Thibodaux, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Nicholls football will play three FBS opponents for the third straight season as part of a 12-game schedule this year.

The Colonels will open the season at Air Force (Aug. 30), visit Arkansas (Sept. 6) in their first-ever game against a Southeastern Conference squad and go to North Texas (Sept. 20).

Last season, the Colonels claimed their third win against an FBS program, 27-23 over Western Michigan in Kalamazoo.

Nicholls, which plays five of its five six games on the road, has five home dates at John L. Guidry Stadium: a non-conference game against Henderson State (Sept. 13), and Southland Conference matchups with Stephen F. Austin (Oct. 11), Lamar (Oct. 18), Incarnate Word (Nov. 1) and Southeastern Louisiana (Nov. 20).

The Colonels' conference road games are against Central Arkansas (Sept. 27), McNeese State (Oct. 4), Houston Baptist (Oct. 25) and Northwestern State (Nov. 15).

"We are very excited about our non-conference schedule this season," Nicholls fifth-year coach Charlie Stubbs said. "It gives us an opportunity to travel to different parts of the country to play against great competition. Playing these teams gives our players a chance to really step up and perform in front of large crowds. These games will also help prepare us for a very strong Southland Conference."

2014 Nicholls Football Schedule

Aug. 30, at Air Force

Sept. 6, at Arkansas

Sept. 13, Henderson State

Sept. 20, at North Texas

Sept. 27, at Central Arkansas*

Oct. 4, at McNeese State*

Oct. 11, Stephen F. Austin*

Oct. 18, Lamar*

Oct. 25, at Houston Baptist*

Nov. 1, Incarnate Word*

Nov. 15, at Northwestern State*

Nov. 20, Southeastern Louisiana*

* - Southland Conference game