CFN Take: Louisiana-Lafayette Flat In Loss

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 22, 2014


2014 Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns ... Head Coach: Mark Hudspeth

Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

2014 Schedule
Record: 7-4

Aug. 30 Southern W 45-6
Sep. 6 Louisiana Tech L 48-20
Sep. 13 at Ole Miss L 56-15
Sep. 20 at Boise State L 34-9
Sep. 27 OPEN DATE
Oct. 4 Georgia State W 34-31
Oct. 14 at Texas State W 34-10
Oct. 21 Arkansas State W 55-40
Oct. 31 OPEN DATE
Nov. 1 South Alabama
Nov. 8 at New Mexico St W 44-16
Nov. 15 at ULM W 34-27
Nov. 22 Appalachian St L 35-16
Nov. 29 at Troy
Nov. 22 Appalachian State 35, at Louisiana-Lafayette 16
And You Care Because … Marcus Cox ran for two short scores and Bobo Beathard returned a punt 33 yards for a touchdown as Appalachian State stunned ULL with a surprisingly dominant win. The Ragin’ Cajuns go three Hunter Stover field goals and an eight-yard scoring run from Elijah McGuire, but it was all ASU in the second half with Taylor Lamb finding Montez McGuire for a 40-yard touchdown and Terrence Upshaw running for a 36-yard score.
What Else? Appalachian State RB Marcus Cox ran 36 times for 151 yards and two scores
- Louisiana-Lafayette RB Elijah McGuire ran nine times for 36 yards and a score and caught five passes for 35 yards
- Rushing yards: Appalachian State 47 for 232 yards and three scores – Louisiana-Lafayette 35 for 99 yards and a score
- Third down conversions: Appalachian State 427 – Louisiana-Lafayette 259
Game Rating: C

Nov. 15 Louisiana-Lafayette 34, at ULM 27
And You Care Because … The Louisiana-Lafayette got up 17-7 in the first quarter helped by a one-yard Elijah McGuire run and a 16-yard Al Riles catch, but ULM’s Pete Thomas bombed away with a five-yard touchdown pass to Kenzee Jackson in the first quarter and a 45-yarder to Rashon Ceaser late in the fourth. The Warhawks had a late chance, but turned it over. Terrance Broadway threw two touchdown passes and ran for a late score.
What Else? Louisiana-Lafayette RB Alonzo Harris ran 13 times for 133 yards
- ULM QB Pete Thomas completed 38-of-54 passes for 472 yards and two scores, and he ran for a touchdown
- Rushing yards: Louisiana-Lafayette 282 – ULM -39
- Louisiana-Lafayette QB Terrance Broadway completed 10-of-13 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, and ran 19 times for 94 yards and a score
Game Rating: B-

Nov. 8 Louisiana-Lafayette 44, at New Mexico State 16
And You Care Because … Down 3-0, ULL scored 28 straight points with Elijah McGuire running for two scores and Effrem Reed taking off for a two-yard score. NMSU got a 42-yard Teldrick Morgan touchdown catch in the third, but the conversion was blocked and returned for a ULL score. The Ragin’ Cajuns got 14 more points to go up 44-9 on a three-yard Darius Hoggins run and a nine-yard Jared Johnson catch.
What Else? Turnovers: New Mexico State 4 - Louisiana-Lafayette 0
- Louisiana-Lafayette RB Elijah McGuire ran 26 times for 136 yards and a score
- NMSU WR Teldrick Morgan caught eight passes for 117 yards and a score
- Louisiana-Lafayette QB Terrance Broadway completed 12-of-23 passes for 158 yards and three scores, and ran nine times for 36 yards
Game Rating:

Oct. 22 at Louisiana-Lafayette 55, Arkansas State 40
And You Care Because … The Ragin’ Cajuns ran wild on Arkansas State as Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each ran for four touchdowns, with McGuire’s 54-yard touchdown run in the final minute put the game away. Down 9-6, ULL’s ground game started to roll with Harris running for two scores and McGuire busting off runs from 74 and 13 yards out as part of a 28 point run that took control of the game. However, ASU wouldn’t go away. Down 34-9, the Red Wolves got a 70-yard scoring dash from Michael Gordon and an 87-yard Dijon Paschal touchdown catch to tighten things up. Paschal caught a second touchdown pass in the fourth, but a Harris four-yard run in the third turned out to be the game-winner.
What Else? Total yards: Arkansas State 595 – ULL 521
- ULL RB Elijah McGuire ran 19 times for 265 yards and four touchdowns, and Alonzo Harris ran 27 times for 107 yards and four touchdowns
- Arkansas State QB Fredi Knighten completed 26-of-37 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns with a pick, and ran 16 times for 61 yards and a score
- Rushing yards: ULL 419 (7.5 ypc) – ASU 253 (6.8 yp)
Game Rating: B

Oct. 15 Louisiana-Lafayette 34, at Texas State 10
And You Care Because … The Ragin’ Cajun offense exploded on the way to a 21-3 halftime lead and a 34-3 lead with Elijah McGuire running for scores from 62 and 13 yards out and helped by Hunter Stover field goals from 19 and 32 yards away in the fourth quarter. The defense got into the act with a 41-yard Christian Ringo 41-yard fumble return for a score in the second quarter. Texas State only managed a 20-yard Will Johnson field goal before finally getting into the end zone in the final moments on a 33-yard Brice Gunter catch.
What Else? Total yards: Louisiana-Lafayette 516 – Texas State 270
- Texas State QB Tyler Jones completed 14-of-23 passes for 176 yards and a touchdown with a pick
- Louisiana-Lafayette QB Terrance Broadway completed 14-of-21 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown with a pick, and ran 19 times for a team-leading 101 yards
- Time of possession: ULL 38:38 – Texas State 21:22
Game Rating: D+

Oct. 4 at Louisiana-Lafayette 34, Georgia State 31
And You Care Because … Alonzo Harris ran for two one-yard touchdowns in the second half and Jamal Robinson caught touchdown passes from 19 and 21 yards out as ULL held off the Panthers. GSU took the lead with just over six minutes to play on Marcus Caffey’s third touchdown run of the day, but ULL marched bac finishing with Robinson’s second touchdown. GSU had one last shot, but the drive stalled.
What Else? Penalties: ULL 13 for 115 yards – GSU 10 for 79 yards
- ULL QB Terrance Broadway completed 20-of-26 passes for 216 yards and two scores, Jamal Robinson caught eight passes for 119 yards and two scores
- GSU RB Marcus Caffey ran 27 times for 90 yards and three touchdowns, and caught two passes for 14 yards
- GSU LB Joseph Peterson led the game with nine tackles with a tackle for loss
Game Rating: B+

Sept. 20 at Boise State 34, Louisiana-Lafayette 9
And You Care Because … Jay Ajayi ran for three first half scores and Dan Goodale hit three second half field goals as Boise State had few problems putting away the Ragin’ Cajuns. ULL was under pressure all game long, and finally got in the end zone early in the fourth down 31-3 with a seven-yard Elijah McGuire run.
What Else? Boise State RB Jay Ajayi ran 27 times for 150 yards and three scores, and caught five passes for 37 yards
- Louisiana-Lafayette RB Elijah McGuire led the team with 31 rushing yards and a score on seven carries and caught ten passes for 106 yards
- Third down conversions: Boise State 8-of-17 – Louisiana-Lafayette 2-of-15
- Boise State QB Grant Hedrick completed 24-of-31 passes for 237 yards
Game Rating: D+

Sept. 13 at Ole Miss 56, Louisiana-Lafayette 15
And You Care Because … Ole Miss had no problems putting the game away fast with a 28-0 first quarter lead helped by two Vince Sanders touchdown catches from 14 and 24 yards out to go along with a 56-yard I’Tavius Mathers touchdown run and a 40-yard scoring play from Jaylen Walton. ULL only managed two field goals before the Rebels struck back with 21 straight points highlighted by a 71-yard Jaylen Walton dash and a 59-yard pick six from Senquez Golson. The Ragin’ Cajuns only got into the end zone late in the third on an eight-yard Alonzo Harris run.
What Else? Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace was magnificent completed 23-of-28 passes for 216 yards and four touchdowns with a pick.
- ULL QB Terrance Broadway completed 15-of-30 passes for 129 yards and three picks, but he ran for 59 yards.
- Ole Miss WR Vince Sanders caught eight passes for 125 yards and two scores.
- ULL didn’t commit a penalty, while Ole Miss was flagged just four times.
Game Rating: D

