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BYU football preview: Get to know the McNeese State Cowboys

Know the foe!

McNeese State v Nebraska Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images

Sandwiched between an upset win over Wisconsin and a matchup versus a top 10 team in Washington, BYU will look to avoid a letdown versus FCS foe McNeese State.

The Cowboys are 3-0 and are the 10th-ranked FCS team in the country. Here’s what you need to know about McNeese State before Saturday’s game.

Offensive Players to Watch

  • James Tabary, QB- A 3-star recruit in the 2014 recruiting class, Tabary played his freshman year at Arkansas State before transferring to the FCS ranks. A preseason all-conference selection, Tabary enters his third season as the Cowboys starter.

Tabary is a pocket passer who is one of the best passers in school history. He threw for 3,306 yards and 23 TDs as a sophomore and followed that with 2,511 yards and 21 TDs last year as a junior. He is the school career record holder with six 300-yard passing games in his career and is a co-holder of a single-game record with five TD passes in a game.

  • David Hamm, RB- Another preseason all-conference selection, Hamm played his freshman year at UTEP before transferring to McNeese. Hamm led the team in rushing last season with 805 yards on 152 carries (5.3 ypc average).
  • Lawayne Ross, TE- Ross is a Preseason All-American and first team all-Southland Conference tight end. He had 42 catches for 570 yards last season, but only has 4 grabs through three games in 2018.
  • Offensive Line- The Cowboys return three starters on the offensive line, but could be without their starting LT, who has missed the last two games due to injury.

Defensive Players to Watch

  • BJ Blunt, LB- The best player for McNeese State, Blunt is coming off a National defensive player of the week award versus Nicholls State where he recorded 3 sacks, 4 TFL and 9 tackles. BYU will have to know where #8 is at all times.
  • Keivonnis Davis, DE- The Florida Gator transfer got his first action last week after rehabbing from a hip injury. He played in all 13 games for the Gators and started in 6 in 2016.

Facts to Know

  • McNeese State has forced 9 turnovers on the season (4 picks, 5 fumble recoveries).
  • McNeese State’s lone trip out west this year was a 17-14 victory over Northern Colorado, who is 0-3 on the season.
  • McNeese gave up 348 passing yards and 3 passing TDs to Houston Baptist in the Cowboys 51-34 victory. Houston Baptist was 1-10 and one of the worst offenses in the FCS ranks last season.
  • McNeese State has given up over 250 passing yards in each of their 3 games this season. Their 288 passing yards allowed per game is 103rd in the FCS.
  • Sagarin rankings have them as the 160th ranked team in the nation and 221 overall Strength of Schedule.
  • The Cowboys have won 2 of their last 3 games against FBS members. They nearly took down Nebraska in 2014, but fell 31-24 due to a late TD in the final minute.