FCS Recap: Incarnate Word with huge road win over Top 25 opponent; SHSU, PVAMU fall

Kelly Guess

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No. 25 Incarnate Word Cardinals (4-2, 3-1)

Last Week: UIW built up a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter then held off a late charge to earn a big 27-21 road win over No. 25 Southeastern Louisiana last Saturday.

Quarterback Jon Copeland completed 14-of-27 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns while Ameer King gained 93 yards rushing on 18 carries. The Cardinals defense forced five turnovers, including four interceptions; Ashton Preston intercepted two passes. Isiah Paul returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown for UIW.

The Verdict: After earning their first road win of the season last week, the Cardinals followed up with another great defensive performance in another big road victory this week. UIW returns home this week to play another team playing good defense and on a hot streak.

This Week: UIW will host Lamar on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.


Sam Houston State Bearkats (4-3, 3-1)

Last Week: SHSU was unable to get any offensive traction last Saturday as they lost a heartbreaking 20-17 triple overtime game at home to Lamar.

Running back Donovan Williams gained 126 yards rushing and a touchdown on 29 carries while Nathan Stewart caught five passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Ty Brock completed 12-of-34 passes for 114 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Trevor Williams had an incredible game for the Kats with 15 tackles, 13 solo, with 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

The Verdict: The Kats were caught in possibly a trap game and paid the price last week. The defense only allowed 34 total rushing yards, but the Kats offense could not take advantage with only 107 passing yards. The Kats need to refocus for a tough conference game this week.

This Week: SHSU concludes a two-game homestand when they host No. 9 Nicholls at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.


Prairie View A&M Panthers (2-4, 2-2)

Last Week: PVAMU fought back from deficits all game last Saturday but was unable to take a lead as they dropped a tough 34-28 decision on the road to Southern.

Quarterback Jalen Morton had a big week as he completed 17-of-31 passes for 287 yards with a touchdown and an interception while adding 133 yards and a touchdown on only 12 carries. Kalen Riles had an impressive game with 100 yards receiving and a touchdown on only two receptions. Tre’Shaud Smith led the Panthers defense with nine tackles, three tackles for a loss and a sack.

The Verdict: This loss is really hurt the Panthers chances at winning the West Division and appearing in the SWAC title game this year as they are now two games behind Southern for the lead. PVAMU will play its first home game since Sept. 28 this week.

This Week: PVAMU will host Virginia Lynchburg at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.


Abilene Christian Wildcats (3-4, 2-3)

Last week: ACU scored early and often in a complete performance from both sides of the ball in a 45-20 win over Houston Baptist last Saturday night.

Luke Anthony completed 30-of-43 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns while quarterback Sema’J Davis gained 148 yards rushing and a touchdown on 11 carries and Tracy James added 118 yards rushing and a touchdown on 18 carries. Josh Fink led the receivers with 12 catches for 112 yards and a touchdown and Kobe Clark added 107 yards and a touchdown on nine receptions.

Jeremiah Chamber and Ryan Stapp led the defense with each recording seven tackles, all solo. You can read more about last week’s small college spotlight game by clicking this link.

The Verdict: The Wildcats finally started hot on offense and combined with a great defensive first half were able to build a big 15-point lead at the break. ACU has played better statistically than their record indicates but they have another tough conference game this week.

This Week: ACU concludes a two-game homestand on Saturday when they host Stephen F. Austin at 3 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.


Houston Baptist Huskies (4-3, 1-2)

Last Week: HBU started slow on offense last Saturday night and could never recover as they dropped a 45-20 decision on the road to Abilene Christian.

Quarterback Bailey Zappe completed 35-of-56 passes for 267 yards with one touchdown and an interception while Ben Ratzlaff led the receiving corps with 78 yards on eight receptions. Tra Fluellen led the Huskies defense with 11 tackles (eight solo).

The Verdict: Huskies head coach Vic Shealy has high expectations for his team this year including making a run at a possible spot in the FCS playoffs. He was unhappy with his team’s performance and promised they would improve soon. It will be a long week at HBU.

This Week: HBU concludes a two-game road trip when they play McNeese at 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.


Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (1-5, 1-2)

Last Week: SFA had a bye last week.

The Verdict: The ‘Jacks have improved each week of this season and will continue to put up a fight in each game they play this season. SFA hits the road again this week and will play a team that plays outstanding football in their home stadium.

This Week: SFA travels to play Abilene Christian on Saturday at 3 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.


Texas Southern Tigers (0-6, 0-2)

Last Week: TSU was unable to score more than a field goal in the second half as they were defeated by NCAA Division II Missouri S&T 23-20 at home last Saturday.

Quarterback Devin Williams completed 25-of-37 passes for 273 yards with one interception. Dominic Franklin carried the ball 22 times for 114 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers while Donnie Corley once again led the receiving corps with 152 yards receiving on 10 catches. Mene Khepera led the TSU defense with 11 tackles.

The Verdict: This is a tough loss for the Tigers as they may have been caught in a trap game. TSU heads back into SWAC play this week with a huge game against Southern in the State Fair Showdown.

This Week: TSU will meet Southern on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

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