Looking Back at the Keys vs. Troy – From the Bird’s Nest
It was a long ride home Saturday night from Troy, Alabama.
But, those rides are just a tad shorter when you get a win.
Louisiana defeated Troy Saturday night 37-24 after falling behind early, 7-0. The Cajuns won despite losing starting quarterback Blaine Gautier to a rib injury late in the first quarter. Sophomore Terrance Broadway came in and got the job done, leading the Cajuns to 23 points.
If there was a surprise (at least to me) during the game, it was the way the Cajuns dominated Troy on both sides of the line of scrimmage. I wasn't expecting that. But there were some things I thought needed to happen in order for the Cajuns to win. Let's take a look back at my blog from last week entitled "Five Keys to Beating Troy."
1. USE THE INTANGIBLES AS MOTIVATION--Credit Mark Hudspeth. Many coaches would have just ignored Troy's successful history in home openers and the Cajuns lack thereof in their opening road game. Not Hud. He talked about it all week. The Cajuns were determined to be the ones to break the streaks and determined to get that first-ever Sun Belt victory at Troy. They did, in fact, use the intangibles as motivation.
2. PUNCH/COUNTERPUNCH--Gerald Broussard and I talked about this during the broadcast. I said more often than not, the home team gets the first punch in. The Cajuns would have to counterpunch and get punches in whenever they could. Sure enough, Troy scored first. But later in the quarter the Cajuns tied it and Jemarlous Moten got the big punch in to give the Cajuns a lead they'd never relinquish.
3. KEEP THEM IN FRONT--If you've watched Troy win games since going to the spread offense, you know they've made a living turning short gains into big gains. There have been some who have questioned the Cajuns playing so far off the Troy receivers and my response is Greg Stewart is crazy like a fox. If you play too tight and they catch the ball and make a move, you've given up a big play. Troy had over 100 snaps on Saturday. They got 20 yards or more exactly three times.
4. MAKE ROBINSON BEAT YOU--The Cajuns did an outstanding job against the Troy running game, which was crucial to their success. Corey Robinson is a good, solid quarterback. But, the Trojans needed the dimension of Shawn Southward to make Robinson effective. The Cajuns made Robinson be the guy to try and beat them. He couldn't do it. Nice yardage, no victory
5. PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS--I was talking specifically about the kicking game and Brett Baer got it done again. He was 3-3 in field goals and was superb in the punting game, allowing very little in returns. He also kicked off well enough to put Troy in a hole every time they had a drive. Now, I also thought Gautier would have to have a big game. Therefore, I'm only half right on this one.
Wow. 4.5 out of 5 keys happened. That makes me look pretty smart.....of course...we all know better.