THIBODAUX, La. - The Lincoln Blue Tigers were grateful to play their first football game in 15 months.
However, Friday's 87-3 defeat at the hands of the Nicholls State Colonels proved to be an eye-opening experience for the Blue Tigers as they opened the 2021 spring season.
The 87 points are the most allowed in program history by Lincoln. The previous record was 83 points scored by Central Missouri during the 2005 season.
Nicholls led 13-0 after one quarter, then scored 33 points in the second quarter to go into halftime with a 46-0 advantage.
The Blue Tigers punted on their first two possessions. Then on the third drive, Hosea Franklin broke loose for a 28-yard gain inside the Nicholls 30-yard line.
However, the drive stalled and resulted in a turnover on downs. The Blue Tigers then punted on four of their five remaining drives in the first half.
Lincoln's scoring possession came during the third quarter, after a mishandled snap on a punt gave the Blue Tigers the ball on the Colonels' 9-yard line. Lincoln was unable to reach the end zone, but Javier Moreno put the Blue Tigers on the scoreboard with a 32-yard field goal with 7:17 to go in the third, making the score 52-3.
Nicholls scored touchdowns on five of its next six possessions. The Colonels led 66-3 at the end of three quarters.
Ten players for Nicholls - a Division I FCS program - scored a touchdown in the win. The Colonels finished with 234 yards rushing and 228 yards passing.
Dontaze Costly and Tevin Bush each scored a pair of touchdowns for Nicholls (1-0), which is ranked No. 8 nationally in the Athlon Sports FCS preseason poll.
Lindsey Scott, a quarterback on Missouri's roster during the 2018 season, completed 12-of-14 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns for the Colonels. He added 40 yards rushing and one score.
Lincoln finished the game with 90 yards rushing and 20 yards passing.
Tori Hicks led the Blue Tigers with 71 yards rushing on 16 carries, including a 30-yard run in the fourth quarter. Franklin finished with 28 yards rushing.
Lincoln committed six turnovers - four fumbles and two interceptions - and punted eight times in the loss.
Elliot Albert led the Blue Tigers with 10 tackles. TeAndre Skinner added a tackle for loss.
Lincoln (0-1) will play its next game Saturday, March 6, at Texas Permian Basin. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Grande Stadium in Midland, Texas.