Sept. 6 Louisiana Tech 48, at Louisiana-Lafayette 20
And You Care Because … Kenneth Dixon opened up the scoring with a bang running for a 99-yard score in the first quarter and added a 32-yard touchdown run in the fourth on the way to a 41-7 Bulldog lead. Cody Sokol threw two touchdown passes and Xavier Woods added a 46-yard interception return for a score – ULL couldn’t keep up. The Ragin’ Cajuns tuned the ball over three times, but they moved the ball a bit with quarterbacks Terrance Broadway and Brooks Haack combining to complete 29-of-44 passes for 237 yards and two scores with a pick. Dixon ran 12 times for 184 yards and two scores for Tech, and Cody Sokol completed 22-of-33 passes for 295 yards and two scores.
Game Rating: C-

Aug. 30 at Louisiana-Lafayette 45, Southern 6
And You Care Because … The Ragin’ Cajuns jumped out to a 24-0 first half lead on two of Terrance Broadway’s three touchdown passes, and they answered the lone Southern score with 21 unanswered points with Jamal Robinson’s second touchdown catch of the game and an eight-yard scoring run from Broadway. ULL outgained Southern 512 yards to 279.
Game Rating: D

2014 Preview 

It’s one of the strangest positives in college football – Mark Hudspeth is still the head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette.

This isn’t how it’s supposed to work. When you succeed like Hudspeth has for the Ragin’ Cajuns, you’re supposed to move up in the coaching ranks. Only 45 – 46 in November – he’s young, he’s successful, and he has the resume, having worked on the Mississippi State offense before taking on the Louisiana-Lafayette head coaching gig.

Three straight 9-4 seasons and three straight New Orleans Bowl wins later, the era has been a wild success for a football program and a fan base that brings the enthusiasm – just ask the last three bowl opponents.

How is it happening? The offense is balanced, the defense is good enough in Sun Belt play to get by, and a running game that’s improved each and every year. But for all the success and all of the positives, everything has been building to a season like the one the program has the potential to have in 2014.

Last year was a little strange, beating the mediocre teams on the slate and struggling late with two losses in the final two regular season games to ULM and South Alabama, but part of the problem was an injury to starting quarterback Terrance Broadway, who broke his arm, and part of it was a slip as the season wore on. This year, with 60 returning lettermen and 19 starters back, the team is loaded to do something special. That might mean a double-digit win campaign, a big upset ort two over an Ole Miss or a Boise State, and a Sun Belt title. There's no reason to shoot for anything less.

It starts with an offensive front that should be among the best and strongest in the Sun Belt paving the way for a backfield that should be devastating. Broadway is back along with all-star backs Alonzo Harris and Elijah McGuire in a thunder-and-lightning tandem. Jamal Robinson should be one of the league’s elite receivers, the defensive front has the experience to camp out in opposing backfields, and the kicking game will be solid.

And the coaching will be terrific, too.

If Dan Mullen ever gets canned at Mississippi State, Hudspeth would be on the short list of candidates, but there might be a stepping-stone gig waiting for him before jumping to the SEC. For now, though, being the head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette is strong enough.

Especially this year.

What to watch for on offense: If you thought the offense relied on the running game before, wait until you see what the Ragin’ Cajuns do this year. The passing attack averaged 212 yards per game while the ground game worked for 204.5 yards per pop, but this year, even with Terrance Broadway keeping things balanced at times, it’ll be too tempting not to run and keep running. Four of the six lowest efforts on the ground last season were losses including the two games under 100 yards – Arkansas and South Alabama. On the flip side, the Ragin’ Cajuns were fantastic and dominant at times winning by double digits all six times they came up with 200 yards or more. In the Mark Hudspeth era, ULL is 13-0 when running for 200 yards or more, and with a loaded line and phenomenal 1-2 rushing punch of Alonzo Harris and Elijah McGuire, along with the mobility of Broadway, 200 yards on the ground should be the norm.

