The McNeese Cowboys will celebrate their 75th homecoming Saturday evening by taking on the Central Arkansas Bears. McNeese is 54-19-1 in previous homecoming games, including winning the last 6 straight. Both teams are 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the Southland Conference. McNeese is ranked 14/16 and UCA comes in at 13/14 in the 2 FCS polls. UCA has won the last 2 meetings, having outscored the Pokes 82-17, and leads the series 6-5.

For the second straight week, the Pokes will face a potent offense. The Bears are ranked third in the conference averaging 427 yards and 35 points per game. After last weeks loss at Incarnate Word, the Cowboys now give up more yards and points per game on defense 334/23, than yards/points per game on offense, 300/21.

The Bears are riding the arm of redshirt freshman QB Luke Hales. Hales has completed 47 of 96 passes for 808  yards and 11 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions. Hales took over the QB job when starter Breylin Smith went down with an injury in an overtime loss vs Sam Houston 4 weeks ago. Carlos Blackmon has carried the ball 114 times for 521 yards and 7 TDs to lead the ground game for UCA.

The winner of this game keeps their conference title as well as playoff hopes alive. The UIW Cardinals are also 4-1 in league play. UCA and UIW meet in 2 weeks in Conway. Airtime is 5 with kickoff at 6 on 92.9 The Lake and 929thelake.com.