Five Keys to Beating Southern Miss – From the Bird’s Nest
Well, here we are again.
For the fifth time in six years the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns are playing in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. And, the opponent is a familiar one. Although the Cajuns and Southern Miss haven't met on the football field in the better part of a decade, the two schools know each other well.
As has been the case with most of their appearances in New Orleans, the Cajuns are an underdog. Here is what the guys in red have to do to make it five for five
TURN EM OVER--Southern Miss is -14 in turnover margin in their six losses. This isn't rocket science here. When the Eagles value possession, they usually win games. The Cajuns have been better at forcing turnovers late in the season, but this hasn't exactly been a strong point of this team over the past two seasons. Southern Miss has to make mistakes. The Cajuns have to capitalize on them.
GET SOME PRESSURE--Quarterback Nick Mullens has already said he's going to have to get rid of the ball quickly because of the anticipation of the Cajuns' pass rush. His ability to do that will have a lot to say how this game unfolds. The Cajuns must get to him quickly enough to force a mistake or two.
KEEP EM IN FRONT--Since Mike Lucas was named defensive coordinator, the Cajuns have done a much better job of limiting big plays. That will be tested on Saturday. The Cajuns simply cannot allow a bushel of big plays (20 yards or more). If they keep that number down, they've got a shot.
TAKE SOME SHOTS--If the offensive line can do their jobs, the Cajuns might have an opportunity for some big plays of their own. As they did in the game against Arkansas State, don't be surprised if the Cajuns go up top. They like the matchup with the Eagles' DBs.
GO TO THE LAST PAGE--Hey. It's the last game of the season. No need to be saving stuff for later. Empty the playbook. Use gadget plays if necessary. Being vanilla offensively isn't going to get it done. Southern Miss will score points. The Cajuns must do the same...no matter what it takes.