Rewind: Louisiana vs. Arkansas State – From the Bird’s Nest
Crazy game, eh?
The ending took some of the focus away from the fact Louisiana and Arkansas State flat got after each other Saturday at Cajun Field.
And, you should have expected nothing less.
The Cajuns and Red Wolves have gotten to be awfully good football rivals over the years. That rivalry went to another level on Saturday.
And it ended with both teams having a chance to taunt the other before the coaches made sure there was no extracurricular activity after the final outcome was decided.
All that being said, here are some thoughts from Saturday
PLAYING BIG--Anthony Jennings completed 13 passes Saturday. Nine went for ten yards or more. Six of them were 20 yards or more. That's a lot of big plays out of the passing game.
WE MISSED YOU JA'MARCUS--The redshirt freshman Ja"marcus Bradley missed three games with an injury. Saturday he caught four balls for 113 yards. That's playing big.
NO TURNOVERS--With all the pressure Anthony Jennings received, including five sacks, the graduate transfer didn't throw a pick, and that's something Arkansas State's defense had been doing a lot of the last few games.
CAN'T RUN AGAINST THE CAJUNS? CAN'T WIN-- Go back and look. When the Cajuns haven't allowed someone to rush for more than 80 yards, their record is awfully good (Tulane is the exception). Arkansas State's leading rusher was their quarterback, with just 47 yards.
WHAT? A TURNOVER?--Not just a turnover, but a defensive touchdown for the first time this season. Taboris Lee came up with a deflection when Otha Peters nearly decapitated a would be receiver and rumbled 17 yards for a score. Finally.
SOLID IN THE RED ZONE--Arkansas State got one touchdown in six trips. The Cajuns' goal line stand was a thing of beauty. And, when the defense had to make a play on fourth down at the end of the game, they made one.
OTHA PETERS--Just might be the best linebacker the Cajuns have ever had. And, they've had a few good ones. I have not seen a more disruptive player in this league this season.
LOUD AND PROUD--You knew, with it being Thanksgiving weekend, the team at 4-6 and an 11am kickoff, the crowd would be sparse. And, the announced crowd of 14,259 was generous. But those who were there were into it. They didn't leave early and they were as loud as any crowd the Cajuns have had all season. Kudos to those who were in that number.
THE RUN GAME--The Cajuns haven't had as much trouble running the ball since the Tulane game. Nothing they did seemed to work. While Arkansas State gets a lot of credit for that, the run blocking and pass protection weren't good.
BLOCKED AGAIN--Arkansas State's first touchdown was set up by a blocked punt, the second time in three games that's happened.
TREY GRANIER--The Cajuns' linebacker was hit with a personal foul and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the same play. It was not very clean at all. He's fortunate he didn't get thrown out of the game. He should have been.
THIRD DOWN--2-11. Not good.
THE PLAY NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT--Well, I'll be they're talking about it in Jonesboro. It game with about six minutes to play. The Cajuns were in punt formation and personal protector Nick Byrne walked away from his position and attempted to call time out. The ball was snapped and Steven Coutts' punt went to the Arkansas State 29 yard line, where Blaise Taylor returned it to the 46 to give Arkansas State great field position, trailing by five. Byrne was called for a false start (we thought it would be an illegal formation, which the Red Wolves would have declined.) The play was (retroactively) blown dead and Coutts proceeded to punt 66 yards to the A-State 17 yard line. That's 29 yards in field position. The Red Wolves turned the ball over on downs at the Cajuns 48 yard line. They'd only see the ball one more time. I have no idea if it was the correct call. I just know it was a big one.
You think Arkansas State will have this game circled next season?