Nicholls ends non-conference play versus old rival Texas State

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No. 9/12 Nicholls Colonels (2-1, 1-0 SLC) at Texas State (1-3, 1-0 SBC)
San Marcos, Texas (Bobcat Stadium)
Saturday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. CT 
Nicholls Game Notes (PDF)   |   Texas State Notes (PDF)

Audio: ESPN Radio New Orleans Tunein   |   100.3 FM KLRZ   |   105.9 FM KBZE
Stream: ESPN3
Live Stat

FIRST FIVE
• The Nicholls State University football team seeks its best start since 2007 as the Colonels renew an old rivalry against Texas State on Saturday, Sept. 28 in San Marcos. The meeting with the Bobcats is the third straight road game in Texas for Nicholls and the final nonconference game of the season. Kickoff at Bobcat Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the game will air on ESPN3 and on the radio via ESPN New Orleans 100.3 FM and 105.9 FM KBZE.

• Nicholls is coming off a 48-30 win at Stephen F. Austin in its Southland Conference opener last weekend, which was the first road-opening league victory for the Colonels since their 2010 win at Texas State. The Red and Gray relied heavily on its top-ranked running game, getting a career-high three touchdowns and 135 yards from sophomore running back Julien Gums. The Colonel defense stopped two 4th-and-short tries in the second half, denied a fake punt attempt, then sealed the victory with a Laryon James interception.

• Texas State started the Jake Spavital era with three nonconference losses but won its Sun Belt opener last weekend in triple overtime, 37-34, against Georgia State. The Bobcats had struggled in the past years with three or fewer wins in each season since 2014, which was also the last season they won their Sun Belt opener. Against GSU, the Panthers sent the game into overtime with a 20-yard field goal as time expired, then after the teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime, both misfired on field goals in the second. In the third extra period, GSU missed another field goal and the Bobcats’ Joshua Rowland ended the game with a 35-yarder.

• Texas State was a member of the Southland Conference from 1987 until 2010. The Bobcats shared the Southland title with Nicholls in 2005 after the Colonels defeated them in Thibodaux, 32-29. In their championship 2008 season, Texas State went 5-2 in conference which included a 34-10 win at home against the Colonels. The Bobcats made the transition to the FBS level in 2011 as an independent, then after a season in the WAC, joined the Sun Belt Conference in 2013.

• Not only does Nicholls play its first four games on the road, but the final three games of the stretch are in Texas. The Colonels will play in the Lone Star State five times in 2019, including conference games at SFA, Sam Houston State, and UIW. With the wins over Prairie View A&M and SFA, the Colonels are now 19-7 against Texas schools under head coach Tim Rebowe. Eight of the victories have been on the road, but the Colonels are 0-1 at FBS schools (24-14 loss at Texas A&M in 2017).

BY THE NUMBERS
3 – Sophomore Julien Gums found the end zone three times in the win at Stephen F. Austin, which was his personal best in just 11 career games. Gums rushed for 135 yards on 22 carries for his third career 100-yard effort. The three rushing touchdowns was the first in a single game since 2013 when Marcus Washington crossed the goal line three times against Northwestern State.    

56 – With his 56th career touchdown pass in the win at SFA, Chase Fourcade is now just three away from setting a new program career record. Already the all-time leader in passing yards, Fourcade is aiming to break another one of Doug Hudson’s records – 58 TD passes.  

100 – Since Tim Rebowe took over the program, the Colonels have enjoyed success when a player has reached the century mark in rushing yards. Nicholls has had a 100-yard rusher in 22 games in Rebowe’s four-plus seasons and it has resulted in 18 victories. The only loss for the Colonels when two players have rushed for 100 was in 2015 against Northwestern State.

SCOUTING THE BOBCATS
• Texas State dropped the first three games of the season, falling to No. 11 Texas A&M (41-7), Wyoming (23-14), and SMU (47-17). But in their conference opener, the Bobcats gave head coach Jake Spavital his first win in a triple-overtime 37-34 victory against Georgia State.

• The Bobcat defense is headed by Bryan London II, who leads the Sun Belt with 11.8 tackles per game. An All-SBC selection in 2018, London had 22 tackles in the win over Georgia State.

• Texas State has a perfect 7-0 record against the FCS since 2012, including three wins over Southland Conference programs. TXST took down SLC members HBU (20-11, ’17), UIW (48-17, ’16) and Stephen F. Austin (41-37, ’12), with the other four wins coming against SWAC programs.

