Team Effort Leads Cajuns Over Texas State, 48-24
Offensively, Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns rolled up nearly six hundred yards in offense despite the starters exiting in the third quarter.
Defensively, the Cajuns did not allow a touchdown until a minute remained in the game.
Louisiana rolled to a 45-3 lead before Texas State used two kickoff returns and a late drive to cut the final margin to 48-24.
The win was the third straight for Louisiana (3-2, 1-0) and their second straight offensive explosion at Cajun Field. The loss for Texas State was in their inaugural game in the Sun Belt Conference and was played before 23,108 fans, who braved afternoon showers to see the contest.
The Cajuns got four touchdown passes from Terrance Broadway, while the running game rolled up 212 yards against a Texas State defense that had allowed just 62 rushing yards per game. Meanwhile, Broadway, who won the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week honors after the Cajuns' victory over Akron two weeks ago, made a claim for consideration again, hitting 18-23 passes for 335 yards and the four touchdowns as Louisiana rolled to a 28-3 halftime lead.
The night didn't start off perfectly for the offense, however. The Cajuns moved from their 25 yard line to the Texas State 29, but Broadway lost the football on an exchange with running back Alonzo Harris and Colby Targun recovered for the Bobcats.
That would be one of only two possessions in the first half that did not result in points for Louisiana.
After getting a defensive stop, the Cajuns took over on their own 30 and drove 70 yards in nine plays with Harris scoring on a six yard run. The big play of the drive was a 53 yard completion from Broadway to Jamal Robinson, who had four catches for over 100 yards and two touchdowns on the evening.
After a 66 yard punt by Zach Robinson and penalty, the Cajuns started the next drive on their own six. On the first play, Broadway hit James Butler for a 37 yard gain to the 43. And, four plays later, the junior quarterback hit wide receiver Darryl Surgent in stride for a 44 yard touchdown pass to make the score 14-0.
In the second quarter, a Surgent punt return got the Cajuns started at their own 49 yard line and on the fourth play of the drive, Broadway hit Robinson, who outleaped his defender to make the catch for a 34 yard touchdown to make the score 21-0.
The Bobcats then put together their best drive of the first half, moving the football from their own 20 to the UL 16 yard line. Jason Dann hit a 33 yard field goal after a 17 play drive.
But the Cajuns responded with a drive of their own, driving 75 yards on 16 plays, with Broadway hitting Robinson for the second time in the game, this time from four yards out to extend the Cajuns' lead to 28-3. Broadway had a 12 yard run and hit Butler for eleven yards and Devin Figaro for 23 on the drive.
The Cajuns got a special teams turnover on the opening kickoff of the second half when Al Riles stripped Andy Erickson of the football and recovered it himself at the Texas State 19 yard line. Two plays later, Broadway hit Butler with a 20 yard score to extend the lead to 35-3.
The Cajuns pinned the Bobcats at the ten yard line on the ensuing kickoff and got another turnover two plays later when Justin Anderson forced quarterback Tyler Jones to fumble and Justin Hamilton recovered at the 16 yard line. The Cajuns would settle for a 32 yard field goal by Stephen Brauchle to make the score 38-3.
After another three-and-out by the defense, the Cajuns had to start at their one yard line after a 65 yard punt by Johnson. It took thirteen plays for the Cajuns to travel 99 yards. Harris' 18 yard gain set the tempo on the drive's first play. Broadway hit Jared Johnson later in the drive for 27 yards and freshman Elijah McGuire tallied the touchdown from 11 yards out to make the score 45-3, Cajuns. That was the last drive for the first offense, who got the rest of the night off.
On the ensuing kickoff Brandon Brown fielded the ball at his eight yard line and appeared to be bottled up near the 20. But Brown somehow broke containment and traveled 92 yards for the Bobcats' first touchdown of the night to cut the lead to 45-10.
After a bad snap on a punt, the Cajuns were in business again at the Bobcats' 16 yard line. Two Montrel Carter runs got the Cajuns a first and goal, but two consecutive false start penalties pushed them back and Brauchle hit his second field goal, this one from 25 yards to extend the lead to 48-10.
But Brown got into the act again, taking the kickoff at the goal line and returning it 100 yards for his second kickoff return for a touchdown on the night to make the score 48-17.
Texas State finally got on the board offensively on an 80 yard drive aided by a Cajuns' pass interference penalty in the end zone, resulting in a two yard run by backup quarterback Duke DeLancelotti for the final score.
The Cajuns will now have ten days to prepare for their next opponent as they travel to Bowling Green to meet conference foe Western Kentucky in a game nationally televised by ESPN2. The game will take place Tuesday night, October 15th at 7pm.