Much on the line when McNeese visits Nicholls on Saturday

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THIBODAUX – McNeese returns to the gridiron on Saturday after a week off from action when it visit Nicholls in the team’s biggest game of the year as it continues to battle for not only a playoff spot, but now a Southland Conference championship.

Kick-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Nicholls’ Guidry Stadium. The game will also broadcast live on Cox Sports TV and on ESPN-plus for those outside the CST viewing area.

McNeese (6-4, 4-3) has won three straight games and four of its last five and has positioned itself for a run at the playoffs, and because of what happened in the league last Saturday, is now just a game out of first place in the standings.

Nicholls (6-4, 5-2) is one of those teams the Cowboys are chasing and is coming off a 48-27 win over HBU. The Colonels will be playing just their fourth game at home this season, compiling a 3-1 record.

POKES AIM FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN WHEN VISITING NICHOLLS
• McNeese will be looking to corral its fourth straight win and second consecutive away from home when it visits Nicholls at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
• The Cowboys have won 3-straight since winning the first three games of the 2018 season.
• McNeese has won 4 of its last 5 games, averaging 36 points scored in those four wins.
• Searching for their first 4-game winning streak since winning six straight from the last 3 games of the 2017 season through the first 3 games of 2018.
• The Cowboys are guaranteed at least a .500 season for the 15th straight season, ranking as the fourth-longest streak among current FCS teams.

LAST TIME OUT
• McNeese had its open date last Saturday but before that, defeated Northwestern State 30-20 for its 15th straight win over the Demons in Cowboy Stadium.
• The win was the third straight for the Cowboys and fourth victory over the last five games.
• McNeese outscored NSU 21-3 in the second half and 13-0 in the fourth quarter alone.
• D’Andre Hicks gave McNeese its first KOR for a TD on the season, that being a 96-yard score for the first TD of the game. It’s ranks tied as the fourth-longest KOR for a TD in school history.
• Cody Orgeron completed 16 of 18 passes for 191 yards and two TDs, and for the fifth time this season, did not throw an interception.
• Chris Livings recorded 3 QB sacks to inch his way closer to the school’s all-time sacks record of 31. He now has 28.

VS. NICHOLLS
• Saturday’s game will mark the 44th meeting between McNeese and Nicholls with the Cowboys holding a 31-12 lead in the series.
• McNeese has won 9 of the last 10 outings and had an 8-game winning streak snapped in 2017 when Nicholls pulled out a last-second 37-35 win on a field goal.
• The Cowboys are 15-5 in Thibodaux and have won three of the last four in Nicholls’ Guidry Stadium.

McNEESE TEAM NOTABLES
• McNeese has accumulated 400 yards of offense or more in four of the last five games after not tipping 400 yards in each of the first five.
• The Cowboys have won the turnover battle in 8 of 10 games this season and are 4-0 when not committing a turnover.
• 5-2 on the year when leading at halftime and has won 48 of 55 games when leading at half dating back to the 2012 season.
• Defense has held its last seven opponents to under 100 yards rushing.
• Cowboys are 5-0 on the year when not throwing an interception.
• Forced 23 turnovers through 9 games, ranking No. 3 in the FCS in turnovers forced.
• McNeese has forced a turnover in 23 of the last 24 games.

LIVINGS LOOKING TO MAKE HISTORY
• Senior defensive end Chris Livings will get a shot to make history this season with his eyes set on the school’s all-time sacks record.
• Livings will enter Saturday’s game ranked second all-time with 28 quarterback sacks, needing just 3 more to match the record held by Bryan Smith (2004-07) and 6.5 to break the mark.
• His 28 total sacks ranks tied as the 8th most in Southland Conference history in a season.
• Livings recorded eight sacks in 2018 to match a season-best for him (2016).
• In addition, the Lake Charles native has recorded 38 tackles for loss, ranking him 4th all-time.
• Livings recorded a sack in each of the first two games, one against SLU, one vs. HBU, and a half sack at SFA.

4TH QUARTER DOMINANCE
• The fourth quarter for the Cowboys has been a welcomed sight the last three games.
• During that span, McNeese is outscoring its opponents by a 40-7 margin and outgaining them 410-177 in total offense.
• The Cowboys have also held the last three opponents to 1 of 9 on third downs in the fourth quarter and have doubled up on the time of possession by a 29:31 to 15:29 advantage.

McNEESE PLAYER NOTABLES
• QB Cody Orgeron has thrown for 1,248 yards and 13 TDs in the last five games, a 249.6 passing average… he’s connecting on 62.5 percent of his passes during that time (90-144) and thrown just two interceptions… has thrown multiple TDs in six straight games and eight times on the season… ranks 17th in the FCS with 21 passing TDs and 27th with 140 points responsible for… set a new school record with 403 total offensive yards against UCA… his 60 total plays registered at UCA was one off the school record of 61 set by Tim Leger in against Northern Iowa in 1996… his 26 completions at UCA ranks tied as the 7th-most in a game in school history… two 300-yard passing games on the season… 384 total plays on the year, closing in on the record of 454 held by Kerry Joseph (1995).
• WR Cyron Sutton set a new school record against SFA with his seventh straight game to catch a TD pass… has caught at least one pass in 19 straight games… ranks 13th in FCS with 9 touchdown catches which also ranks tied as the 2nd-most in school history in a season… 20th in the FCS with 860 receiving yards (4th in school history), and 26th with 86.0 receiving yards per game.
• RB Justin Pratt has rushed for 100 yards or more in two of the last three games and is averaging 107 yards per game rushing during that span… has rushed for 100 yards or more 6 times in his career… 86 yards shy of becoming just the 15th player in school history to rush for 2,000 yards in a career.
• DL Cody Roscoe has recorded at least a half a sack in five straight games and leads the team with 8 total sacks.
• WR Trevor Begue has set season bests with 44 catches for 655 yards and 8 TDs… needs 105 receiving yards to reach the 1,000 yards in a career milestone… ranked 21st in the FCS with 8 receiving TDs which also ranks as the fourth most in a season in school history.
• LG Grant Burguillos will be making his 38th consecutive start on Saturday. The record is 52 straight held by Reggie Nelson from 1995-98.

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