McNeese St. comes in ranked No.4

Zach Anderson

Zach Anderson

On Hobo Day (Oct. 4), the Jackrabbits will take on the McNeese State (La.) Cowboys at 2 p.m. in Coughlin-Alumni Stadium.

The Jackrabbits enter the game trying to win their second straight game while McNeese State will be going for its third straight win.

What’s at Stake:

The Cowboys, 2-1, 0-0 conference, are coming off two straight wins with their only loss coming in Chapel Hill, N.C., against the Tar Heels.

The Jackrabbits, 3-2, 1-1 conference, are coming off a come-from-behind victory over Stephen F. Austin (Texas) where they trailed 34-6 with nine minutes and nine seconds left in the third quarter. The Jacks came back to win 50-48.


The Jackrabbits have senior Ryan Berry returning to build on last year’s successful season as Great West Football Conference Champions.

Berry has completed 121 of 192 passes this season with five touchdowns. Behind Berry, the Jackrabbits are relatively inexperienced. Junior Ryan Crawford and sophomore Cory Jeske have only completed one pass combined so far in their collegiate careers.

The Cowboys return All-Southland Conference quarterback in Derrick Fourroux, who is 20-7 as a starter. Fourroux has completed 38 of 54 pass attempts this season for 534 yards and six touchdowns.

Fourroux’s backup Mark Fontenot, who may be the best backup in the Southland Conference, completed 77 percent of his passes last year.

Advantage: Cowboys

Running Backs:

The Jackrabbits return sophomore Kyle Minnett, who rushed for 476 yards and five touchdowns behind Cory Koenig in 2007.

Minnett has rushed 104 times for 462 yards already this year and added eight touchdowns. Behind Minnett are juniors Adam Monke and Jordan Paula and sophomore Tyler Duffy.

The Cowboys return Toddrick Pendland and Elrick Jones who averaged over five yards a carry in 2007. Pendland is the team’s leading rusher this year, having gained 268 yards on 43 attempts with two touchdowns.

Junior college transfer Van “Bubba” Taylor will also bolster the backfield.

Advantage: Jackrabbits

Offensive Line:

SDSU returns three starters; senior center Kevin Robling, senior guard Nick Flesner and junior right tackle Casey Bender. MSU returns five players who all have starting experience: Kyle Link at left tackle, Casey Richter at right tackle, All-Southland Conference left guard Eman Naghavi and David Ballard at right guard.

The Cowboys also have all-conference pick Lance Fremin, who is in his third year starting at center.

Advantage: Cowboys

Place Kickers: SDSU is replacing all-everything kicker Parker Douglass. Peter Reifenrath has taken over at kicker and has made eight out of 10 of his field goals this season.

MSU returns Blake Bercegeay, who has led the team in scoring the last three seasons. Bercegeay has currently only connected on one of his three attempts this season.

Advantage: Cowboys

Defensive Line:

SDSU returns three starters to its front four: senior defensive tackle Eric Schroeder (who did not dress last week,) along with juniors Danny Batten and Jason Nobiling. All-conference players Kenneth Lundy and Vaalyn Jackson return at defensive tackle for the Cowboys.

Advantage: Jackrabbits


The Jackrabbits return two starters at linebacker in Jimmy Rogers and Chris Johnson. They led the team in tackles in 2007: Rogers with 110 tackles, Johnson with 106. The Cowboys return all-conference player Allen Nelson who has led the team in tackles the last two years. Joining Nelson will be Deron Minor, who has 16 tackles so far this season.

Advantage: Jackrabbits

Defensive Backs:

SDSU returns only one starter, Brock Campbell (who has been limited with injuries), after losing Brock Gentile, Tyler Koch and starting safety Andrew Hoogeveen to graduation. Campbell has nine tackles so far this year. Nash Simet will also see time at safety. MSU has two new cornerbacks this season: seniors LaDarius Key and Jeremy Haynes will start. John Vigers returns as starting strong safety, and Brant Linde, back for his senior season, will start at full safety. Last year, Linde was third on the team with 98 tackles.

Advantage: Draw

Keys to game:

Minnett’s ability to run the ball, as well as the home crowd, will make the Jacks tough.