• The Bobcats have not had much luck against Louisiana since their transition to the FBS, holding a 2-11 record against Pelican State programs. Twelve of the matchups are in Sun Belt play as they are 2-4 vs. ULM and 0-6 against Louisiana-Lafayette. In 2012 as a member of the WAC, Texas State lost in a shootout against LA Tech, 62-55.

A WIN OVER TEXAS STATE WOULD…
… be the fifth win for Nicholls over an FBS team since 2000 (last in 2018 at Kansas).
… put the Colonels at 3-1, which would be their best start since 2007. Nicholls split its FBS matchups to aid the start, winning 16-13 at Rice before falling 52-17 at Nevada.
… improve Rebowe’s record vs. Texas schools to 20-7.
… be the 13th road win in Rebowe’s tenure. Colonels had 10 from 2005-14.
… give Nicholls a 16-15 edge in the all-time series.
… be the Southland’s 10th victory over an FBS team this decade. McNeese and Nicholls have two, while Central Arkansas has the last victory (at Western Kentucky, 2019).
… give Nicholls its first victory against a Sun Belt team since a 2001 win over Arkansas State, which was in its first season with the league. Rebowe, who coached at Louisiana-Lafayette, is 0-2 vs. his former conference as a head coach. Nicholls was routed in his Colonel debut at ULM, 47-0, but lost in overtime just a year later at South Alabama, 41-40.

LAST MEETING VS. TEXAS STATE
Oct. 1, 2011
Texas State 38, Nicholls 12

SAN MARCOS, Texas  –  After trailing 7-6 late in the first quarter, the Nicholls State University football team surrendered 31 consecutive points as Texas State handed Nicholls its fourth straight loss, dropping the Colonels, 38-12, in front of 15,502 fans at Bobcat Stadium on Saturday night. (RECAP)

ON THIS DATE IN COLONEL HISTORY …

• Nicholls is 2-3 on Sept. 28, winners of its last two. In their first season in the Southland, the Colonels played Texas State and were defeated by nine points. The last matchup on the date was highlighted by a single-game record 281 yards rushing by QB Tuskani Figaro against Arkansas Tech.

 YEAR  OPPONENT W/L SCORE H/A
1974  Troy  L  26-0 A
1985  ULM  L  17-15 A
1991  Texas State  L  19-10 A
2002  Southern  W  21-13 H
2013  Arkansas Tech  W  44-34 H

LAST GAME
Sept. 21, 2019
Nicholls 48, Stephen F. Austin 30

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The No. 9/13 Nicholls State University football team scored touchdowns on five of its first six drives and rushed for 291 yards in the game to knock off Stephen F. Austin, 48-30, Saturday night at Homer Bryce Stadium.  (RECAP)

COLONELS VS. THE FBS
Since 2000, the Colonels have a 4-30 record against FBS teams but have been more competitive as of late. Following two blowouts in Coach Rebowe’s first season in 2015, the Colonels nearly notched a pair of wins in ’16. As a 55-point underdog, Nicholls led at No. 9 Georgia in the third quarter before eventually falling, 26-24. Two weeks later, South Alabama scored in the final minute of regulation to force overtime and after the teams traded touchdowns in the extra period, the Colonels went for the win on a 2-point try but was stopped short on the rush. In 2017, the Colonels tied Texas A&M in the fourth quarter before the Aggies answered with the go-ahead touchdown.
Last season, Nicholls ended its nine-game drought against the FBS with a 26-23 win in overtime at Kansas. The victory was the first for the program against a Power 5 school. The previous wins were against Arkansas State (’01), Rice (’07), and Western Michigan (’13).

BATTLE FOR THE PADDLE
Nicholls and Texas State have played each other 30 times and in 1998, began playing for the “paddle.” The trophy was born after the matchup in ’98 was postponed due flooding in the San Marcos area. Head coach Tim Rebowe was actually a member of the Colonel coaching staff at the time as an assistant. The all-time series is tied at 15-15 after the Colonels had to forfeit a win in 2003.

HOME OPENER
Following their first four games on the road, the Colonels return to Louisiana for their home opener against No. 14/15 Central Arkansas on Oct. 5. Nicholls has won 11 of its last 12 home games, including all six last season. Fans can order tickets by contacting the Nicholls Athletics Ticket Office at 985-448-4790 or on NichollsTickets.com.

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