It’s time to play football.

Louisiana opens up its 2012 football season against Lamar tomorrow evening.  Despite the parking situation (the Hilton Garden Inn isn’t available, but SLCC is—with shuttle service) and the soggy tailgating areas, thanks to Isaac, fans should be in a festive mood.

And, why shouldn’t they be?

The Cajuns are coming off a terrific season, culminating with a last-second bowl win in front of a record R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl crowd.  The Cajuns have nine starters returning from one of the most entertaining offenses in Cajuns history.  Expectations are high.  The electricity is in the air.

With three tough ones in a row on the horizon, it’s important the Cajuns get off to a 1-0 start.  To make sure that happens, it’s probably wise if the Cajuns

  1. FOCUS—Louisiana is supposed to beat Lamar.  In fact, they’re supposed to beat them by a lot to a little.  That only can happen if the mental focus is there.  The Cajuns need to look past the classification and play every play.  If they do, the rest should take care of itself.
  2. NO BIGGIE==Nothing gives an underdog some confidence like breaking a big play to score, or set up a score.  The Cajuns have a lot of inexperience on the defensive side of the football, especially at the safety position.  Lamar is going to throw it.  Don’t get burned for a big play.
  3. BE OFFENSIVE—While waiting for the defense to mature, it’s important that the veteran Cajuns offense play to their capabilities.  A couple of early drives and a big play or two could break Lamar’s will early.
  4. LEARN LESSONS—This goes along with the focus thing.  Take notice of what happened in Murfreesboro last night.  Frankly I don’t think that was an upset, but the players don’t know that.  Use it as a motivation to play well.
  5. HIGH, BUT NOT TOO HIGH—With a big crowd, the season opener, the home opener and all that goes with it, it’s possible to get so geeked up that you don’t play well.  While having an emotional makeup is terrific, it’s also important to be businesslike.  Pay attention to detail.

The Cajuns can probably win the game without doing all of these things.  But if they do them one through five, boy will the fans be happy when they leave Cajun Field.

Of course, they’ll still be complaining about the parking.  But hey, RCAF memberships are still available.