The Bearkats biggest game of the season is against the number one team in the Southland Conference, which is the unbeaten McNeese State Cowboys.
McNeese should prove to be one of the toughest opponents the Bearkats have faced this season.
The game being on the road won’t make their job any easier.
The Bearkats are riding a 6 game winning streak, but last week was the first time the game has been close for all 60 minutes during that run.
Running backs Cory Avery and Jalen Overstreet had stellar performances, combining for 224 yards and four touchdowns.
“It’s great,” Keeler said. “Cory and Jalen make such a great combo. Cory is one of the shiftiest runners I’ve ever seen, and he knows how to run north-south and get yards. Jalen has the speed to go for big plays. Together, they are so dynamic, and can do so much for our offense.”
Jared Johnson also had a big game, throwing for 267 yards, running for another 74 and a touchdown.
“Jared has confidence,” Keeler said. “It’s hard to take him out when he’s playing as well as he is.”
The offense was able to put up 38 points and 555 yards against a talented A&M Commerce defense and they will be facing another one this weekend.
McNeese has held opponents to a measly 10.8 points a game and is only allowing 281 yards as well.
For a Bearkat offense averaging 46 points and 549 yards, this will be an interesting matchup.
The place the McNeese defense has been dominant is in their run stopping.
They are only giving up two yards per carry, 67 yards a game, and have only allowed three rushing touchdowns all year.
The Bearkats have scored 27 rushing touchdowns, five yards a carry, and 259 yards a game.
The stage is set for there to be a power struggle in the trenches and whoever comes out victorious there will most likely win the game.
The Bearkat defensive line will also have their hands full going against a stout offensive line that has only allowed nine sacks all year.
One player who should be able to break that trend is P.J. Hall, who had a dominant game against A&M Commerce with three tackles for a loss, two sacks, a pass break up, and a blocked field goal.
“I just want to get stops,” Hall said. “I don’t really look at stats. I just want to get their offense off the field and get a win.”
The entire defense will have to be held accountable for McNeese QB Daniel Sams who has been a force to be reckoned with this year.
Sams is averaging 76 yards on the ground and 155 in the air along with being responsible for over half of McNeese’s touchdowns.
“We have to be ready for him,” Keeler said. “He is probably the fastest quarterback we’ve faced all season. If you don’t account for him, he can take it 60-70 yards on you no problem, which is something we haven’t seen from a quarterback.”
The Bearkat defense struggled in the pass game last weekend, giving up 432 yards, which is something McNeese could look to capitalize on.
However, the return of the Bearkat’s three starting corners, who were all out due to injury, should help minimize the other teams’ passing games going forward.
The keys to win over McNeese and take first place in the Southland Conference are to contain McNeese on defense and establish a run game early on offense.
The game is on Saturday at 6:00 pm and will be available for streaming on ESPN3.