After three consecutive weeks of playing on the road, McNeese returns home to Cowboy Stadium this Saturday when it hosts Nicholls State. The game will serve as the Southland Conference opener for both programs. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. Saturday.
McNeese is looking to snap an SLC opener skid as the Cowboys have lost its last four conference openers. The last SLC opening victory occurred back in 2018 when McNeese beat HCU 51-34 in Houston.
Nicholls meanwhile is looking for consecutive wins in Lake Charles for the first time since 1996 and 1998, and its first three-game winning streak in the series since the late 1980s.
LOOKING FOR FIRST WIN
Nicholls and McNeese both enter Saturday’s Southland Conference opener searching for their first wins of the season, the Cowboys being 0-4 for the first time since 1954. McNeese dropped a game to one FBS team (49-7 to Florida) and three to FCS teams (52-34 to Tarleton State, 17-2 to Alcorn State, and 31-28 to Eastern Illinois). Nicholls meanwhile played a more difficult schedule, one that is ranked as the toughest in the FCS by Massey Rating. Nicholls has played a pair of FBS teams (41-6 to TCU and 36-7 to Tulane) who both played in New Year Six Bowl games last season, and another against a Top 10 ranked FCS team (38-24 to Sacramento State).
LACK OF PROTECTION & PRESSURE
Protecting and pressuring the quarterback has been a serious issue for both squads. Nicholls has had their quarterback sacked nine times in three contests. McNeese’s offensive line meanwhile has given up 13 sacks in four games. Not only have both teams struggled with keeping their quarterbacks upright, but neither has done a great job of sacking quarterbacks. Nicholls has recorded only two sacks on the season, while McNeese has four sacks, but three of those did come in the last game at Eastern Illinois. Whoever does the better job of protecting their signal caller, and pressuring the others will likely win the game.
EXPECT A CLOSE CONTEST
The two teams first met on the gridiron in 1972 and have played every season since 1983, with McNeese holding a 31-16 lead in the series. The annual game has been extremely competitive in recent years, with five of the last six meetings being decided by 12 points or less. That includes last year’s 40-35 shootout win for the Colonels in Thibodaux.
SERIES RECORD: McNeese leads 31-16
NICHOLLS 40 – MCNEESE 35
NICHOLLS 32 – MCNEESE 14
MCNEESE 43 – NICHOLLS 31
NICHOLLS 34 – MCNEESE 20
MCNEESE 20 – NICHOLLS 10
Pat McQuaide: 59-of-104, 646 yards, 2 TD, 6 INT
Collin Guggenheim: 44 carries, 168 yards, 0 TD
Neno Lemay: 18 receptions, 204 yards, TD
Ethan Lee: 22 tackles (12 solo)
Gavin Lasseigne: 3-for-3, Long of 47
Nate Glantz: 47-of-96, 551 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
D’Angelo Durham: 52 carries, 258 yards, 2 TD
Jon McCall: 11 receptions, 169 yards, 2 TD
Micah Davey: 59 tackles (34 solo)
Garrison Smith: 3-of-5, Long of 50