Week 4 Game Preview: HCU @ SLU

This Saturday, SLU will open both their conference schedule and home schedule with a matchup against the Houston Christian Huskies. After a tough loss last week, SLU will be looking to rebound in a big way. HCU hasn’t looked good thus far in 2023, with a 1-2 record. Sure, they beat NAIA Arkansas Baptist 66-0, but also gave up 66 to UT-Martin last week, a good but not great FCS team. In between was an FBS matchup with Western Kentucky, where HCU actually looked better than against UT-Martin.

For SLU, they enter the game 0-3 but not looking like an 0-3 team. The quarterback play has been questionable sometimes, but as Zachary Clement starts to see more of the time under center, the offense should start to stabilize. Another aspect to look out for is who will step up behind Darius Lewis and command a large share of targets in the passing game. After Lewis, with 14 catches, and Harlan Dixon, with 11, nine players have catches, but none have recorded more than six. Finding a reliable second option in the passing game should help the quarterbacks out tremendously.

In the running game for the Lions, Dixon will continue to carry the rock the majority of the time, a farcry from the runningback-by-committee approach the team has taken in years past. Dixon is looking to feast on a defense that allowed 271 rushing yards and almost 6 YPC last week.

HCU also gave up 437 passing yards last week, so expect high-volume in the passing game for Clement and Eli Sawyer.

On offense for the Huskies, senior Colby Suits, leads the team with 494 passing yards through three games, paired with 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Suits spent 4 seasons at ULM and started 8 games before transferring to SLU (of all places) for year but did not appear in a game. Redshirt freshman and TCU transfer Champ Dozier is the bellcow for HCU, as he has taken a team-high 39 carries for 221 yards and scored 4 times on the ground, as well a 67 yards on 4 catches. Senior Karl Reynolds leads the team in catches with 10, receiving yards with 181, and in touchdowns with 3. On defense, junior Rodney Dansby leads HCU with 33 tackles, and Jalyx Hunt has recorded the only interception this year, as a pass rusher. HCU has forced three fumbles and recovered all three, so SLU will have to focus on ball security this week.

Playing a weak opponent, this should be, on paper, the Lions first win of the season, unless something goes terribly wrong. The game starts at 6 PM CT and will not be broadcast live, the only instance of this all season for both teams.

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