The next player to watch out for on Nicholls is junior Running Back, Kyran Irvin.
Irvin was recruited from Darrow, LA and is a big RB standing at 6’1” and 220 pounds. He’s not only big but he’s fast as well. Last year he rushed 147 times and gained 774 yards and eight touchdowns. His average per carry was 5.2 which was pretty close to what Khalil Herbert gave Kansas. The biggest difference is Kyran had more carries, but also more yards and double the touchdowns.
As I’ve said this before, Nicholls is a team that likes to run the ball. They run around 62% of the time and only pass 38%. They also have at least 4-5 RB’s that could be used against Kansas and they’re all solid options. Either way I do expect Kyran to start given his experience and how good he did last year.
Probably the only bright spot on the Kansas defense last year, though, was they finished 71st out of 130 teams in rush defense. A lot of that had to do with Dorance Armstrong, Daniel Wise and especially Joe Dineen. Since they return two of the three it has to be a sign that things will get even better. It doesn’t mean Kansas will stop the run, but it should mean they will be able to at least control it better.
It won’t be easy as Nicholls has more depth at RB than Kansas, which is odd to say because of the talent Kansas does have that position in Khalil Herbert, Dom Williams and Pooka Williams. But this means if one guy isn’t running well they’ll have plenty of other options they can send out there. Don’t be surprised to see a lot of Dontrell Taylor, Tahj Smith and even incoming transfer from Texas A&M, Kendal Bussey.
I do have faith that Kansas has the man power to improve against the rush on defense, but they’ll need to be sure they close the gaps and keep the RB’s in front of them. Big plays will only open up Nicholls offense which could be devastating for Kansas. But stopping the run will definitely be the most important part of this game for both sides. Let’s hope they keep all of Nicholls RB’s under control, especially Kyran Irvin.