LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - James Tabary threw for two touchdowns in the first half as McNeese held off Nicholls for a 20-10 win in an early Southland Conference showdown on Saturday night.
Tabary struck for a score on the first snap as he hit Lawayne Ross on a 16-yard scoring play for a 7-0 lead 10 seconds into the game after Nicholls fumbled the opening kickoff. Blake Yorloff hit Stefano Guarisco as he was returning the kickoff, causing the fumble. BJ Blunt pounced on it to give the Cowboys the ball on the 16. Blunt finished with three sacks on the evening.
Nicholls could not get across the goal line until the final seconds of the game as McNeese (3-0, 1-0) controlled the tempo throughout.
Chase Fourcade threw for 257 yards with one TD for Nicholls (1-2, 0-1) which opened its season with a 26-23 overtime win over Kansas.
The teams waited out a lightning delay of more than an hour before starting the game.