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

Column: Takeaways From Nicholls vs Sacramento State

Photo by: Ryker John Emnace

The Nicholls State University football team may have come away with a loss in their home opener, but they looked improved from last season’s team.

A Stingier Defense

After giving up a touchdown on the first drive of the game the defense stepped up in the final ten minutes of the first quarter, forcing two punts and not giving up a score.

The second quarter was nearly identical as the defense gave up a touchdown and a field goal.

An interception would start off the third quarter for the Colonels’ defense and result in the team’s first touchdown of the game. They would hold Sacramento State for much of the third quarter until a blown coverage ended in a 40-yard touchdown pass for the Hornets.

A few more missed coverage assignments and a botched snap would give the Hornets 38 points on the night.

38 points may seem like a bad defensive night but upon closer look, the defense was only three or four explosive plays away from holding the Hornets to 17.

Sacramento State was one of the highest-scoring teams in Division 1 football last season and nearly beat the University of the Incarnate Word last season, putting up 63 points on the Cardinals in a four-point loss.

Holding Sacramento State to 38 is an improvement from the defense last year that gave up 42 points in the three quarters to UIW before they brought in their backup quarterback for the fourth.

Redzone Conversions Give Colonels a Chance

The Colonels were not able to manufacture as many offensive opportunities as they would have liked, but they capitalized on the opportunities they were given.

In three red zone possessions, the Colonels scored three times with two touchdowns and a field goal.

A high red zone efficiency rating is something all successful teams have because if a team does not take the “freebies” they will have you work much harder to manufacture points.

Quarterback Play Looks to Improve After a Late Confidence Boost

Transfer quarterback Pat McQuaide started out slow with short incompletions and an aggressive rushing effort, but was able to find his footing later in the game.

There was not much going on in the passing game in the first half of the game for the Colonels until the final drive that put up a field goal to get the team on the board. The drive showed McQuaide’s ability to make good reads and play mistake-free football.

The first drive of the second half stalled out early, but after punting the ball back to the Hornets an interception would spark a scoring drive for the Colonels’.

It was not McQuaide’s passing that earned him his first touchdown, but a scramble. On a designed pass play, McQuaide stepped out of the pocket to look for a receiver before tucking the ball and running for the endzone.

It was not until the fourth quarter that McQuiade showcased his passing skills. The quarterback portrayed a sense of confidence on the drive as he started to step up in the pocket and throw the ball with conviction. McQuaide’s 43 passing yards on the drive led to a Jaylon Spears rushing touchdown.

McQuaide ended the game on a high note with an 84-yard touchdown pass to Terry Mathews on the offense’s final play of the game.

The confidence shown by McQuaide late should give the Colonels and Colonels’ fans hope for conference play and a possible playoff push.


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About the Contributors
Brogan Burns
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.
Ryker John Emnace
Ryker John Emnace, Head Photographer
Fun Facts:
  • I’m usually the guy you see with the electric skateboard with orange wheels on campus. I usually have a camera on me at all times
  • I have a youtube channel 
  • I am a part of the Colonel Catholics. 

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