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LSU 2020 Schedule Preview: Nicholls State

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Tigers close out non-conference play with in-state Colonels

Nicholls State v Kansas Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

LSU football has made it a point to play other Louisiana schools in recent years. Last year the Tigers welcomed Northwestern State, the year before that it was Southeastern. The Tigers made headlines a few weeks ago when it was announced they would host Southern University in 2022 and Grambling the year after, the first time LSU will have played either in football.

This year, the in-state school making its way up from Houma to Baton Rouge will be the Nicholls State Colonels. The Nicholls game will also be the final non-conference game for LSU, and will be the last chance the Tigers have to work out whatever kinks remain before traveling to Florida.

Nicholls State Colonels

2019: 9-5 (7-2 Southland)

FCS Playoffs: Lost in the second round to North Dakota State

Head Coach: Tim Rebowe

Offensive Coordinator: Rob Christophel

Defensive Coordinator: Tommy Rybacki

Rebowe has done a heck of a job turning Nicholls around in a short amount of time. In six seasons, Nicholls has made the FCS playoffs each of the last three seasons and won the Southland in 2018 and ‘19, a far cry from the 0-12 campaign in 2014 and consecutive 1-11 seasons in 2011 and ‘12.

Quarterbacking the Colonels will be a familiar face for LSU fans, former Tiger quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr. Scott signed with LSU in 2016 before going the JUCO route, transferring to East Mississippi Community College. If that name sounds familiar, East Mississippi was the school in focus of season 1 and 2 of Netflix’s fabulous Last Chance U series. At East, Scott led the Lions to an 11-1 record and an NJCAA national championship.

Scott left East Mississippi and joined Missouri in 2018, only to serve as the scout team quarterback. Scott then went back home to Louisiana and joined the Colonels in 2019 but couldn’t play because of transfer rules. Now Scott, the former Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year, looks to take Nicholls on a deep FCS playoff run with his final season of eligibility.

Joining Scott in the backfield will be junior running back Julien Gums, who had the best statistical rushing season in program history last year. Gums set a school record with 1,232 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns and earned a First-Team All-Southland selection.

Scott will have one of the best receivers at the FCS level to throw to in 2020, senior wide receiver Dal’Jean Dixon. Dixon has been the Colonels top receiver the past two seasons, leading Nicholls in catches, yards and touchdowns in 2018 and ‘19. Last season, his 54 catches, 1,044 yards and eight touchdowns led to a First-Team All-Southland selection. Dean only needs 18 catches, 424 yards and five touchdowns to set new career records for the Nicholls football program.

There’s also another ex-Tiger in the Nicholls offense, former fullback Bry’Keithon Mouton is now playing tight end for the Colonels. Mouton only caught five passes for 55 yards but did score a touchdown in his first season in Houma.

Defensively, the Colonels are led by senior safety Kevin Moore III a transfer from Texas Tech. Moore made First-Team All-Southland after racking up 112 tackles and three interceptions, both team highs. The biggest question for the Nicholls defense will be trying to replace Sully Laiche, who led the team in sacks (12.0) and tackles for loss last year (22.5). But that’s easier said than done, Laiche ranks second all time in Southland Conference history in career sacks and tackles for loss. Laiche was a four-time All-Southland selection and was the conference player of the year last season.

2020 Nicholls State Schedule

September 5: vs. Mississippi Valley State

September 12: @ Northwestern State

September 19: vs. Sam Houston State

September 26: @ Central Arkansas

October 3: @ LSU

October 10: vs. Stephen F. Austin

October 17: @ Abilene Christian

October 24: @ Houston Baptist

October 31: vs. Incarnate Word

November 7: @McNeese State

November 14: BYE

November 19 (Thursday): vs. Southeastern La.