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Kansas football vs. Nicholls State: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Jayhawks host Nicholls State in season opener

Kennedy McKoy of the West Virginia Mountaineers rushes against Fish Smithson #9 of the Kansas Jayhawks in the second half during the game on November 5, 2016 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

LAWRENCE, Kan. – David Beaty is 3-33 in his first three years as Kansas' coach, so the goals are simple as the Jayhawks open their 2018 season by hosting FCS member Nicholls on Saturday. Kansas has endured nine straight losing campaigns since Mark Mangino led the team to consecutive bowl victories in 2007 and 2008 but will be happy with one win at this point.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, No TV. LINE: None

“We're going to start with game one and the goal is to go 1-0, to win that game and then put just as much focus on that next game to be able to do the same and repeat that,” Beaty told reporters. “When it comes to a win total, I don't have that answer. I don't know that many people do. But I know this: I’ll bet around Christmastime, we know.”

Beaty named Peyton Bender as his starting quarterback, and the 6-1 senior's first task is to halt Kansas' 11-game losing streak since it opened 2017 with a 38-16 victory over Southeast Missouri State.

"Peyton has done a terrific job of taking command,” Beaty told reporters, adding that his quarterback did a good job taking the ball in training camp. “He really worked on that part of his game.”

The Colonels, members of the Southland Conference who are ranked 17th in the FCS preseason coaches poll, opened 2016 with a 26-24 loss at No. 9 Georgia and dropped a 24-14 decision at Texas A&M last season.

ABOUT NICHOLLS (2017: 8-4)

The Colonels are led by junior quarterback Chase Fourcade, a nephew of former New Orleans Saints quarterback John Fourcade. He completed 54.3 percent of his passes with 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season after throwing for 18 TDs as a freshman.

Senior wide receiver Damion Jeanpiere Jr. (19.2 yards, 40 receptions, four TDs) and sophomore WR Dai'Jean Dixon (21.3, 23, five) are expected to be Chase Fourcade's favorite targets while defensive linemen Sully Laiche (7.5 sacks) and Kenny Dotson (6.5) figure to make life tough on opposing quarterbacks.

ABOUT KANSAS (2017: 1-11)

Bender completed 54.2 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season and must perform with junior Carter Stanley (54.6 percent, four TDs, seven INTs in 2017) and junior college transfer Miles Kendrick ready to step in.

"The good thing is we know we’ve got three very capable, very talented guys that understand what we’re doing, which is really, really good,” Beaty told reporters about his quarterback situation.

The defense is led by senior tackle Daniel Wise, a preseason All-Big 12 selection who recorded seven sacks among his 16 tackles for loss last season.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Jayhawks senior WR Steven Sims Jr. led the team in receptions (59), yardage (839) and touchdown catches (six) last year.

2. Kansas lost all nine Big 12 games in 2017 by an average of 32 points.

3. The Jayhawks will try to snap a 46-game road losing streak when they visit Central Michigan on Sept. 8.

PREDICTION: Nicholls 28, Kansas 25

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