Five Keys to Beating Appalachian State – From the Bird’s Nest
The Cajuns have been in this position before. They need a win to be bowl eligible. They're an underdog. But they've been successful in this situation.
It won't be easy.
Appalachian State will be motivated with a share of the Sun Belt Championship at stake. They'll be ready to play.
If the Cajuns are going bowling (Mickey Mouse, anyone?), here's what needs to happen.
SCORE FIRST--It's really simple. The Cajuns haven't lost a game when they've scored first (4-0). Conversely, App State is unbeaten when they score first. Cajuns haven't been a good come from behind team. They've only won once (Idaho) when the opponent gets on the board first.
RUN. THE. DAMN. BALL--The Cajuns were forced out of their run game early, thanks to an early 17-0 deficit. That can't happen this week. A balanced attack is paramount and that starts with the running game. And, unlike last week, they can't abandon it early if they fall behind. Georgia Southern was capable of chewing up clock, and that played a part last week. This is different.
PROTECT WHOMEVER--Is it Davis? Is it Lewis? Either way, the Cajuns have to keep the quarterback upright. It's easier said than done. App State is very good at pressure. The Cajuns have to give the quarterback a chance to keep his cool and find some receivers, who have a chance to be open in this one.
WIN FIRST DOWN--App State quarterback Taylor Lamb will pick you apart if he's able to use play action. First down is key in this game. The Cajuns have to slow Jalin Moore and give the defense a chance to make a play with down and distance in their favor.
GET ON THE PLUS SIDE--The Cajuns were -3 in turnovers last week and that was a big factor in their loss. Prior to that, Louisiana hadn't turned the ball over in 13 quarters. Gotta get back to that and get a couple themselves if they're going to have a shot at this one.