Cajuns Crush Bobcats 34-10
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun football team (3-3, 2-0) looked like the squad many expected before the season began, dominating in nearly every facet of the game Tuesday night against the Texas State Bobcats. The end result, an authoritative 34-10 victory.
Offensively, Cajun quarterback Terrance Broadway (pictured above) was fantastic. For the first time since the 2012 New Orleans Bowl, Broadway rushed for over 100 yards, going for 101 net yards rushing on 19 carries.
"We felt like the quarterback option could be a big play tonight," said Ragin' Cajun head football coach Mark Hudspeth. "It was."
Broadway was just as effective throwing the ball. In his first pass attempt of the game, Broadway connected with running back Elijah McGuire on a 62 yard score, a sign of things to come. Before he was replaced by backup Brooks Haack early in the 4th quarter, Broadway had thrown for 225 yards on 14-21 with one touchdown and a pick.
Sophomore running back Elijah McGuire only had 12 touches, but the big play threat put up video game numbers nonetheless. McGuire ran for 64 yards and a score on the ground, while catching 4 passes for 85 yards and another touchdown, for an impersive average of 12.4 yards per touch.
Senior running back Alonzo Harris pounded the Bobcat defense with some physical runs of his own, tallying 79 yards on 18 carries, including a 1 yard score.
"Obviously Eli (McGuire) and Zo (Harris) did some really nice things for us," Hudspeth noted. "We were able to run the ball and have some nice drives."
As a team, Louisiana rushed for 276 yards on the night, outgaining Texas State's total offensive yardage (270) by 6 yards. The Cajuns added another 240 yards through the air, giving the offense 516.
McGuire led all players in catches (4) and receiving yards (85), while slot receiver Al Riles (3 receptions, 81 yards) had an impressive night as well. Eight different Cajuns caught at least 1 pass, making up for the absence of senior stud receiver Jamal Robinson.
Robinson injured his right foot in the first quarter, playing only 4 snaps.
"Offensively, we didn't have Jamal, but we were very effective without him," explained Hudspeth. "The offense played good defense. We kept the ball and had some nice drives."
Louisiana dominated the time of possession battle, holding the ball for 38:38, compared to 21:22 for Texas State.
For the first time this season, the Cajuns won the turnover battle, forcing 2 turnovers and only giving up one of their own.
"For the first time this year, we didn’t lose containment,” Hudspeth said. “We came up on the outside and forced plays back inside. We tackled much better, challenged guys in the secondary and got some turnovers. That was great to see considering we hadn’t caused many turnovers heading into the game.”
In one of the biggest plays of the game, Cajun linebacker Trae Johnson broke through the Bobcat line, sacking quarterback Tyler Jones. He also stripped the ball, unbeknownst to the Texas State offense. Cajun defensive lineman Christian Ringo scooped up the ball, rumbling 41 yards for a score as he was escorted by a caravan of teammates. The score extended the Cajuns lead in the second quarter from 7-3 to 14-3, giving Louisiana momentum they'd keep for the rest of the night.
Ringo was outstanding all night. The senior from Jackson, Mississippi registered 4 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and a scoop and score.
Late in the 4th quarter, Louisiana cornerback Corey Trim picked off Jones, giving the Cajuns the edge in turnovers.
Hudspeth and his staff made several changes in the defensive lineup before Tuesday night's game. TJ Worthy moved from safety to outside linebacker, Dominique Tovell moved from outside to inside linebacker, while JUCO transfer Darzil Washington started at ouside linebacker. Inside linebacker Trae Johnson returned from injury, making his first start since Week 4.
"Hopefully we can continue moving foward with some of the changes we made defensively," said Hudspeth. "I'm just really proud of these young men."
With the win, Louisiana improves to 3-3 overall, and 2-0 in Sun Belt Conference play. It's the second straight season the Cajuns have defeated the Bobcats by 24 points.
"Hopefully this is a springboard for us to continue to improve," noted Hudspeth. "I like the direction we're going right now."
Next up for the Cajuns, a Tuesday night game at home against Arkansas State (4-2, 2-0). Kickoff at Cajun Field is set for 7:00.