Small College Preview: No. 24 Nicholls at Incarnate Word highlights big week ahead across Texas

Incarnate Word football (Photo by Prentice James)

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GAME: No. 24 Nicholls (4-4, 3-2) at Incarnate Word (5-2, 4-2)

WHEN: Saturday at 4 p.m. at Gayle & Tom Benson Stadium in San Antonio. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

WHY IT MATTERS: The playoffs begin this week for both of these teams as another loss in the regular season would effectively end all hopes of earning an at-large playoff bid. Nicholls hits the road this week reeling after being shut out by Sam Houston State two weeks ago and falling in overtime to Abilene Christian to end a 13-game regular-season home winning streak. UIW is also reeling after unexpectedly losing an overtime home game to Northwestern State who entered the game without a win on the season. UIW has won its last three games against Nicholls and the Cardinals defense will be a huge key this week as they have forced a turnover in 20 consecutive games.

INSIDE THE STATS: Both teams enter being relatively even according to advanced stats as UIW has averaged 0.414 Points Per Play (PPP) and 13.7 yards per point. The Cardinals have allowed 0.449 PPP and 14.2 yards per point. Nicholls enters averaging 0.416 PPP and 14.2 yards per point while allowing 0.449 PPP and 13.8 yards per point on defense.

COMPUTER PREDICTION: Incarnate Word 30, Nicholls 29

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