Every coach and athlete across every sport at every level insists there’s no such thing as “trap games” and that every week is equally important and a must win.
Nicholls football coach Tim Rebowe is no different.
Prior to the opener against Kansas State, Rebowe brushed off any thoughts of the Wildcats overlooking the FCS-level Colonels.
That belief holds true this week as the pendulum swings to the other side with No. 11 Nicholls the favorite at Prairie View A&M.
But the problem about dismissing the existence of trap games is that it’s an easy thing to do — until you find yourself in the middle of one.
This Saturday, if it isn’t careful, Nicholls could find itself right in the middle of a classic trap game.
The Colonels are coming off a tough 49-14 loss at Kansas State in a game that garnered added outside attention after Nicholls beat Kansas the year before.
They’re also only a week and a half out from opening Southland Conference play at Stephen F. Austin and still almost a month away from the first home game against Central Arkansas on Oct. 5.
But more than anything happening with the Colonels is what’s happening over in Texas.
Head coach Eric Dooley and his up-tempo style has long been considered an offensive guru around the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Prior to his time at Prairie View he was offensive coordinator at Grambling, helping the Tigers to three straight SWAC Western Division titles, two conference titles and a HBCU National Championship in 2016 behind his high-powered offense.
At Prairie View, Dooley and the Panthers scored 60 points on three separate occasions in 2018, including a win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in which they put up 815 yards of total offense.
The Panthers finished that season as No. 20 in total offense (456.7 yards per game) and No. 22 in scoring (33.5 points per game). By comparison, Nicholls, who reached the second round of the FCS playoffs, averaged 474 yards and 32.3 yards per game.
Just ask 2018 Sam Houston State how tough the Panthers can be when they get on a roll.
Prairie View took the Bearkats to the wire last season, coming with two points as late as a minute left to play. If not for a few defensive stands in the fourth quarter, the Panthers claim a win over a perennial SLC power.
They haven’t missed a step this season, either.
Just last week Prairie View put up 17 points and 318 yards of total offense on Houston. It ultimately lost by multiple scores, but not a bad showing considering the disparity.
Nicholls should be heavily favored to win on Saturday and likely will. But this is college football and the Colonels know better than anyone that no team is impervious to a bad day.
Staff Writer Mike Gegenheimer can be reached at 857-2212 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter@Mike_Gegs.