The McNeese Cowboys are coming off a disappointing 52-34 loss at home to Tarleton State, but things won’t get any easier this weekend.
Gary Goff’s squad will be making their first trip down to “The Swamp” as they will take on the Florida Gators on Saturday evening in Gainesville. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. and can be seen on ESPNU.
It is the third straight season and the eighth time in the last decade that McNeese will be playing an FBS opponent.
LOOKING FOR FIRST SEC WIN
McNeese is 0-for-4 all-time against current opponents from the Southeastern Conference. McNeese lost to LSU 34-7 in 2021 and 32-10 in 2010 and fell 50-6 to Missouri in 2010 (when the Tigers were still a member of the Big 12). The closest the Cowboys have come to pulling off a victory against a current SEC program was back in 2001. That season McNeese put a scare into Texas A&M — who was a member of the Big 12 back then — before falling 38-24.
SUCCESS VERSUS FBS TEAMS
McNeese may have never defeated a team from the SEC before but it has notched victories against FBS opponents. The Cowboys are 14-32-2 overall against FBS teams which includes a 53-21 win over South Florida of the Big East back in 2013. At that time, the Cowboys’ victory was the largest victory by an FCS opponent over a BCS team in history. Also, three of McNeese’s matchups against the FBS team came in the Independence Bowl beating Tulsa in 1976, losing to Syracuse in 1979, and losing to Southern Mississippi in 1980.
Even though they have never met on the gridiron before there are plenty of connections between the two programs. Florida’s offensive coordinator Rob Sale coached at McNeese from 2012-14, serving as the offensive line coach from 2012-13 and then as co-offensive coordinator in 2014. Sale was also on staff under Billy Napier at the University of Louisiana. Florida defensive back coach Corey Raymond — who played and coached at LSU, had his son Chris Raymond play at McNeese as a wide receiver from 2017-21. Florida has six players on the roster from Louisiana while McNeese has eight players on the roster from Florida.
Nate Glantz: 15-of-35, 166 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
D’angelo Durham: 14 carries, 45 yards, TD
Jihad Marks: 5 receptions, 52 yards
Micah Davey: 12 tackles (5 solo)
Garrison Smith: 2-of-2 field goals, Long of 33
Graham Mertz: 31-of-44, 333 yards, TD, 1 INT
Trevor Etienne: 7 carries, 25 yards, 0 TD
Ricky Pearsall: 8 receptions, 92 yards, 0 TD
Shermar James: 13 tackles (6 solo)
Adam Mihalek: 1-of-2 field goals, Long of 32