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Scouting The Ducks' Opener: Nicholls State

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Nicholls State Linebacker Chris Bermond and the rest of the Colonels' defensive unit will get the opportunity to try and stop the Oregon offense in the season-opener for both teams Aug. 31 in Eugene. Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images.
Nicholls State Linebacker Chris Bermond and the rest of the Colonels' defensive unit will get the opportunity to try and stop the Oregon offense in the season-opener for both teams Aug. 31 in Eugene. Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images.

Nicholls State vs. Oregon

Date: Aug. 31
Game Time: 1 p.m.
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene
TV:  Fox Sports 1

About Nicholls State

Under Coach Charlie Stubbs

2010: 4-7, 3-4 (Southland)
2011: 1-10, 0-7 (Southland)
2012: 1-10, 0-7 (Southland)

Charlie Stubbs enters his third season as the coach of the Nicholls State Colonels, compiling a 5-17 overall record in the process. The Colonels, which run a three-receiver, pass-heavy offense, didn’t win a game the last two years in the Southland Conference.

They expect that to change this season.

Offense

With starter Landry Klann still a question mark due to a shoulder injury, Beaux Hebert has stepped into the void and has been solid this fall. In the Colonels' final scrimmage of the fall last Saturday, Hebert hit on 10 of 12 passes for 134 yards and a score. Behind him is Kalen Henderson, who also had a good final fall scrimmage with 11 of 16 passing for 109 yards and a score.

The Colonels will play multiple running backs, but Marcus Washington is the leading returner with nearly 500 yards a year ago. Joining him in the single-back rotation are Joshua Johnson and Dalton Hilliard Jr.

Hebert will target some familiar faces at receiver in Andrew Wynn, Jordan Arcement, Josh Hanberry, and one-time starting quarterback LaQuintin Caston, who has made the switch to receiver. A new face, Carey Forston caught two touchdown passes in last week’s scrimmage, as did freshman tight end Stephen LeBouef.

Defense

The Colonels return seven starters and for the first time in two years have the kind of depth that will allow them to play multiple players at key positions.

In the defensive front seven, the line will be senior-heavy as Fernandez Garner and Darrell Brown are on the outside, with Edet Udoh at nose tackle. At linebacker, leading tackler Jordan Piper heads three returning starters. Rashar Knight and Kerry Guidry hold down the edges of the 3-4, with transfer Chris Bermond looking to join Piper inside.

In the secondary, safeties Jordan Hanberry, T.J. Lumar and Siegan Vergenal return, while stepping into the corner spots is Brian Lewis on one side, with four others, including transfer Anthony McLean, vying for the final opening.

Special Teams

All-Southland punter Cory Kemps and kicker Andrew Dolan will retain their roles, with Ben Landry competing for both kicking duties.