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Southeastern Louisiana Lions-2023 Season Preview

The Lions of Southeastern Louisiana posted a 9-4 record on their way to a Southland Conference Co-Championship in 2022 and an FCS playoff berth.

2022 Season Recap

The Offense

The Lions lost their first 2 games of 2022 by a combined score of 66-16.

Then, SLU scored 40 or more points in their next three games, all wins. That includes a 70-6 blow out win over Central Connecticut State, and a 41-35 win over eventual FCS Semifinalist University of Incarnate Word (UIW).

After a close loss to Texas A&M-Commerce (31-28), the Lions reeled off six consecutive victories as they headed into the 1st round of the FCS playoffs against Idaho, a 45-42 Lions victory. They lost in the 2nd round to Samford 48-42.

SLU averaged 35 points per game on offense, good enough for 17th nationally in the FCS. They gained 439 yards per contest. The Lions ranked 26th in the country in sacks allowed with 19 total on the season.

The Lions relied on a 3-headed monster at running back, with 3 players each rushing for over 500 yards on the season. Carlos Washington led the Lions with 730 yards and a whopping 15 rushing touchdowns. Those 15 scores ranked 8th in the FCS.

The Defense

The Lions’ defense was stellar in 2022. They tied for 11th nationally in Defensive Touchdowns with three, two of which were scored by DB Zy Alexander.

SLU tied for 5th in INTs with 16, with Alexnder snagging three (including the two returned for a TD).

And the Lions were +10 in turnover margin, good enough for 10th in the FCS.

The defense allowed 26 points per game.

SLU held Jacksonville State scoreless in the 2nd half in a 31-14 win. JSU was held to less than 300 yards of total offense (290 yards).

Alexander returned an INT 47 yards in a 40-17 win over Nicholls, and then returned one 48 yards for a score in the playoff game vs Idaho. He took his ball and headed 40 miles west on Interstate 12 to Baton Rouge to play for Brain Kelly and the LSU Tigers.

2023 Southeastern Louisiana Outlook

The Lions return experience at quarterback in the form of Eli Sawyer. Sawyer threw for 1605 yards and 11 TDs, completing 62% of his passes. He posted four games of 200 yards passing.

Sawyer will be protected by an offensive line that includes Jalen Bell (6-5, 300) and the 2022 Southland Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year John Allen (6-1, 300). Allen has been named a 2023 Preseason All-American by Athlon Sports.

SLU also returns experience at wide receiver with WR Maurice Massey (525 yards, 4 TDs), and TE Ivan Drobocky (14 catches, 239 yards, 6 TD) back for another year. Massey had 10 catches for 150 yards vs Lamar last season.

On defense, the Lions return their 3 top linebackers in Donte Daniels (87 tackles), Herman Christophe (79 tackles), and Anthony Britton, Jr. (73 tackles).

2023 Prediction: 8-4

Fall camp begins August 1.

The Lions kickoff their season on September 2 on the road at Mississippi State.



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