From the Bird’s Nest: Five Keys to Beating Louisiana-Monroe
Okay, enough about all the peripheral stuff. Yes, the Cajuns are 0-2 when they wear white on white. And, yes, they’re wearing white on white this weekend. It doesn’t mean they’re doomed. Yes, the Cajuns have, in the past few years, ruined Louisiana-Monroe’s bowl chances. Several times. And now, the Warhawks get a chance to return the favor. It doesn’t mean the Cajuns are doomed. The Cajuns have not won eight games since 1993. They haven’t gone unbeaten at home since 1987. I have news for you. We’ve already kicked the ball, and Lucy is nowhere to be found. Let’s just go play. Louisiana hosts Louisiana-Monroe tomorrow afternoon at Cajun Field. If the Cajuns win the game before a raucous crowd, they will play for a championship next weekend in Jonesboro, AR. If they don’t win, they’ll still have seven wins and will be in a bowl game. I have no concerns over the focus of this team. They will be ready to play. Protecting their home turf is important to them and I expect them to play well. But they’ll be facing a Warhawks squad that’s pretty salty defensively especially against the run. And, they have a very good quarterback in sophomore Kolton Browning. So there has to be a plan. Here’s mine.
Browning is good throwing the ball on the run. ULM’s offensive front has struggled from time to time this year and ULM quarterbacks have been sacked 26 times. It’s important the Cajuns keep Browning in the pocket, whether he drops back or rolls out. He can do damage with his legs. Don’t allow it.
ULM has had injury problems in the backfield, losing the promising Centarious Donald for the year. They’re piecing together their running game. The Cajuns’ defense needs to make sure they don’t get untracked. Conversely, ULM leads the league in rush defense. The Cajuns’ running game has to show last week was no fluke.
There are few facets of ULM’s kicking game that has been a positive this year. They haven’t punted well, haven’t kicked field goals well and haven’t returned punts well. The Cajuns have to take advantage of a phase where their advantage is clear.
Freshman Carlos Alvarez will kick off for the first time this year. The Cajuns have to make sure they go back to covering kicks like they did before Hunter Stover’s injury.
It’s really simple. When you’re on the road and 2-6, your psyche is fragile. But the longer you’re in the game, the more your confidence grows. If the Cajuns are able to do what they did early last week, it will certainly be to their advantage.