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Thursday October 18th, 2018 2:05AM

The Last Time: Georgia vs. Nicholls State

By Brian Stewart Reporter

Welcome to the least stressful week you'll have in a while for the Georgia season.

After this expected beat down, you get all the joy of road trips to Missouri and Ole Miss, followed by a home game with Tennessee, a road game with South Carolina and a home game with Vanderbilt.

Got all that?

Good.

Let's dive into this week's game with Nicholls State.

The last time...

1) These teams met:

Georgia and Nicholls State (which is located in Thibodaux, Louisiana, if you didn't know) have never met on the gridiron.

Apparently they also prefer to be referred to simply as "Nicholls." (I never thought they were a real state anyway.)

So here's some quick facts about the Colonels to get you acquainted.

Nicholls, named for former Louisiana Governor Francis Nicholls, was founded in 1948, and started playing football in 1972.

One notable alum baseball fans might recognize is Darryl Hamilton, who spent 13 years in the majors with the Brewers, Rangers, Giants, Rockies and Mets.

Their marching band is called the Pride of Nicholls, though as far as I know they will not be making the trek to Sanford Stadium. (I hope I'm wrong though.)

So there ya go.

2) A Georgia head coach lost his first home game:

I'll put the chances of this happening close to zero, but I'm sure Kirby Smart would say that Nicholls could hang with the Patriots and Georgia should be careful and we can't run the ball and all that other Saban-esque coach speak.

But, if Smart's assertions were to come to pass, he would be the first Georgia head coach since Jim Donnan to lose his first home game.

Donnan lost the opener in 1996 to Southern Miss 11-7.

Since then, only one coach has taken the reigns for the Bulldogs — at least at home.

Mark Richt won his first home game in 2001, beating Arkansas State 45-17. The only other man to coach a game for Georgia since then was Bryan McClendon, who served as interim head coach for the 2015 Tax Slayer Bowl win over Penn State.

And since that wasn't a home game, we don't get to count it.

BONUS: A Georgia coach started his career 2-0?

This one goes back a little further, to Ray Goff.

His first year as the head man (1989) saw the Dawgs get off to a 2-0 start before dropping three straight — perhaps an ominous sign of things to come.

Georgia opened with a 15-3 win over Baylor, then followed it with a 23-6 win over Mississippi State.

In case you're wondering, Richt lost his second game at Georgia, a 21-10 defeat to South Carolina.

3) Nicholls played an SEC team:

The Colonels have actually played an SEC team fairly recently, getting run out of the stadium 73-7 against Arkansas in 2014.

The Razorbacks piled on 684 yards of offense that day (495 rushing) in a snoozer that saw them leading 35-0 after one quarter, and 56-0 after two.

Nicholls finally got on the board midway through the third quarter when they were trailing 63-0.

4) Georgia had two 100-yard rushers:

If Chubb picks up where he left off Saturday (222 yards on 32 carries with 2 TDs), he should easily eclipse the 100-yard mark, probably in the first half before the coaches give his legs a breather and wrap him in bubble wrap ahead of the conference schedule.

Behind Chubb, it's entirely possible one of the other backs — be it Sony Michel (if he's healthy, which seems unlikely), Brian Herrien, Elijah Holyfield, Brendan Douglas or Tae Crowder — grinds out 100 yards as the Bulldogs play keep away in the second half.

Don't overlook Isaiah McKenzie or Terry Godwin in the rushing game, either.

Anyway, all that to say it would be the first time since the 2014 Auburn game, when Todd Gurley (in what would be his last game) and Chubb both eclipsed the century mark.

Gurley had 138 yards on 29 carries that night before tearing his ACL late in the fourth quarter, and Chubb cranked out 144 yards on 19 carries.

5) Georgia lost a non-conference home game in September:

A clarification before we get to this fact, because some of you who read this closely might say I'm wrong based on a previous factoid.

That game against Southern Miss in '96 was actually played on August 31, so it doesn't fall into the realm of a September loss.

For this one we have to dig all the way back to Sept. 30, 1989, when South Carolina knocked off Georgia 24-20 in Sanford Stadium.

This was before the Gamecocks joined the SEC (they were independent), which classifies as a non-conference loss, if my math is correct.

Since then, the Bulldogs have never lost outside the SEC when they play Between the Hedges in September, going 38-0 in such games.

6) Nicholls beat an FBS team:

For a team that is 7-28 over the last three seasons, it seems hard to believe that one of their victories came against an opponent playing in a higher division.

But sure enough, it does.

The Colonels knocked off Western Michigan in 2013 on the road, 27-23.

Nicholls collected $380,000 in a game that was supposed to be an easy W on the Broncos' schedule, only to leave with a fat paycheck and an upset themselves.

That day in Kalamazoo, the Colonels piled up 447 yards of offense, but still were outgained as Western Michigan put up 485. Interestingly, Nicholls still lost the turnover battle that day, 3-2, yet still found a way to pull the upset.

7) Georgia played only one home game before October:

Here's an interesting stat. The Bulldogs aren't going to play their second home game of the season until Oct. 1 against Tennessee.

This game against Nicholls is the only home game for the entire month of September.

(Quick note: If you want to go on the "only one home game in September" train, that leads you to 1996, when Georgia played Southern Miss on Aug. 31 and Texas Tech Sept. 21.)

The last time the Bulldogs played only once (including August) at home before October, was 1970.

Georgia opened the year Sept. 19 with a road game against Tulane and a home game with Clemson the following week (Sept. 26).

46 years later we find the next schedule that only lets the Sanford Stadium get used once before October.

8) An SEC team lost to an FCS team:

We need only venture back into yester-year to find this one, and it was hilarious.

South Carolina, in their 11th game of an already doomed season, lost to The Citadel 23-22 in Williams-Brice Stadium.

It spawned this fantastic video.

(I hope I never reach such a point of sadness related to Georgia football.)

Go ahead and watch that video a few more times, I'll wait.

(Pause for effect.)

Ah, it never gets old.

9) A Georgia QB threw an interception:

One fact that slides totally off the radar is how good the Bulldogs have been at not turning it over lately.

The last interception thrown by a Georgia QB came from Faton Bauta, who for some reason started the Florida game, throwing four interceptions in the process.

Since then, Bulldog QBs have gone six consecutive games without throwing a pick — all victories, it should be noted.

But Lambert deserves to be benched, or whatever.

10) A Georgia TE caught a touchdown pass:

For all the talk of the talent the Bulldogs have a tight end, it's been more than a year since somebody from this position group caught a touchdown pass.

Jeb Blazevich actually hauled in the first score of the year in the 2015 opener against Louisiana-Monroe on Sept. 5, a 15-yard strike from Lambert.

Since then, no Georgia tight end has found the end zone.

In fact, the only passing touchdown so far in 2016 was an end-around to Isaiah McKenzie that happened to be a forward lateral.

We'll see if Blazevich, Jackson Harris, Isaac Nauta or Charlie Woerner can turn that trend around.

***

If all goes according to plan, this game should be nice and boring Saturday.

Hopefully the fans turn out for Smart's home debut, and maybe we'll get lucky and a few clouds will roll in to block out the blistering heat.

And, most importantly, let's hope the Bulldogs work out their kinks and come away with no injuries.

See ya in Sanford.

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