Five Keys to Beating Liberty – From the Bird’s Nest
For the first time in school history, Liberty and Louisiana will meet on the gridiron. This is Liberty's second season as a full FBS member. They finished 6-6 a year ago with a win over Troy. The Cajuns are scheduled to return the visit to Lynchburg, VA, in 2021.
Both teams are looking for their first win. Liberty was shut out by #21 Syracuse at home last week 24-0.
If the fans are going to go home happy Saturday night from Cajun Field, here's what needs to happen.
RUN, TREY, RUN...RUN, ELI, RUN...RUN RAYMOND, RUN--Had it not been for the 32 yards lost on the lateral last week, the Cajuns would have had over 200 yards on the ground. That's pretty good production against an SEC school. At Louisiana, it all starts with the running game. And, having three keeps them fresh. They'll need that in this heat.
CONVERSELY......Stop the run. Liberty's Frankie Hixson had over 1,000 yards on the ground last year. But he was shut down by Syracuse a week ago. While it wouldn't be fair to expect the Cajuns to totally shut this guy down, limiting his yardage, especially early in the set of downs, will be beneficial.
DON'T GET A LOAD OF BUCKSHOT--Steven "Buckshot" Calvert threw for over 3,000 yards last year. But Syracuse was able to sack him seven times by getting him in must-throw situations. He's not the most mobile quarterback. Putting good pressure on him could lead to a turnover or two....and a sack or two.
LIMIT BIG PLAYS--His team may not have gotten in the end zone, but Antonio Gandy-Golden had a big day, with six catches for 119 yards. He's 6'4" and is an excellent receiver. Cajuns have to limit him as much as possible, understanding he'll make some plays.
USE YOUR DEPTH--The Cajuns played more than 20 players on defense last week. And, while the offensive line depth is thinner with the losses of Cole Prudhomme and Ken Marks, there are still multiple options. With the intense heat and humidity and turf temperature, the Cajuns will need all hands on deck to stay fresh. Their advantage in that regard could pay dividends in the second half.