Five Keys to Beating Texas State – From the Bird’s Nest
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns have lost three straight and last Wednesday were dominated by league favorite Appalachian State. The Cajuns (2-4, 1-2 Sun Belt) will now be on the road for four of their final six games beginning this Saturday at Texas State (2-4, 0-2) with kickoff slated for just after 6:00pm at Bobcat Stadium. The Cajuns have won all three meetings between the two teams since Texas State joined the Sun Belt and the games really haven't been close.
If that streak is to continue and the losing streak is to come to an end, watch for these things.
RUN. THE. FOOTBALL--The Cajuns haven't run it all that effectively in the three game losing streak. Credit Tulane and Appalachian State for two of those performances and the third came in a game where Elijah McGuire carried the football just six times. Eli is, for the most part, healthy now. The Cajuns need to emphasize success in the running game this week against a Bobcats team that allows opponents more than 230 yards per game on the ground.
TAKE YOUR SHOTS--This goes hand in hand with the run. Success running means the Cajuns can use play action and take some shots down the field. Texas State is last in the league in pass defense yardage per game. And, any kind of success throwing downfield will be a welcome change. Of course, the guys up front have to do their job in keeping the pressure off Anthony Jennings. Texas State's defense has just four sacks this year.
SPEAKING OF SACKS---The Cajuns lead the league in sacks. Texas State leads the league in giving up sacks. Part of that is Texas State throws it 40 times per game, which gives the defenses more opportunities. When in obvious passing downs, watch for the Cajuns to bring the heat. And, they need to be successful in getting to quarterback Tyler Jones when they do. He's very capable.
SPEAKING OF MR. JONES--Texas State will use him in the running game and he has capabilities as a runner and a scrambler. He's obviously a good passer as well. The Cajuns can't let him do all three. He'll get passing yards. But keep him in the pocket, stop him on designed running plays and make him wind up with minus rushing yardage for the game.
GET BETTER IN THE RED ZONE---On both sides of the football. The Cajuns have scored on 18-21 trips but have had to settle for field goals seven times. Defensively, the Cajuns have given up points on 25-27 trips with 14 touchdowns. Get it into the end zone on offense. Get some stops defensively.
The old cliche' is "this is the most important game of the season, because it's the next game."
This IS the most important game of the season. Period.