#25 Southeastern Upsets #4 McNeese 41-7 - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

#25 Southeastern Upsets #4 McNeese 41-7

By McNeese SID Matthew Bonnette

LAKE CHARLES – Southeastern Louisiana won the battle of Southland Conference unbeatens on Saturday night as the 25th-ranked Lions shocked No. 4 McNeese State 41-7 in front of 14,898 in Cowboy Stadium.

 

The loss snapped a six-game conference winning streak for the Cowboys as they fell to 7-2 on the season and 3-1 in league play.  SLU (7-2, 4-0) won for the sixth straight time and is off to its best league start in school history.

 

The one bright spot for the Cowboys in the second quarter when quarterback Cody Stroud found Diontae Spencer from 24 yards out for a touchdown to give Stroud his 14th consecutive game with a touchdown pass, breaking the school record of 13 games held by Kerry Joseph.

 

"We got outplayed tonight," said head coach Matt Viator.  "We got outcoached, got out-everything.  Give them credit."

 

McNeese never found a rhythm on offense as the Cowboys fumbled away the ball on their second offensive play, punted the next two possessions then had an interception on the fourth possession. 

 

"It seemed like we really never got into any type of rhythm on offense," said Viator.  "We got them in some second and longs and third downs on defense and never could get them off the field."

 

SLU scored the game's first 20 points and led it 20-0 following a Bryan Bennett 1-yard run with 8:46 to play in the first half.  The quarterback transfer from Oregon finished the night with 88 yards rushing and 155 passing and accounted for three touchdowns.

 

"He's good," said Viator of Bennett.  "He's a big guy that can really run and tonight he threw the ball really well."

 

McNeese got on the board with 5:44 to play in the second quarter when Stroud hit Spencer to cut the lead to 20-7.

 

The Lions blanked the Cowboys in the second half after they held them to 51 total offensive yards in the second half.

 

For the game, McNeese was held to a season-low 191 yards of offense while Stroud was held to 11 of 32 passing for 92 yards and two interceptions.  He was also sacked a season-high three times.

 

In the ground game, Marcus Wiltz led the Cowboys with 58 yards on 11 carries as McNeese ran for a season-low 99 yards.

 

Rasheed Harrell led the Lions with 119 yards rushing on 14 carries and a score as the Lions rolled up 284 yards on the ground, a season-high against the Cowboys.

 

SLU was also 11 of 21 on third downs and scored in all five red zone chances.

 

The Cowboys will put this on behind them and get ready for next Saturday's afternoon tilt at Stephen F. Austin.

 

Notables:

• Cody Stroud set a new school record with a touchdown pass in his 14th consecutive game.

• Stroud's record streak of consecutive passes without a touchdown came to an end at 142 passes.

• TE Nic Jacobs has caught a pass in nine consecutive games.

• McNeese has lost two straight to the Lions in the series.

• The Cowboys are 4-1 at home this season.

• With 141 kick return yards, Diontae Spencer has moved into 12th on the McNeese all-time career list with 810 yards.

• The last two years, SLU has shutout the Cowboys in the second half.

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