Monday Rewind: Louisiana vs. New Mexico State -From the Bird’s Nest
Another Saturday, another overtime loss.
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns took their first plane ride of the 2016 season over the weekend but it wasn't a happy flight home as the Cajuns were beaten by New Mexico State in two overtimes, 37-31.
Hard to find many silver linings in this one, but here's the good and the bad from week five.
A MUCH BETTER PERFORMANCE FROM THE O-LINE--The Cajuns averaged over four yards per carry and the offensive line, hurt by injuries a week ago, allowed just one sack, and that was on a play that was going to be a run.
DARIUS HOGGINS--The diminutive running back got extensive action on Saturday and responded well. He had two double digit runs and got into the end zone in the overtime period.
STEVEN COUTTS--Seriously, this kid is really good. He still hasn't had a punt returned this year and netted 48.3 yards per punt on Saturday.
THE DEFENSE--Say what you want about statistics; New Mexico State has a very good offense and the Cajuns' defense stepped up on Saturday with five sacks and nine tackles for loss totaling 62 lost yards. They got two picks, four pass breakups and forced two fumbles. Yes, they gave up some plays. But overall it was a solid performance.
JALEN NIXON--The senior quarterback got his chance late in the first half and did a solid, though not spectacular, job. He completed eight passes for 84 yards and ran for 58 more.
THE CAJUNS' LINEBACKERS--Otha Peters had 18 tackles and a sack. Tre'maine Lightfoot had 17 tackles and forced a pair of fumbles. Solid
INJURIES--Elijah McGuire was limited and largely ineffective after his injury suffered on the last offensive play of the Tulane game. Raymond Calais went out early with a quad injury that affected the return game and running game as well. David Lemoto was hurt during the game, Nixon had to leave the game with an ankle injury and did not return and Ladarius Kidd suffered what appeared to be a significant leg injury on the final play of the game. Both Nixon and Kidd were on crutches after the game.
ANTHONY JENNINGS' PLAY--This loss certainly isn't all on the quarterback, but Jennings played poorly. Unlike last week when he simply didn't have time to throw, the senior transfer had his chances. He threw two interceptions, one of them returned for a touchdown and missed several wide open receivers in the second quarter. He's now thrown six picks in the last three games. That simply won't do.
DROPSY--In addition to the two interceptions, the Cajuns fumbled four times. They didn't lose any of them but put them in bad down/distance situations. Only one of the fumbles was forced. In addition, Ja'Marcus Bradley had a touchdown pass go right through his arms on a perfect throw from Jennings in the overtime period.
PENALTIES--Too many. Again.
ME--I miss-called Parker Davidson's missed field goal at the end of regulation, called the play too soon on Bradley's drop in the end zone in the second overtime and referred to Levarious Varnado as Jordan Wright on kickoffs. Both wear #27, but I should have known better.