#31 Nicholls FCS Football 2021 Preview

Nicholls Colonels
Overall Rank: #31
#2 Southland
 Nicholls Logo
Following three straight trips to the playoffs, Nicholls took a step back during the spring season. The Colonels started the season 3-0, but then lost three of their last four to finish with a somewhat disappointing 4-3 record. Coach Tim Rebowe will have his team ready to start fresh in the fall and compete for a spot in the playoffs.
2020-21 Record: 4-3, 3-3
2020-21 Postseason: None
Coach: Tim Rebowe (34-27 at Nicholls, 34-27 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Rob Christophel
Defensive Coordinator: Tommy Rybacki
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Lindsey Scott Jr, QB, 557 yards
Passing: Lindsey Scott Jr, QB, 1,684 yards
Receiving: Dai’Jean Dixon, WR, 514 yards
Tackles: Kevin Moore III, DB, 48    
Sacks: Perry Ganci, DL, 2.5
Interceptions: 4 tied with 1
Other Key Returnees: RB Julien Gums, RB John Carrington III, WR K.J. Franklin, WR Dontaze Costly, TE David Mosley, OL P.J. Burkhalter, OL Jair Joseph, OL Evan Roussel, LB Hayden Shaheen, LB Ty’Ree Evans, DB Jarius Monroe, DB Jordan Jackson
Key Losses: DB Pig Cage
Nicholls had to wait a little bit longer than expected to see the debut of Missouri transfer Lindsey Scott Jr. The quarterback emerged in the spring though and had a great season. In seven contests, he threw for 1,684 yards and 18 touchdowns and added a team high 557 yards with six more scores on the ground. With some starting experience under his belt, the expectations are quickly growing for Scott. He has all of his favorite targets back too. Dai’Jean Dixon caught a team high 35 passes for 514 yards and seven touchdowns. Junior Dontaze Costly only caught 13 passes, but six of them went for touchdowns. Youngsters K.J. Franklin and Devonta Jason were productive as well. Franklin earned All-Southland Third-Team accolades during his sophomore campaign in the spring. Nicholls ranked third in the FCS in rushing offense. Much of that is due to Scott’s ability to run the ball, but there are a couple proven backs who did plenty of work too. Julien Gums was the workhorse, tallying 467 yards on 91 carries with eight touchdowns. John Carrington III averaged over six yards per carry and emerged as a dangerous secondary back.
This is where things get a little scary. Over the last four games of the season, Nicholls allowed nearly 53 points per game. The numbers are never going to be great with such an explosive offense, but the Colonels will need to get some stops on occasion. Getting more pressure on the opposing quarterback is a good place to start and much of that pressure will fall on the shoulders of sophomore Perry Ganci. The experience in the secondary should help this group make a few more big plays of their own and in shootouts that will inevitably occur. Sometimes just getting that one big defensive play is enough to turn a loss into a win.
The Bottom Line:
This will again be a very fun team to watch. Nicholls is going to score a lot of points and they are going to give up a lot of points too. And with Sam Houston and Central Arkansas out of the Southland, this is a great opportunity for Nicholls to start a new playoff streak. 
Projected Postseason:  None
2020-21 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 263.4 (3rd in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 258.1 (19, 6)
Total Offense: 521.6 (4, 3)
Scoring Offense: 48.7 (2, 1)
Rushing Defense: 133.1 (38, 2)
Pass Defense: 249.9 (78, 4)
Total Defense: 383.0 (66, 3)
Scoring Defense: 34.0 (84, 6)
Turnover Margin: 0.00 (44, 8)
Sacks: 2.00 (50, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 1.71 (31, 2)