Monday Rewind: Louisiana vs. Texas State – From the Bird’s Nest
Saturday's 27-3 win over Texas State was a breath of fresh air for the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns.It was a win the Cajuns desperately needed, especially going into the bye week. Now the Cajuns have two weeks to get better, and more importantly, get healthy.
This week as we look to the good and bad, there's more in the good column, as you might expect.
THE FRONT SEVEN--The Cajuns squeezed the Texas State running game and when a team can't run the football, the defense wins in more than one way. The Cajuns never allowed a running play to gain more than nine yards. And, the pass rush forced Texas State to have more run plays than pass plays...exactly what the Cajuns wanted.
THE BACK GUYS WERE GOOD TOO--Texas State had two plays in the passing game that went 20 yards or more...and that was on the first drive when Texas State got their only points of the night. After that, there were only four completions that went for more than ten yards. And, some of Tyler Jones' problems in the backfield had everything to do with good coverage.
THEY MADE 'EM PAY--The Cajuns got a fumble recovery and an interception. The offense turned both of those miscues into touchdowns. Getting turnovers is good. Getting touchdowns off those turnovers is better.
THIS BALANCE WINS--The Cajuns threw the ball 22 times Saturday night. Elijah McGuire ran the football 20 times. He also caught three passes. Eli didn't break a long one. But he and his mates rushed for right at five yards per carry. And, the two freshmen backs (Jordan Wright and Raymond Calais) carried 12 times for 77 yards.
THE STATS SAY ONE TURNOVER, BUT...That came on a deep ball on the Cajuns' first possession when Anthony Jennings threw a pass that was good enough, but went off the hands of the receiver. The Cajuns' defense got a stop and possessions were solid after that.
BLOCK PARTY--The Cajuns' offensive line opened some holes and, for the most part, protected Anthony Jennings. But, as analyst Richie Falgout pointed out, the Cajuns' receivers had their best game of the season as blockers. That's something that had been lacking and something that needs to continue.
PENALTIES--The Cajuns had 13 of them for 93 yards. Seven of those were either false starts or offsides. Two of the offsides were simply players mistiming the snap count when coming on a blitz. But there were another four false start penalties. I don't want to think about how many that makes this year.
THE PUNT GAME--is usually a weapon. But the Cajuns allowed 23 yards on a return and another ten yard return. Fortunately, the first resulted in a fumble when the return man ran into a teammate. The second was nullified by a hold. Steven Coutts didn't get the normal height on his punts. None of this hurt...but it could have.
FRESHMAN FOURTH DOWN--The Cajuns failed on fourth and one due to a freshman mistake. Jordan Wright simply had to square his shoulders and there was enough space to convert. Instead, he tried to find a bigger hole and was stopped short. That's a freshman mistake. He'll learn from it.