Jeff Kolpack, Published December 13 2013
Torch passed in Southland ConferenceFARGO – The Southland Conference has another team making a deep playoff run – only this time it’s not Sam Houston State. It’s Southeastern Louisiana, which is making school history.
The Lions knocked off the Bearkats 30-29 last weekend for their first FCS playoff win ever. It was their 10th straight win, which is the school’s longest streak since a team won 13 straight in the 1950s.
It appears the gavel has been past in the Southland. Sam Houston State was the dominant team the last two years in reaching the FCS title game, where it lost to North Dakota State in consecutive years.
Southeastern is led by quarterback Brian Bennett, a University of Oregon transfer, who was named the Southland’s Player of the Year. He’s thrown for 2,896 yards and run for 1,017 yards and 15 touchdowns in one of the most statistically impressive seasons this year in the FCS.
It’s an award-winning year for the Lions. Head coach Ron Roberts was named the Southland’s Coach of the Year and linebacker Cgulin Hubert was named the Defensive Player of the Year.
Southeastern hosts New Hampshire at 6 pm. today on ESPN3 and ESPN GamePlan with the winner facing the winner of the NDSU and Coastal Carolina game.
New Hampshire rebounds from 1-3 start, plays Lions next
The Lions will be facing a New Hampshire team that is no stranger to the playoffs. It is making a FCS-best 10th straight appearance in postseason.
One interesting note: The Wildcats are playing their 11th straight playoff game on the road.
At one point this season, New Hampshire was 1-3, including a 44-28 loss to Towson State, which played at Eastern Illinois on Friday night.
“We didn’t think much of this after that Towson game,” Wildcats quarterback Sean Goldrich said in an interview posted on the New Hampshire website. “We’re 1-3 and thinking what type of team are we. What are we capable of? The next thing you know we’re here and we have a chance to play for a national championship.”
Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia