The Good And Bad From Louisiana/Texas A&M
Texas A&M's 45-21 win over Louisiana on Saturday really was a tale of two halves. You hear that cliche a lot in sports. But, boy did it hold true in this one. The Cajuns had a 21-14 halftime lead, but the Aggies scored 31 unanswered points in the second half to win going away.
As always, there was both good and bad.
FIRST HALF DEFENSE--After two poor performances, the question on everyone's mind was were the Cajuns capable of stopping anyone. We saw they, in fact, are. The Cajuns came in with a good game plan and thwarted the Aggies offense for the most part in the first 30 minutes of play.
KEENAN BARNES--He led the Cajuns in receiving touchdowns last season and showed he's a very dependable guy. Barnes had a career high 12 catches for over 100 yards. He was targeted 13 times. That's awfully productive.
THE "O" LINE--Texas A&M's defensive line is very good. But the Cajuns offensive line was up to the task for the most part. The Cajuns' running game didn't have many big plays but they got some things done. And, Jordan Davis, more often than not, had time to throw the football.
THE PUNTING GAME--It's been a shortcoming for the Cajuns this season. But Sam Geraci easily had his best game. Six of his eight punts were not returned and that kept A&M's Christian Kirk in check. Two punts were inside the 20 yard line and four were fair caught. Nice job, Sam.
THE RETURN OF SIMEON THOMAS--He was suspended by the NCAA for the first two games, but the Cajun corner made a triumphant return Saturday with three pass breakups. Corner has been an issue for the Cajuns thus far. His return is most welcome.
KEVON PERRY--He started in place of the injured Taboris Lee and Perry was solid. He had nine tackles, including two for loss and was a disruption to the Aggies' offense.
1-2-3-4-5--The reality is, you're probably not going to win with five turnovers, regardless of the opponent. That's especially true if you're playing an SEC team. The Cajuns were still in striking distance, down only ten when a pick six broke the game open.
OFFENSIVE INJURIES--We don't know how serious, but Ryheem Malone went down in the third quarter. Jordan Davis gutted out his performance, but a knee injury in the first half limited both his mobility and his ability to throw.
THE DISTINCT LACK OF DEPTH--Taboris Lee barely played. Travis Crawford and Justin Middleton were both out. And, the Cajuns were hit by attrition earlier in the week with the departure of Tanner Holmes. The reality is, the Cajuns have precious little depth on the defensive side of the football. While the position changes helped, this defense was out of gas by the middle of the third quarter. They've got to get some people healthy, but even if they do, that lack of depth is going to be an issue the rest of the season.
STEVIE ARTIGUE--The Cajuns have to get him healthy. While Calvin Linden has performed admirably for the most part, Artigue's lack of presence, especially on kickoffs, is a concern for this team.
BIG PLAYS--Texas A&M had 21 offensive plays that went ten yards or more.