The last player on my list of Nicholls players to watch is Junior Quarterback, Chase Fourcade.
Fourcade was also a player recruited from Louisiana and he stands at 6’0” and weighs 190 pounds. He’s not a very big quarterback but he makes up for it with experience and his ability to make plays on the run. Last year he threw for 2316 yards and 14 touchdowns at a 54.4% completion rate. He even ran for 389 yards and an additional touchdown.
The downside with Fourcade, though, is his interceptions. He threw 13 last year and was a big reason Nicholls’ turnover margin was so low in the league. A lot of this is due to his accuracy issues and trying to force too many plays. Other than that he’s been a solid QB and has even started three years in a row.
The toughest part about keeping Fourcade under control will be his ability to run the ball and make plays happen outside of the pocket. Kansas will need to keep their LB’s on alert and have someone spying him at all times or he can break for a huge play. Also, if Fourcade is able to run the ball it could open up the Kansas defense and make them hesitant which in turn will make it easier for him to throw the ball.
On the flip side, if Kansas can keep him in the pocket and force him to throw more often they could potentially take advantage of his forced throws and poor accuracy. Even with Fourcade being a three year starter Kansas would much rather Nicholls throw the ball than run it. If they’re running it well then it could be a long day for Kansas.
But at the end of the day in order to slow the QB down Kansas will have to close the pocket around him not leaving gaps big enough to run through. And if Fourcade does get through, the LB will have to be on the lookout and catch him before he gets in the open field. It’s also important to bring up that most of Fourcade’s receivers have over 17 yards per catch, which is much higher than any other Kansas receiver, so when he does pass and the receivers catch it they make big plays.
This game will definitely be the first true test of this defense to see how they handle an experienced QB that can run it and throw it, especially on the run. I think if they put him under pressure early and hold strong against the run, Kansas shouldn’t have any issues keeping Fourcade under control.