The Nicholls State Colonels are 3-1 in conference play this season, and are currently in the hunt for a conference championship, but they will face a tall task this Saturday against the new number one team in the nation, the Sam Houston State Bearkats. Here is what people can expect from a tough Colonel team.
Nicholls is coming off an exciting win over Houston Baptist, in which “Last Chance U” star defensive lineman Ronald Ollie blocked a field goal and returned it for a touchdown to aide a 33-30 victory last Saturday in Houston. Ollie was named the Southland Conference Special Teams Player of the Week because of that play.
Those who watched the show know Ollie very well. The 310-pound defensive lineman was portrayed as a giant teddy bear off the field, whose tragic childhood experiences led him down the wrong path at a young age. On the field though, Ollie is anything but a teddy bear. Ollie is a key player in the Nicholls defense, which head coach K.C. Keeler considers the best his team has faced this season.
“They are very sound defensively, maybe the best defense we have played this year,” Keeler said. “[They have] good talent, but very well coached and very sound on that side of the ball.”
Earlier this year, the Colonels traveled to Athens, Georgia to take on the Georgia Bulldogs in a paycheck game. The team fought hard and fared well; losing 26-24 to a team that was ranked in the FBS Top-15 at the time. That experience should help Nicholls this Saturday, as they’ve shown they can compete with a good SEC team on the road.
“Georgia did not look very good in that ball game,” Keeler said. “But I think Georgia was surprised by how good Nicholls was.”
The Nicholls defense will need to play their best game of the season in order to have a chance at defeating the Bearkats Saturday. The defense has been allowing only 243 passing yards per game, which is well below the Bearkats season average of 363 yards per game, but the Bearkats passing attack will be the best one Nicholls has seen this season.
Whichever team wins that battle on Saturday will likely be winning the game as well. Keeler is confident in his offense’s ability to get the job done.
“I don’t know if there is a more talented offense in the country than the one we have,” Keeler said. “We don’t have any warts; the quarterback play, running back play, the receivers play, the tight end play, to the offensive line. This offense is really special.”
This Southland conference showdown will take place Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at John L. Guidry Stadium in Thibodaux, Louisiana.