franchot West pressures Northwestern State quarterback Zach Adkins

When it comes to Louisiana football programs in the Southland conference, California seems to be a breeding ground for prime quarterback talent. While Bryan Bennett dominated opposing defenses for Southeastern Louisiana, another Golden State signal caller was making his presence felt 227 miles to the north. Northwestern State quarterback Zach Adkins was a force in his… Continue reading →

Skip Holtz sees stability as key to Louisiana Tech’s turnaround

Associated Press file photo -- Louisiana Tech's Kenneth Dixon

Last season, the first under Skip Holtz as head coach, Louisiana Tech went 4-8. However, Holtz, hired in December 2012 after previous stops at UConn, East Carolina and South Florida, feels his Bulldogs could be poised for a rebound. “Excited, a lot more stability. You feel like you have your feet on the ground a little bit… Continue reading →

Tough schedule looms over UL-Monroe

Associated Press file photo by Gerald Herbert -- Louisiana-Monroe coach Todd Berry

Louisiana-Monroe coach Todd Berry knows the schedule his 2014 team faces is daunting, but he believes it’s more than prepared for the challenge. “Our players are used to playing this kind of schedule, and they look forward to these opportunities,” said Berry, who is entering his fifth season in Monroe. “It allows for a better offseason because… Continue reading →

Louisiana College has something special brewing

Louisiana College coach Dennis Dunn has quietly generated a culture of winning in Pineville. Over the past six years, the Wildcats have a 43-18 record, the second-best winning percentage in the state over that span behind LSU. In 2013, the Wildcats strung together another dominating campaign under Dunn, finishing 7-3 as runners-up in the American Southwest… Continue reading →

New homes abound for Tulane: Yulman Stadium and AAC

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Tulane comes takes the field for the first half of the New Orleans Bowl.

Tulane’s first bowl appearance in 11 years has not exactly bowled anyone over outside of the program. With the Green Wave (7-6 in 2013) moving from Conference USA to the tougher American Athletic Conference and upgrading its nonconference schedule, the prognosticators are pessimistic about a team that has numerous holes to fill. Tulane lost… Continue reading →

No Ryan Grant? No worries for Tulane receivers

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Tulane's Justyn Shackleford

When Tulane coach Curtis Johnson was asked about having to replace All-Conference USA pick Ryan Grant, you would’ve thought he might show a glimpse of concern or hesitance about what he may get from his receivers this year. Surprisingly, Johnson seemed almost giddy when he got an opportunity to express excitement about his receivers heading… Continue reading →

Tulane depth chart breakdown

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Tulane quarterback Tanner Lee

QUARTERBACKS 12 Tanner Lee 6-4 220 R-Fr. 1 Devin Powell 6-3 228 So. 11 Nick Montana 6-3 207 Sr. BRIEFLY: Lee has all the assets to be a top-flight quarterback, which he demonstrated by producing touchdowns on his first four series in Tulane’s first preseason scrimmage. The strong, accurate arm, the pocket presence and the leadership are all there. The next… Continue reading →

Third-ranked Southeastern looks to build on breakout year

Photo by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public InformationMissouri defenders Braylon Webb and Zaviar Gooden wrap up Southeastern tight end Jeremy Meyers last season.

HAMMOND — The closer Southeastern Louisiana’s football team got toward the downtown area for Friday’s “Hot August Nights” celebration, senior tight end Jeremy Meyers couldn’t believe his eyes. The promotion, sponsored by Hammond’s Downtown Development District, was the latest example of how much the community has embraced its football program after last year’s 11-3 season,… Continue reading →

Southeastern coach Ron Roberts welcomes test from FBS’ Tulane

HAMMOND — For the third consecutive year since Ron Roberts has been at Southeastern Louisiana his Lions will visit a Football Bowl Subdivision team Sept. 13 when they face Tulane. Based on the jump in competition, it’s always been a welcomed game for Roberts to get a pretty good yardstick of his team once… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana goes through 70-play scrimmage under the lights

HAMMOND — The No. 3-ranked Southeastern Louisiana football team held its first scrimmage of fall camp under the lights Saturday night at Strawberry Stadium. Both sides of the ball had good moments in the nearly 70-play scrimmage. The Lion offense accumulated 326 yards, while the Southeastern defense forced stops on nine of the 16… Continue reading →

Defense dominates Colonels’ scrimmage; QB Daniel Sams shines at McNeese

THIBODAUX — The Nicholls State football team finished camp Saturday morning with its final preseason scrimmage — and much like last week’s scrimmage, the defense had a strong showing, limiting the offense to 248 yards while racking up eight sacks and one interception. The defense allowed just 60 rushing yards on 31 carries, helped by a large amount of… Continue reading →

Despite setbacks, Southeastern churns ahead toward scrimmage

SLU Public Information file photo by RANDY BERGERON -- Southeastern coach Ron Roberts watches as wide receiver Jarrell Bennett hauls in a reception in the annual Spring Game at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond. The Lions canceled their first scrimmage Saturday because of thunderstorms.

HAMMOND — Losing a practice to rain, moving another indoors and the canceling the first scrimmage may appear a tall order to overcome in preparing for the start of a new season. Given the recent rise of Southeastern Louisiana’s program — ranked No. 3 in the Football Championship Subdivision coaches poll — and the veteran… Continue reading →