Thoughts On The Cajuns’ Win Over Arkansas State – From the Bird’s Nest
Last night’s game between Louisiana and Arkansas State was a great game if you love offensive football. The two teams combined for well over 1100 yards in offense. And, the Cajuns scored eight, count ‘em, eight offensive touchdowns, all on the ground.
But there was a whole lot more going on last night. Here are my thoughts.
ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT “THE PROPHET?” So many people, especially from other schools, have asked about the abilities of Elijah McGuire. Any further questions? McGuire had the third highest rushing total in Cajuns’ history last night (Tyrell Fenroy, Brian Mitchell). He repeatedly gashed the ASU defense, which was allowing only 114 yards rushing. And, he wasn’t the only one. Alonzo Harris got the tough yards en route to a 100 yard rushing night.
‘ZO IS AUTOMATIC—The Cajuns are still undefeated under Mark Hudspeth when Harris rushes for 100 yards or more.
HOW ABOUT THOSE UNIS?—Yeah, how about them. If you’re looking at those new threads sitting on a mannequin or a closeup on television, they’re pretty impressive. And, I’m not so old school that I can’t appreciate the new style of uniforms that are a part of college football. But if you were a fan in the stands or in any level of the press box, they were an absolute nightmare. Even with field glasses it was very difficult to discern numbers. And, whoever had the idea to put red names on a black uni should have to pay the money that was wasted by putting the names on the back of the jerseys. Totally unreadable. Totally useless. So here’s my idea. Take these uniforms and those who like them (and understand I am one of them) can bid on them via auction. Raise money for the program. And, don’t ever do red numbers and names on black ever, ever, ever again. Ever.
HOW ABOUT THOSE HELMETS?—Absolutely the best helmets EVER. The shine, the chrome facemasks, the fleur on one side and the number on the other reeked of pure class. Nicely, nicely, nicely done. I want one. Really. I do.
IF IT WASN’T A RIVALRY BEFORE…..Actually, color analyst Gerald Broussard will tell you, this has always been a rivalry for the players. The fans, not so much. But it’s interesting how much the programs have mirrored each other over the last twenty years. It seems the two teams have played to see who would get win #3. Who would get bowl eligible. And, now, who will win a league championship. Really, when you get down to it, ASU has been the Cajuns’ most consistent rival. The league tried to shove ULM down Louisiana’s throat and fans pretty much rejected that. But they’ll now embrace this rivalry for what it’s worth…and it’s worth a lot.
PUT IT BACK ON SATURDAY---The fact that UL and ASU have been on national television on Tuesday night the last three years is a testament to the quality of the programs. But while the showcase is nice, game-day atmosphere would be so much better served if these teams were playing on a Saturday. Here's hoping for the future.
JUST A TAD CHIPPY---The two teams trash talked the entire night, and, with few exceptions, there were no post-game handshakes. Check out what Terrance Broadway had to say after the game via the Daily Advertiser.
"Coach Hud (Mark Hudspeth) had said all week that we (were) the most-physical team, and we knew that we (were) the most-physical team," Cajuns quarterback Terrance Broadway said, "and whatever we had to do to win this game, that was our game plan, to show them we (were) more physical than they were.
"And it worked. … We rushed for (419) yards, (521) yards total offense, and we made them like it. That's all I can say about that."
THE HAZARDS OF THE SIDELINE---Steve Peloquin is in his third season as our sideline reporter. Last night after the game while waiting to speak with Coach Mark Hudspeth, Steve was run into from behind by two Arkansas State players. He put his arm out to break his fall and afterward could not raise his arm. (Then this morning he got a flat tire and obviously was unable to change it.)…The doctor says it's a sprained AC joint and frayed bicep. His hand is pretty swollen, too. He'll be in a sling for a week to ten days.
LOVIN’ THE FAT GUYS---How about this Cajuns’ offensive line? They thoroughly, completely, totally dominated last night against an Arkansas State defense that was allowing just 114 yards on the ground. And, it wasn’t a bad night for ASU. This is an offensive line that has played very well the last three games, especially. It was a physical butt whipping. No way to spin it.
TRICK OR TREAT---ESPN reported before the game that Arkansas State would be using trickery in the game in order to try and score points. It wasn’t coachspeak. A successful fake punt, a handoff to a wide receiver lined up in the backfield, a double pass, a fumblerooskie, a double reverse….these guys must have gone to the last page of the playbook. It had to be, because that fake punt from their own eight yard line in the third quarter HAD to be on the last page. What the hell were they thinking?
GOOD (K)NIGHT(EN)---I like the ASU quarterback a lot. Made big throws, bought himself time, duel threat quarterback, plays intelligently. And, when it was over he was one of the few ASU players that came up to shake hands. He’s just a junior. Good football player. And, he still had the want-to, even after being sacked five times.
YA GOTTA LEARN THE FIRST TIME---Arkansas State’s Andrew Tryon was ejected in the third quarter for his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. There’s a reason why two will get you thrown out. It’s not for conduct….it’s for being so dumb as to not have learned the first time. Blake Anderson should be embarrassed.
YEAH, I THOUGHT IT WAS CHEAP, TOO---Mykhael Quave's injury near the end of the game was disappointing. Even more disappointing is it appeared to be a cheap shot. If you look at the video, the Arkansas State player appears to go right for Quave's knee. I'm not sure you normally do that when defending an extra point. A statement needs to be made here....loudly.
NO DOMINATION FOR LEE---Qushaun Lee is the best defensive player in the Sun Belt. And, while he made a few plays (six tackles), he only had one play for a loss in the game and no other stats. That’s about as good a job as you can do against a guy with that speed who is going to be playing in the NFL next year.
HERE’S WHAT YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE NOTICED---Fans will talk about the big plays given up. What they may not have noticed is the Cajuns’ defense had twelve, count em, TWELVE tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Boris Anyama had four of them. Christian Ringo had three.
IT ISN’T COACHSPEAK OR SPIN—When we talk about how turnover margin means so much in a football game. In the last three games, Louisiana has turned the ball over only once. The defense has gathered three, one for a score and the other setting up a one yard touchdown run. When you’re on the wrong side of the turnover margin, fans scream about excuses. It’s simple. Don’t turn it over. Get turnovers. You win.
HEY WAIT A MINUTE---Not a word about the officials in this blog. Patience folks. These guys (once again) deserve a blog all their own. Watch this space.