clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Arkansas vs Nicholls Preview: Q&A with Teddy Renois

New, 6 comments

Teddy Renois, the Nicholls State beat writer for the Houma Today newspaper, was kind enough to answer some questions about the game versus Arkansas this weekend.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

AF: We all know Nicholls State is a school where they simply have to do these pay for play games to survive, but how successful have the been versus FBS schools?

TR: Nicholls defeated Western Michigan, 27-23, last season in week two giving the program three wins over FBS programs. Arkansas State (2001) and Rice (2007).

(Ryan's note: You're welcome for the reminder Red Wolves fans.)

AF: Knowing that Arkansas struggled against FCS Samford last year, and that they are on a 10 game losing streak, do the Colonels feel like they have a legitimate shot at an upset?

TR: The Colonels understand the challenge in front of them, but they scheme like every other football team and try to win. Nicholls and Arkansas are in the same boat as the Colonels enter the game with a seven-game losing streak, so win or lose, building on last week's positive is the goal for Nicholls on Saturday.

AF: Previous games like this have been pay-per-view only, but now with the SEC Network, it can be seen across the nation. Are FCS schools, like Nicholls, using that as a recruiting tool? Does this give them another incentive to schedule a SEC team, knowing they will get a nationally televised game out of it?

TR: Of course it is a recruiting tool for FCS teams and Nicholls is playing Georgia in 2016, so whenever television is part of the deal it is huge plus. FCS teams get limited exposure throughout the regular season, the only time the FCS is really recognized is during its playoffs. Anytime a small school like Nicholls can get national exposure you bet that is a selling point in recruiting.

AF: Nicholls struggled against Air Force's rushing attack in week one, does that prepare them better for Arkansas' dominant rushing attack this week, or will the talent gap be too much?

TR:  Nicholls actually revamped its run defense from last season, but were unable to play the scheme in trying to defend the triple option. While there is a talent gap and I expect Arkansas to have success running the ball, the hope is the run defense can hold up into the second quarter before the Hogs run wild. Nicholls stopped Air Force on the first two series of the game, then the Falcons' talent took over and I suspect the same scenario could happen on Saturday. I do think playing against a more traditional running game will allow the defense to play more freely, but Arkansas' talent in the offensive backfield will be too great to overcome.

AF: Who is one guy on the Colonel's roster that Hog fans will be impressed with the most?

TR: Even though he struggled last week, quarterback Kalen Henderson has the ability to give teams fits with his running and passing. Henderson was under a heavy rush last week and was just 12-of-25 for 136 yards passing but he didn't throw a pick and made a few plays with his legs. He is a transfer from Tulsa and definitely was the best player on the field in Nicholls' upset over Western Michigan last season until he broke his leg in the second quarter. He missed most of the season, but came back late to play in two games. He was a little rusty last week and I expect he will be better Saturday. One guy on defense is OLB Davin Bovie, he was leading the Southland Conference in total tackles until a knee injury forced him to miss the final four games of the season and made 11 tackles against Air Force.