Thoughts on UL/Georgia State – From the Bird’s Nest
Just a few observations after watching the Cajuns and Panthers Saturday night.
Some are complaining about the crowd. I'm not. If you compare this attendance with Louisiana Tech, there were actually more Cajuns fans this past Saturday than against an in-state rival. The attendance for Tech was higher, but the boys from Ruston were well represented in the stands. I think Georgia State brought 21 people. Considering the three game losing streak and an opponent not many are familiar with, I thought it was a pretty good showing.
It was good to see the Cajuns offense look like the Cajuns offense. You think Jamal Robinson doesn't make a difference on this team? Not only did he have a great night with over 100 yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns, the guy throwing it to him looked the most confident he's looked all season. Terrance Broadway played like the preseason Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year. He threw with confidence, completed a high percentage and the Cajuns were nearly 70 percent on third down. And, most importantly, he didn't turn the football over. If we continue to see that guy, the Cajuns will be fine.
Kudos to Brooks Haack. Say what you want about the kid...every time he's been called upon to come off the bench and help his team, he's done it. Larry Pettis and Al Riles deserve credit for helping him out but the bottom line is, he was 4-4 for 50 yards in the drive that decided the game. There's no guarantee he'll be the starter next season, but he showed a lot of maturity Saturday night.
I've written a separate blog on the officiating. I don't need to say any more about it.
I know there are some that thought the margin of victory wasn't what they expected, especially with the Vegas line. But I said it all week: Georgia State was not a good matchup because their strength (throwing the football) meant they were going to score points. The Cajuns got 34. That's usually enough to win and it was on Saturday. But don't be surprised Georgia State scored 31. That's not a bad offensive football team. Now, that having been said, the Cajuns will have to be better than they were Saturday in order to beat Texas State.
Speaking of Georgia State, a tip of the cap to Trent Miles' staff. They did their best to match up against the Cajuns' defense. When the Cajuns played base defense, they threw it. When the Cajuns went to the nickel and dime packages, the Panthers ran it. Wisely, the Cajuns made the Panthers call more running plays than passing plays.
But, at the same time, what were the Panthers thinking not starting Arbuckle at quarterback? We know Arbuckle was healthy. And, we confirmed he was not being disciplined. If they were trying to take the Cajuns by surprise it didn't work. In fact, it nearly exploded in their faces, as Trev Patt stepped in front of a pass but dropped a sure pick-six Sometimes coaches think too much.
Kudos to the Pride of Acadiana. They've graduated from Frankie Valli and Dionne Warwick to Michael Jackson and Queen. And, the formation of the "UL" hand was pretty impressive as well. Their halftime show was more fun than the first two.
No more Saturday games now until November 1. Does that mean I might get to watch a little college football?
THAT would be different.