Five Keys to Beating ULM – From the Bird’s Nest
Make no mistake about it, I think ULM is an improved football team.
The Warhawks (0-2) visit Cajun Field Saturday afternoon, opening up conference play against the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns (1-2). It's only the second time the game between the two teams has been the conference opener.
Kickoff is scheduled for 4:05 pm in "The Swamp." Steve Peloquin and Gerald Broussard have the Tailgate Show from Russo Park beginning at 2:00 pm. Richie Falgout and Cody Junot join me for the call of the game inside Cajun Field.
Can the Cajuns even their record and start 1-0 in the league? Sure. Here's how.
THE WHEELS ON THE BUS GO ROUND AND ROUND --While he hasn't reached Jerome Bettis proportions, redshirt freshman Trey Ragas has shown the propensity to turn small plays into big ones thanks to his strength. The big guy can be hard to bring down and he needs a big game Saturday. ULM has shown a propensity to give up yards on the ground. The Cajuns have to take advantage of it.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE MISMATCH--And it's upfront when the Cajuns are on offense. That not only means opening up holes for Ragas and others, but it also means giving good protection to Jordan Davis. The Cajuns' QB won't be 100 percent for the game and his mobility won't be as good as it usually is. Give the man some time and let him do what he does.
DON'T ZONE OUT--Both ULM quarterbacks, Caleb Evans and Garrett Smith, can do damage with their legs, especially Evans. Cajuns have to be careful on the zone read that ULM is going to run. The defense can't let the QB get loose for a long gain.
WIN THE KICKING GAME--That used to be a foregone conclusion when playing ULM. Not any more. Craig Ford is a solid kicker and ULM's special teams have improved greatly under Matt Viator. This is an area the Cajuns need to win, especially in the return games on both offense and defense. Get good field position. Don't give up field position.
STEP UP, MICHAEL--Keenan Barnes had a big game last week, and, he can really shine when his mates are effective as well. We don't know how much Ryheem Malone will play. That's going to give Michael Jacquet an opportunity. He needs to answer that challenge and play big for the Cajuns on Saturday.