THIBODAUX - The Nicholls State football team heads to Kalamazoo, Mich., for the second consecutive season to take on Western Michigan at 6 p.m. Saturday.
The Colonels (1-0) opened their 40th season with a 42-0 victory over Evangel University, and will be looking to use that momentum to capture their third win in program history against a Football Bowl Series opponent. Western Michigan (0-1) aims to bounce back from their weather-shortened 34-10 loss at Michigan.
Western Michigan, of the Mid-American Conference, and Nicholls squared off for the first time last season with WMU rolling to a 49-14 victory. The Colonels went into the half down 21-14 before the Broncos broke the game open with 28 unanswered points.
In the win over Evangel, the Colonels racked up 326 yards rushing, which currently ranks fifth in the FCS. Junior quarterback LaQuintin Caston paced the offense, rushing for 137 yards on 16 carries with two scores. The Baton Rouge native has accumulated 410 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in the Colonels’ last three contests.
As impressive as the running game was for Nicholls, the defense was just as dominating as the Colonels held the Crusaders to seven first downs and 147 total yards to earn their first shutout since 2006.
The defense was led by junior linebacker Brandon Sanders with seven tackles, followed by senior Pa’a Kamauoha with six. Nicholls also took advantage of two forced fumbles in the opening quarter, which led to 14 points.
Turnovers also played a role in Western Michigan’s season opener as Michigan forced three fumbles that included two returned for touchdowns.