Colonels, Cajuns to square off Saturday night on ESPN3

Published 4:15 pm Friday, September 10, 2021

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Nicholls Colonels at Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
Lafayette, Louisiana (Cajun Field)
Saturday, September 11 at 6 p.m. CT
Nicholls Game Notes (PDF) | Louisiana Game Notes(PDF)

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FOUR DOWNS• The Nicholls State University football team’s 50th season has already been one of the most unique in the program’s history. Prior to Hurricane Ida, the Colonels left two days early for Memphis and stayed for most of the following week in preparation for the Saturday, Sept. 11 matchup against the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. Kickoff in Cajun Field is scheduled for 6 p.m. The matchup will air on ESPN3 and can be listened to on ESPN Radio New Orleans 100.3 FM.

• The contest against the Ragin’ Cajuns will mark a homecoming for Colonel head coach Tim Rebowe. Prior to being named head coach at Nicholls at the conclusion of the 2014 season, Rebowe spent over a decade in Lafayette as a defensive assistant coach, helping Louisiana to four consecutive New Orleans Bowl victories and a conference championship. During his 11 seasons at UL, he served as the safeties coach (2004-07, 2011-14) and linebackers coach (2008-10).

• Nicholls opened up the season against another FBS opponent, Memphis, falling to the Tigers by the score of 42-17. The Colonels came out punching by orchestrating an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to take the early lead. Lindsey Scott Jr. capped it with a perfect fade to K.J. Franklin for a 10-yard TD pass. However, Memphis went on to score the game’s next 32 points before Scott ended the drought with a 5-yard touchdown run on the Colonels’ first drive of the third quarter. The loss was the fourth consecutive for Nicholls versus FBS programs with its last win coming in the 2018 overtime victory against Kansas.

• The Colonels and Cajuns will be squaring off for the fifth time in the programs’ histories, with Louisiana holding a perfect 4-0 record. UL won the first meeting, 24-21, in 1990 and 11 years later, shut out Nicholls in a 20-0 victory. The Red and Gray put up a valiant effort in the third meeting, falling 38-21 in 2011 after the Ragin’ Cajuns broke a 14-all tie with a blocked field goal return for a touchdown and a pick-6. Marcus Washington posted a strong game in the loss, rushing for 95 yards a score. In the last meeting in 2013, UL dominated the entire game en route to a 70-7 victory. Future NFL running back and Houma native Elijah McGuire rushed for 137 yards and three scores on nine carries to lead the way for UL.

• Coming in as the preseason No.22/23 team in the top 25 polls, the Colonels fell out of the rankings following its loss to FBS Memphis. While teams aren’t usually penalized for FBS losses, a few unranked teams notched wins over FBS teams which helped bump the Colonels into the group of teams receiving votes. Nicholls had been nationally ranked in at least one of the two major top 25 polls since October of 2017.

BY THE NUMBERS6 – Not only was head coach Tim Rebowe a longtime assistant at UL, but six Colonel assistant coaches also had stints with the Ragin’ Cajuns. Both coordinators – OC Rob Christophel and DC Tommy Rybacki, along with defensive line coach Marquase Lovings, WR Sean Murphy, CB Lionel Stokes and safeties coach Brian Wallace. Stokes is the only one to play at UL, starting at defensive back in 2010-11 while Rebowe served as a defensive assistant.
2,907 – Standout wide receiver Dai’Jean Dixon moved up two spots on the Southland Conference all-time receiving yards list after his 7-catch, 107-yard outing at Memphis. Recently named to the Reese’s Senior Bowl Watchlist, Dixon  is looking to become only the sixth player in Southland history to reach 3,000. The game at Memphis marked his 10th career 100-yard game.

A WIN OVER LOUISIANA WOULD…… give Coach Rebowe his 39th career win, which would tie Sonny Jackson’s program mark.
… be the fifth win for Nicholls over an FBS team since 2000.
… snap a four-game losing streak against FBS programs.
… be the first in program history in the series against UL. The Ragin’ Cajuns have won the previous four meetings.
… give Nicholls its first victory against an FBS instate school since 2000. The Colonels are 0-8 with losses against UL (0-3), ULM (0-2), Louisiana Tech (0-2) and Tulane (0-1). Nicholls was scheduled to play at LSU in 2020 but the game was canceled.
… prevent the Colonels a fourth consecutive loss. Nicholls has not lost four in a row under Rebowe since going 0-5 to start his inaugural 2015 season.


The Colonels have a 2-3 record all-time on September 11th, but only two of the meetings came after the terrorist attacks in 2001.

– Nicholls defeated Western Carolina in 2004, 21-6, and fell at Western Michigan in 2010, 49-14.

– In the 2001 season, Nicholls was slated to play Arkansas State on Sept. 15 but due to the terrorist attack, the game was postponed until Nov. 22. Nicholls went on to knock off ASU, 28-22, for its first FBS victory. Future Hall of Fame cornerback Chris Thompson recorded three interceptions in the win.


While Nicholls returned all 11 starters on offense, the defense debut a few new faces against Memphis.

– Transfer Dewayne Betts Jr. made the start at safety, totaling 3 tackles. Betts has ties to the Sun Belt, playing at South Alabama in 2020 where he had a high of eight tackles against Louisiana.
– Juco transfer Quinton Sharkey started at linebacker and also had 3 tackles. Sharkey was an all-league player at Kilgore before joining the Colonels.
– Transfer James Tobin IV started at cornerback, racking up five tackles and two pass breakups. Tobin came from Austin Peay where he played three seasons.
– Also from Austin Peay, defensive lineman Jequaries Martin did not start but logged five tackles. Martin spent the previous two seasons with the Governors.