THIBODAUX, La -- — Kaiden Bennett threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns and Sacramento State controlled Nicholls from the outset and beat the Colonels 38-24 in a season opener Thursday night in the coaching debut for Andy Thompson.
Marcus Fulcher added two rushing touchdowns for the Hornets' first two scores which created a 14-0 cushion for the eighth-ranked team in the FCS Coaches Poll.
The Colonels drew within 17-10 midway through the third quarter after inheriting a short field off an interception and Pat McQuaide ran it in from the 4. But Sacramento State scored the next three touchdowns, the first coming with 1:05 left in the third when Bennett threw a 40-yard score to Jared Gipson for a 14-point advantage.
Early in the fourth, Bennett ran it in from the 7 to end a brief five-play, 63-yard drive in a little more than two minutes, and following a turnover on downs by Nicholls, Bennett threw a six-yard score to Anderson Grover on the one-play drive for a 38-10 lead.
McQuaid threw for 196 yards including an 84-yard score to Terry Matthews for the game's last score.
It was Nicholls first home loss in a season opener since 1992.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll