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2013 Louisiana Preview – Offense

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted May 3, 2013


CollegeFootballNews.com 2013 Preview - Louisiana Ragin' Cajun Offense


Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns

Preview 2013 - Offense

- 2013 Louisiana Preview | 2013 Louisiana Offense
- 2013 Louisiana Defense | 2013 Louisiana Depth Chart

What You Need To Know: Explosive, balanced and consistent, the ULL offense did everything right on the way to leading the Sun Belt in scoring while averaging 455 yards per game. The loss of two all-star tackles will mean some reshuffling up front, and losing leading receivers Javone Lawson and Harry Peoples will sting a bit, but it should be business as usual with quarterback Terrance Broadway growing into one of the league’s brightest stars, and with enough talent at the skill spots to keep up the production. Bruising back Alonzo Harris will work well behind the revamped line, and Jamal Robinson and Darryl Surgent should be ready to shine for the receiving corps.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Terrance Broadway
206-315, 2,842 yds, 17 TD, 9 INT
Rushing: Alonzo Harris
170 carries, 881 yds, 10 TD
Receiving: Darryl Surgent
34 catches, 569 yds, 3 TD

Star of the offense: Junior QB Terrance Broadway
Player who has to step up and be a star: Sophomore OT Octravian Anderson
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore OT Mykhael Quave
Best pro prospect: Junior OG Daniel Quave
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Broadway, 2) RB Alonzo Harris, 3) Mykhael Quave
Strength of the offense: Pass Protection, Explosion
Weakness of the offense: Proven QB Depth, New Offensive Tackles

Quarterbacks

The Ragin’ Cajuns got the big season they needed out of quarterback Terrance Broadway, a 6-2, 205-pound junior who completed 65% of his throws for 2,842 yards and 17 touchdowns with nine picks. After spending his first year on the sidelines waiting to show what he could do, he stepped in for Blaine Gautier and was consistent and dangerous running for 769 yards and nine scores with a rushing touchdown in each of the last four games and three 100-yard performances in the final four. Smart, tough and efficient, he spreads the ball around well and doesn’t make a slew of big mistakes. Now there’s no question whose job it is, and he should be able to flourish with a year of experience under his belt.

With the way Broadway runs, the backups need to be at the ready. Three redshirt freshmen will fight it out all offseason and throughout the summer for the No. 2 job, and they’re all roughly the same with good quickness and short passing range. 6-1, 190-pound Brooks Haack, 6-0, 170-pound redshirt freshman D’Shaie Landor and 6-2, 230-pound Jalen Nixon all fit the mold, but Nixon is the biggest deep thrower of the three and Landor is the quickest.

Watch Out For … the fight for the backup gig. The coaching staff isn’t above using a few different options, and since keeping Broadway upright is a must, expect the redshirt freshmen to get their chances to show what they can do early on.
Strength: Quickness. It took most of the season, but Broadway turned into a devastating runner. Everyone on the roster can move and, in a pinch, if something happens to Broadway and everything breaks down, the quarterbacks can get by on their feet.
Weakness: Backup experience. The team didn’t sign any quarterbacks with three great young options to work behind Broadway. Now Haack, Landor and Nixon need experience and need to log in time. They need seasoning.
Outlook: Blaine Gautier was always a nice safety valve, but Broadway took his game to another level and looked like a star to build around for the next few seasons. He’s the one who’ll make the offense go, but a clear No. 2 has to emerge as soon as possible.
Unit Rating: 6

Running Backs

Quarterback Terrance Broadway became the team’s most dangerous runner as last season went on, but it was junior Alonzo Harris who was the main man throughout the year rushing for 881 and ten scores. The 6-1, 220-pounder was effective, but inconsistent, banging out 137 yards one week against Troy, and 12 the next against Oklahoma State. Banged up at times, he missed the South Alabama game, but came back roaring to rip off 247 yards and five scores in the final two games of the year. While he has great all-around rushing ability, he’s at his best when he gets to blast away on the inside.

Harris brings the power, while 5-9, 180-pound sophomore Torrey Pierce adds the flash. He got in a little work last season rushing for 263 yards and three touchdowns, but he has the talent and shiftiness to do far more and be a factor for the passing game. Sophomore Effrem Reed is another smallish speedster with 5-8, 180-pound size and the ability to be used for ten carries per game, but he saw his workload diminish over the second half of last year finishing with 414 yards and five scores, scoring twice in the blowout win over South Alabama.

Watch Out For … true freshman Darius Hoggins. The program signed on a few backs to throw into the rotation, and the most dangerous might be the 5-7, 165-pound Hoggins. A 4.4 speedster out of Miami, he’ll be a kickoff returner and should add even more flash to the mix when he gets his chances.
Strength: Speed and quickness behind Harris. ULL has a nice blend of the power of Harris and the speed of everyone else. The running game, helped by Broadway, took off for over five yards per carry and 33 scores, and it should be more of the same with several runners ready to get involved.
Weakness: Catching the ball. It’s not in the design or nature of the offense to utilize the backs in the passing game, but with so much speed and quickness, there’s no reason to not get more out of the backups in third down roles.
Outlook: With Harris, ULL has a workhorse talent to build the offense around. He might not have the flash of other options, but he’s a 100-yard day waiting to happen when he’s healthy and rolling. With all the quick backs waiting in the wings, the coaching staff can get creative.
Unit Rating: 5.5

Receivers

The passing game loses Harry Peoples and Javone Lawson, the team’s two top pass catchers, but it welcomes back junior Jamal Robinson, a 6-4, 205-pound deep threat at the X who averaged a whopping 24.3 yards per catch highlighted by a six-grab, 116-yard day against East Carolina in the Bowl win. While he’s not necessarily a No. 1 target and he might mostly be a deep threat, he can take the top off a defense and open things up for everyone else. 6-2, 217-pound senior Ricky Johnson didn’t do anything last season, but with his size and speed, he’ll find a spot somewhere in the rotation.

