Nicholls football announces 2014 schedule
For the first time in program history, the Nicholls State University football team will take on an opponent from the Southeastern Conference, the Arkansas Razorbacks, as head coach Charlie Stubbs announced the Colonels’ 2014 schedule Tuesday.
The upcoming slate features three Football Bowl Subdivision opponents for the third consecutive year as well as five home dates at John L. Guidry Stadium.
In their 42-year existence, the Colonels never have faced a program from the SEC, but that will change on Sept. 6 when Nicholls heads to Fayetteville to play Arkansas for its second game of the season. The Colonels open their 2014 campaign at Air Force Academy on Aug. 30, which will be the second meeting all-time against the Falcons, who compete in the Mountain West Conference.
Nicholls will open at home against Henderson State on Sept. 13 before closing out their non-conference slate at North Texas on Sept. 20.
“We are very excited about our non-conference schedule this season,” Stubbs, who will be entering his fifth season at the helm of the Colonel football program, said in a university release. “It gives us an opportunity to travel to different parts of the country to play against great competition. Playing these teams gives our players a chance to really step up and perform in front of large crowds. These games will also help prepare us for a very strong Southland Conference.”
North Texas, which plays in Conference USA, went 9-4 last year, including a win in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, while Air Force and Arkansas had down seasons. The Falcons won only two games in 2013, defeating Colgate and Army.
Under first-year head coach Bret Bielema, the Razorbacks won their first three games but ended the year on a nine-game losing streak.
Last season, the Colonels claimed their third win ever against an FBS program after defeating Western Michigan 27-23 in Kalamazoo.
The Colonels will play five games at John L. Guidry Stadium, starting with their matchup against Henderson State. The Reddies went 11-0 in the regular season last year before falling in the first round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs.
The Southland teams making the trip to Thibodaux for 2014 are Stephen F. Austin, Lamar, Incarnate Word and defending champion Southeastern Louisiana. The Lions of Southeastern were one of three teams from the Southland to make the Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs last season, joining Sam Houston State and McNeese State.
Following the non-conference schedule, Nicholls will open conference play at Central Arkansas (Sept. 27) and McNeese (Oct. 4). The two games will complete a stretch of five away contests in the first six games of the season.
The Red and Gray return to Guidry Stadium for three of its next four games, hosting Stephen F. Austin (Oct. 11) and Lamar (Oct. 18) in back-to-back weeks.
The following two games will be against conference newcomers — at Houston Baptist (Oct. 25) and at home versus Incarnate Word (Nov. 1).
The season’s final two matchups feature rivalry trophies. Nicholls heads to Natchitoches on Nov. 15 looking to retain the NSU Trophy after defeating the Northwestern State University Demons 33-21 last season.
In the Thursday night regular season finale on Nov. 20, the Colonels will take on Southeastern Louisiana in the River Bell Classic.
Nicholls will begin its spring schedule March 25.
For updates on kickoff times for the 2014 schedule, continue to check geauxcolonels.com.