UIW (0-0) at No. 19 McNeese (1-0): The Matchup, Players to Watch, Keys to Victory, Prediction

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UIW (0-0) at No. 19 McNeese (1-0)

When: noon Saturday at Cowboy Stadium in Lake Charles, La.

Broadcast: ESPN+

The Matchup: Year three of the Eric Morris era is set to begin this week and the Cardinals hope to return to the FCS playoffs. If UIW is to make the playoffs this year, they will do so without quarterback Jon Copeland, who has entered the transfer portal.

The Cardinals are facing a team that already has a game under their belt. McNeese rallied from 14 points down late in the fourth quarter to defeat Tarleton in overtime to open the FCS season. 

Players to Watch: 

UIW - Cameron Ward, QB, Fr, West Columbia, Texas (Columbia HS)

Kevin Brown, RB, Sr, Mount Pleasant, S.C. (Wando HS)

Ce’Cori Tolds, KR, Sr, Houston, Texas (Manvel HS) 

McNeese - Cody Orgeron, QB, Sr, Mandeville, La. (Mandeville HS)

Mason Kinsey, DL, So, Mansfield, Texas (Navarro)

Andre Sam, DB, Jr, Iowa, La. (Iowa HS)

Key to Victory: Success for UIW begins and ends with the quarterback position. On offense, freshman Cameron Ward has large shoes to fill and will need to manage his nerves and protect the football.

The Cardinals defense will certainly key on Cowboys quarterback Cody Orgeron. UIW has had a history of leading FCS in forced turnovers under Morris and will need to take advantage of their opportunities against the battle-tested Orgeron.

Prediction: McNeese by 3

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