Veteran Darryl Surgent has been a big part of the passing game over the last two seasons, and while his biggest game – a five-catch, 107-yard, two touchdown day – came in a blowout loss against Arkansas State, he has the experience and ability to do even more in place for Harry Peoples at the H after spending most of last season at the inside Z. He’ll be backed up by senior Bradley Brown, a good complementary receiver who filled in and caught 15 passes for 187 yards with six catches against North Texas.

Junior James Butler spent last season working behind Surgent at the Z, and now he’ll get the first look at the position with dangerous deep speed. Everything was in place to become a star for the passing game before suffering a torn ACL. It took a while to get back in the swing of things, but he caught nine balls for 97 yards and two scores. Adding more size is 6-7, 200-pound redshirt freshman Jared Johnson, an athletic deep threat with a great frame and the potential to be a matchup nightmare.

Senior tight end Ian Thompson didn’t exactly stretch the field, but he came up with a few nice plays catching 16 passes for 119 yards. While he’s strong and is a proven, good blocker, 6-4, 230-pound senior Jacob Maxwell has freakish strength with excellent power when he gets the chance to his. A decent pass catcher, he became a nice goal line option finishing the year with 19 catches for 185 yards and four scores, with the touchdowns spread out over the course of the season.

Watch Out For … new recruit Scott Austin, a 6-4, 180-pound talent who had SEC offers but should be one of ULL’s top targets soon. A deep threat with great size and excellent leaping ability, there’s limitless upside.
Strength: Size. This is a really, really big group with almost everyone checking in around 6-2 or taller – except for the H targets – and with the ability to hit. The downfield blocking is terrific and the deep balls are there, averaging over 14 yards per catch.
Weakness: Harry Peoples & Javone Lawson. There are nice players returning, but Peoples and Lawson were the main playmakers for the passing game who took the heat off of everyone else. Robinson has to be more than a deep threat and Surgent has to become a threat to grow into a No. 1.
Outlook: Terrance Broadway grew into his own as a runner and a downfield passer, and now he should make everyone better. There might be some key losses to the receiving corps, but Robinson is a devastating home run hitter and Surgent is a nice veteran. With a good tight end situation and the ability and potential to do more, the receiving corps will be fine even with all the changes.
Unit Rating: 5.5

Offensive Line

The offensive line did one of the best jobs in America in pass protection and was fantastic for the ground game. It’s going to undergo some shifting, but three starters return and some decent prospects are ready to fill in. 6-5, 300-pound sophomore Mykhael Quave spent last season at left guard, but he’s a better fit at tackle where he’ll move over to take over for Leonardo Bates. He’s quick, athletic and strong, growing into a good all-around blocker. With Quave’s move, 6-2, 285-pound Terry Johnson will step in at right guard after spending last year at Northwest Mississippi CC. While he’s not huge, he has a good frame to get leverage for the running game and can all off his man.

The anchor is set with second-team All-Sun Belt performer Andre Huval returning to the middle. The 6-1, 290-pound senior is smart, durable and strong, powerful enough to generate a good push for the ground game. He’ll be backed up by 6-4, 280-pound redshirt freshman Zach Tarver, a versatile option who can slip over to guard if needed.

6-3, 324-pound junior Daniel Quave brings the bulk up front, showing off what he could do last season as one of the team’s toughest run blockers. Very smart and very strong, he’s one of the biggest keys to the ground game and the one the team will work behind for the hard yard. With the massive Jaron Odom gone at right tackle, 6-4, 280-pound sophomore Octravian Anderson will provide a bit more quickness and athleticism. He needs time and seasoning, but he has the feet to eventually move over to left tackle if needed.

Watch Out For … JUCO transfer Johnny Kight, a right tackle option from East Central CC with the right frame and the experience missing from the backups. He had decent offers from several other schools to start right away, and he should push hard for a spot right away.
Strength: Pass protection. Even with mobile quarterbacks trying to scramble and buy time, the Ragin’ Cajun line did its job allowing just 13 sacks. Enough good pass blockers are back to expect more of the same with a little bit of time.
Weakness: Proven depth. It’s going to take a little while to find the right starting five, and it might not happen until just before the start of the season, but the depth could take a while longer. There are good prospects waiting in the wings, but it’s going to take a few games to come up with the right rotation.
Outlook: It’s asking for too much to get the same production out of a line that was so effective and so dominant at times, but even with the loss of an all-stars tackles in Leonardo Bates and Jaron Odom, the line will be in good shape with a little bit of tweaking.
Unit Rating: 5.5

- 2013 Louisiana Preview | 2013 Louisiana Offense
- 2013 Louisiana Defense | 2013 Louisiana Depth Chart