Archive for Saturday, August 11, 2007

SE Louisiana not punchless

August 11, 2007

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There probably isn't much doubt who should be favored when Kansas University and Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) foe Southeastern Lousiana square off on Sept. 8.

But if you need proof, consider the following:

¢ The Lions finished 2-9 last season, losing to teams like Nicholls and Gardner-Webb. They played three I-A opponents last year - New Mexico State, Southern Mississippi and Texas Tech - and lost all three by a combined score of 137-15.

¢ One of Southeastern's victories was against Northwestern State in overtime. Kansas beat NSU, 49-18, last year in Lawrence.

¢ Southeastern ranked last in the seven-team Southland Conference in both scoring offense and scoring defense last year.

Yes, it's shaping up to be a lopsided laugher in Lawrence that day, which might be precisely the point. As with any I-A/FCS game, the I-A team often is looking for a sure win and a cheap date.

Kansas probably will get it, though Southeastern is not entirely punchless. Jay Lucas, a bulldog at running back standing 5-foot-11, 232 pounds, is a Texas A&M; transfer who led the Lions with 684 rushing yards a year ago. Brad Schlosser, the projected starting quarterback, played half the snaps last year and completed 67 percent of his passes for 940 yards.

A young receiving corps returns largely intact, too, featuring Crawford Kilpatrick (47 catches, 391 yards in 2006). Lucas is used extensively as a receiving option, as well.

It probably won't be enough, though. I-A teams were 71-7 against the lower division a year ago, and that was a good year for the Championship Subdivision. The former I-AA was 2-50 against its superiors in 2005.

Kansas, in coach Mark Mangino's five-year tenure, is 4-0 against the lower level, winning by an average margin of 43-14. One of those games, in 2005, was against eventual I-AA national champion Appalachian State.

Southeastern Louisiana isn't at that level yet. That could be quite apparent come Sept. 8.

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