What to watch for on defense: Generate more pressure. Going into last season, the biggest key to the defense was pressure on the quarterback to help out the corners who were toasted on a consistent basis in 2012. The defense only came up with 21 sacks, but it was far better a forcing mistakes and was tremendous at getting behind the line – it didn’t really help. The secondary needs more help after giving up 243 yards game, and it has to come from the ends after getting good work from Justin Hamilton and the interior. Christian Ringo showed tremendous promise in 2012 but only came up with one sack last year, but Dominique Tovell led the team in tackles for loss and generated two sacks.

The team will be far better if… Steven Brauchle can show a little bit of range. It’s not that the placekicking was horrible, but it wasn’t consistent and Brauchle, as a freshman, didn’t hit anything from deep, whiffing on his two tries from beyond 40 yards and not hitting anything longer than 38 yards. It didn’t really matter except for the loss to ULM – missing his one attempt in the 31-28 loss. The offense should be able to take care of things by itself and generate points in the red zone – scoring 36 touchdowns last year after getting into the red zone – but it would be really, really nice to get a 45-yard field goal once in a while.

The Schedule: It’s a fun local start to the season with Southern to kick things off and Louisiana Tech needing to make the three hour trip to Lafayette. After that come the two nasty non-conference games going to Ole Miss and Boise State, but then it’s all Sun Belt the rest of the way starting with a nice run of three home games in the first four. Even better, two of the showdowns come against Arkansas State and South Alabama. Three of the final conference games are on the road with nasty battles at ULM and Troy that should make or break any title hopes.

Best offensive player: Senior QB Terrance Broadway. On a game-by-game basis, running back Alonzo Harris or fellow backfield mate Elijah McGuire could be the main man for the attack, and tackle Mykhael Quave and guard Daniel Quave might generate the most NFL interest, but the season will be resting on Broadway. The senior is a good, consistent runner, and he has the ability to get the big play going deep, averaging more than 11.5 yards per throw in five games, and now he’s all back healthy after suffering a broken arm late in the year. He’s a tough, veteran playmaker who knows how to crank up the offense, and as long as he’s keeping the turnovers to a bare minimum, the Ragin’ Cajuns should roll.

Best defensive player: Senior DT Justin Hamilton. Losing leading tackler Justin Anderson at middle linebacker hurts, but the interior of the defensive line has to do its part to keep the linebacking corps from needing to make so many plays. That starts with the 6-2, 310-pound Hamilton, who’s quick off the ball and tough to handle one-on-one, needs to hold his own against the double teams and be even more of an anchor. He can do that – expect an all-star season as the guy everything works around.

Key player to a successful season: Sophomore LB Kevin Fouquier. The defense needs a sure-thing stopper in the middle, and Fouquier has to be the next man up. He only made six tackles in his first season, but he might be the main man in the middle of the storm trying to replace Justin Anderson and his team-high 132 tackles. While Fouquier isn’t as big as the former all-star, he’s a large presence at 6-4 and 235 pounds with good range and upside.

The season will be a success if ... the Ragin’ Cajuns win the Sun Belt title. They shared it last season with Arkansas State, who has won three straight championships. They also shared the title with ASU and ULM in 2005. Now it’s time to win the thing outright. The experience is there, the talent is in place, and the schedule isn’t an excuse. This could and should be the best team in the league.

Key game: Oct. 21 vs. Arkansas State. The 23-7 win by the Ragin’ Cajuns last year turned out to be one of the keys to the season, and technically, it really did give them the conference championship after finishing in a tie with ASU. The Sun Belt should be stronger this year, and South Alabama will be dangerous a few weeks later and ULM is a dangerous rivalry game on the road, but the championship should come down to the date with the Red Wolves one way or another.

2013 Fun Stats:
- 2nd Quarter Points Allowed: 132 – 4th Quarter Points Allowed: 58
- Tackles For Loss: Louisiana 85 – Opponents 66
- Third Down Conversions: Louisiana 87-of-174 (50%) – Opponents 76-of-184 (41%)

- 2014 Louisiana-Lafayette Preview - What You Need To Know & Top Players


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