The Matchup: Grambling (0-3, 0-1 SWAC) vs. Prairie View (1-3, 1-1 SWAC)
Day/Time/Where: Saturday, 4 p.m., The Cotton Bowl, Dallas
What’s At Stake: Both the Tigers and Panthers are riding three-game losing streaks and are desperately in need of a win in this SWAC West showdown. Grambling is winless on the season, while the Panthers haven’t won since their season-opening win at Texas Southern. Prairie View has hopes of winning the division but a 0-2 start in conference play could derail those ambitions.
What To Watch For: The Panthers had a shot at pulling off the upset last week at defending SWAC champ Alcorn State, but a couple of costly defensive penalties paved the way for Alcorn State to punch it in for the win on a late-game drive. Penalties have been a continuing theme for the Panthers this season, managing 18, 11, 13 and 12 penalties in each of their first four games. Prairie View will have to become more discipline and learn to get off the field on third downs or their hard-fought 60-minute efforts will continue to result in losses.
The Bottom Line: Prairie View has been close the last two weeks but came up short against two quality opponents – Nicholls State and Alcorn State. The Panthers will get it figured out this week to end their losing streak at three.
The Matchup: Texas Southern (0-3) at Houston Baptist (3-1)
Day/Time/Where: Saturday, 6:05 p.m., Husky Stadium
What’s At Stake: The Tigers are off to a win-less start under Clarence McKinney and could use a win against non-conference crosstown foe Houston Baptist before climbing back into SWAC play. Problem is the Huskies are good this season and can put up major points.
What To Watch For: Led by quarterback Bailey Zappe and outstanding one-two running back punch with Dreshawn Minnieweather and Ean Beek, the Huskies have been almost unstoppable on offense and are averaging nearly 50 points a game. The Tigers, meanwhile, haven’t stopped anyone on defense this season. But TSU, which is coming off a bye-week, needs to get its rushing attack going with LaDarius Owens because keeping the ball away from the Huskies’ offense may be the best defense the Tigers can muster.
The Bottom Line: The Huskies have a 2-0 advantage in this series against TSU and look for that to move to 3-0 after Saturday night’s game. Houston Boston is just too explosive on offense for the Tigers to contain.