FCS Game of the Week Preview – Sam Houston State vs. Nicholls State
Two of the best teams in the Southland will square off deep in the heart of Texas on Saturday afternoon when the Sam Houston State Bearkats host the Nicholls State Colonels. Both teams are undefeated coming into this game, but while Nicholls State is 3-0, Sam Houston State is just 1-0. The Colonels are ranked No. 7 in the country, yet they are short underdogs against the Bearkats this weekend.
This game will take place on Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 1 p.m. ET at Bowers Stadium in Huntsville, Texas. It will be broadcast on ESPN Plus.
College Football Betting Odds
Nicholls State +2
Sam Houston State -2
The Bearkats have won 12 of the last 13 meetings between these two programs, and they beat the Colonels 17-0 in Huntsville last season. Nicholls State had just 271 total yards on the day, as this team could only average 1.7 YPC and went 4-16 on third down conversions and 1-4 on fourth down conversions.
Sam Houston State Offense vs. Nicholls State Defense
Eric Schmid had a great start to the season a couple weeks ago against Southeastern Louisiana. Schmid completed 25 of 40 passes for 428 yards and two touchdowns in the Bearkats’ 43-38 victory over the Lions. He silenced the doubters who highlighted that he only performed well in two games last season, but SE Louisiana is not known for its defensive prowess.
Schmid proved he has the mobility to make this offense hum too. He ran for 88 yards (9.8 YPC) against SE Louisiana. Ramon Jefferson ran for 139 yards and a score, and the Bearkats racked up an insane 672 yards of offense.
The Colonels have a solid defense though. They only allowed three total points in their first two games against Division II Lincoln University and Lamar. Nicholls State shut down Northwestern State’s passing attack last week, but the front seven was gashed for some big plays on the ground. The Demons ran for 237 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 9.9 YPC. Most of that came from runs of 80 and 58 yards, so this defense will work on limiting the big play.
Nicholls State Offense vs. Sam Houston State Defense
We’ve seen Nicholls State post some big numbers on offense, but much of that is due to their competition. The Colonels haven’t played any good defenses, allowing them to run and pass with impunity.
Lindsey Scott Jr. is completing 72.1 percent of his passes for 684 yards with eight touchdowns and an interception. Scott is the second-leading rusher on the team with 239 yards and four touchdowns, and he is averaging 7.7 YPC to put defenses on edge.
The Bearkats have a great front seven and should make Scott and the Colonels one-dimensional. They shut down SE Louisiana’s run game a couple weeks ago, but the secondary is another story. If Scott can hit his throws, he can have a lot of success against these defensive backs.
There’s a reason the Bearkats are favored despite only playing one game. Their win over SE Louisiana was more impressive than any of Nicholls State’s three wins. Their defense will lead the way in a cover that announces SHSU is the team to beat in the Southland.