The independent student news organization of Nicholls State University

the nicholls worth

The independent student news organization of Nicholls State University

the nicholls worth

The independent student news organization of Nicholls State University

the nicholls worth

Nicholls Takes on Sacramento State in Season Opener

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Photo by: RYKER

In the first game of the regular season the Nicholls State University football team will host the Sacramento State University Hornets.

The game will be played on Aug. 31, 2023, at John L. Guidry Stadium in Thibodaux, La.

Sacramento State’s former Head Coach, Troy Taylor, left to coach Stanford University following the team’s playoff loss in the quarterfinals to Southland Conference member University of the Incarnate Word.

In his tenure with the team Taylor went 30-8 and won three Big Sky Conference titles.

Sacramento State hired Andy Thompson as Taylor’s replacement on Dec.13, 2023. Thompson has served as defensive coordinator since he was hired in 2019 and was responsible for the school’s best defensive season in 2021, allowing only 19.1 points per game.

Defense looks to be the Hornets strong suit after losing a large percentage of its offensive production including their two leading passers and rushers. On defense the team returns their leading sacker, four of their top five tacklers, and their top three pass defenders.

Nicholls had no turnover at the head coach or the defensive and offensive coordinator positions in the offseason.

The Colonels’ 2022 season varied from the Hornets’. In 2022 the Colonels finished 3-8 and fourth-place in the Southland conference.

On offense, the Colonels averaged 18.5 points per game which was seventh in the conference and almost three points less than Lamar(21.1), who finished last in the Southland standings in 2022.

For the Colonels defense may be the side of the ball they need to lean on. Nicholls brought in transfer quarterback Pat McQuaide, but lost the school’s all-time rushing leader, Julien Gums, and season leading receivers K.J. Franklin and Al’Dontre Davis. On defense, the Colonels brought back Preseason All-Conference First or Second Team players at every defensive position, headlined by defensive lineman Perry Ganci and linebacker Eli Ennis.

Colonels’ Keys to the Game

Pat McQuaide – The transfer quarterback will lead the offense. He should look to get in rhythm and go for deep throws when the opportunity comes along which was something the Colonels struggled with last season.

Run the ball – Running the ball is something the Colonels have done a lot of in Tim Rebowe’s time as head coach and it has worked. Running the ball should pick up short to medium yardage and drain the clock to give the new starting quarterback time to get used to the team’s game plan.

Scoring – To win you must score and for a team that surpassed 20 points in three of 11 games, winning was not something they grew accustomed to. The team should look to score a few touchdowns to get out in front of last year’s offensive woes. 

Hornets’ Keys to the Game

Defense – The team lost a large percentage of talent from an offense that scored 63 points in its final game. The defensive unit should look to take the pressure off of the new look offense, force turnovers, and give the team good field position.

Marshel Martin – Last season’s leading receiver for the Hornets may need to become a reliable target within the first few drives to help the new starting quarterback get in a rhythm.

Kickoff time is set for 6:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+.

For those who plan to tailgate for the game, there will be no open flames allowed because of the state’s burn ban. Prohibited items include: grills, barbeque pits, chafing dishes with warmer canisiters(sterno), boiling pots, Hibachi, or jambalaya pots according to an email from Jerad David.

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About the Contributor
Brogan Burns, Sports Editor
I'm a Mass Communications major and a huge Saints fan. I’m from Chalmette, and I haven’t seen my dog in a month. Fun Fact: I’ve listened to the Sour album upwards of 50 times.

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