Colonels to face Oregon State in season finale

THIBODAUX — The Nicholls State University football team will make a trip to the Pacific Northwest to play its 2012 season finale against Oregon State Saturday.

Kickoff at Reser Stadium is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

The game will be broadcast live on the Colonel Sports Radio Network, which includes KLRZ-FM 100.3, KLEB-AM 1600 and KXOR-FM 106.3. The matchup also will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

Saturday’s contest between the Colonels (1-9) and Oregon State (8-3), ranked 15th in the BCS Standings, originally was scheduled for Sept. 1 but was postponed due to Hurricane Isaac.

Nicholls and Oregon State have never met.

However, Nicholls has played in Oregon before, taking on Portland State in 2003.

Nicholls will be looking for its third win against a BCS school since 2000. The Colonels have lost their last 10 games against the BCS, with its last victory coming against Rice (16-14) in 2007. Nicholls lost both of its matchups this season, falling to South Alabama (9-3) and Tulsa (66-16).

The Colonels are coming off a 35-16 loss to rival Southeastern Louisiana, which pushed Nicholls’ losing streak to seven games.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Lions took a 14-3 into halftime on a pair of rushing touchdowns.

Nicholls junior Landry Klann, who directs the Southland Conference’s third-best passing offense (226.9 yards per game), heads into the finale with 1,885 yards passing. Klann, in his first full year as the starting quarterback, is looking to become the first Colonel to throw for 2,000 yards since Brad Zeller in 1998.

Klann has tossed eight touchdown passes, including a 38-yarder to Andrew Wynn in the last outing.

Sophomore tight end Nick Scelfo, who was named second-team All-Southland Conference, is one of five Colonels with at least 200 yards receiving. Scelfo is tied for second on the team with two touchdown receptions. Senior Aldaro Russell leads the squad with three.

Senior linebacker Jordan Piper, who was also named second-team All-Southland Conference, heads the Colonel defense with 102 tackles and leads the conference with 10.2 per game. Piper notched his fourth double-digit outing in the loss to Southeastern, recording 10.

Although Oregon State features the Football Bowl Subdivision’s 19th best passing offense (304.1 ypg), the Colonel defense has had an interception in each of the last five games, including two in two different outings.

The Colonels will have to continue the trend to help out their pass defense, which ranks last in the conference at 244.1 yards per game.

While the Beavers, who lost 48-24 to No. 5 Oregon last week, have used quarterbacks Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz, their passing game is fueled by standout wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Marcus Wheaton.

Cooks ranks ninth in the Football Bowl Subdivision in receiving yards (101.2 ypg), followed closely by Wheaton (98.6 ypg) at 12th. The duo has combined for 139 receptions and 15 touchdowns, with Wheaton finding the end zone 10 times.

Storm Woods leads the ground game, averaging 76.8 yards per game with nine touchdowns. Woods had a solid day in the Civil War against Oregon, rushing for 70 yards and two scores.

The Beaver defense is led by senior cornerback Jordan Poyer, who was recently named first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association. Poyer was also one of four Oregon State players named first-team Pac-12 after recording six interceptions this season.

Leading Oregon State in tackles are Michael Doctor and Rashaad Reynolds with 70 each.

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