The Good and Bad From the Cajuns’ Win Saturday
Anytime you win, it's because more things went right than wrong. And, that was certainly the case Saturday as the Cajuns defeated Idaho 21-16 at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, ID.
The Cajuns were a touchdown underdog but allowed the Vandals just three field goals after the first quarter in getting an important road win.
Here's what was good, and not so good on Saturday.
THE KICKING GAME--Let's start with the most overlooked part of the game...special teams. Raymond Calais had a pair of kickoff returns good for 36 and 33 yards to give the Cajuns good field position. Sam Geraci averaged 43 yards per punt and had just one returned for just seven yards. Two of his punts were inside the 20. Only one of Stevie Artigue's kickoffs wasn't a touchback. Ryheem Malone had a 20 yard punt return. With exception of the missed field goal from 48 yards out, it was about as good a day in the kicking game as anyone could ask for.
ANDRE NUNEZ--The Cajun quarterback entered in the third series of the game and promptly led the Cajuns to a touchdown which tied the score at 7-7. He finished 18-24 for 213 yards and a 45 yard touchdown strike to Ja'Marcus Bradley. He was accurate throughout the game and his one interception was a deflection. He's earned the right to start on Thursday against Texas State.
TREY RAGAS--The Cajuns' offense found the going tough, especially in the second half, but the freshman running back had several tough runs, none bigger than the pair he had which allowed the Cajuns to run out the clock.
MILLER AND DILLON--The two Cajuns' linemen shone bright for Louisiana, combining for ten tackles, including three for loss, a forced fumble, a pass breakup and three quarterback hurries. Matt Linehan's subpar day (13-28, 149 yards) can be directly attributed to those two guys.
LINEBACKERS SHINING, TOO--T. J. Posey and Jacques Boudreaux were the leading tacklers for the Cajuns, combining for 19 stops, 12 solo. Easily the best performance of the season for that group.
TIGHT END SIGHTING--Chase Rogers caught a pass on a quick slant. It's not the first time the tight end has been found this year, but that particular route will have some Cajun fans smiling.
THIRD DOWN--Cajuns were solid on both sides of the ball, converting 7-15 on offense while allowing just 5-17
PLAY OF THE GAME--Levarious Varnado. It happened on third down and three from the Cajuns' 30 yard line. Matt LInehan threw a near perfect pass that appeared to be caught in the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown. But Varnado got his hand in as the pass was being secured and knocked it away. It was a game saver.
SACK 'EM--The Cajuns' quarterbacks were sacked seven times Saturday. Louisiana was playing without tackle D'Aquin Winthrow (family reasons) and Grant Horst won't be full speed the rest of the season. It showed against a solid Idaho defensive front that had eleven tackles for loss.
ELIJAH MITCHELL--The Cajun freshman was in a walking boot in the second half Saturday after a foot injury. Word is he'll miss the next two weeks, meaning the earliest we'll see him again will be at South Alabama on November 4th.
-1: The turnover margin. The Cajuns did not have a takeaway in what was otherwise an outstanding defensive performance.
THREE AND OUT--It happened five times, three in the second half. In fact, the Cajuns had three in a row after their third quarter touchdown, and all went for negative yardage.
Cajuns are back home this Thursday night against Texas State. Kickoff is at 6:30