Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns
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2007 was supposed to be the year when it all was going to come
together. After two big years, and coming tantalizingly close to
winning records and Sun Belt titles, the team was loaded and
It didn't happen.
Head coach: Rickey Bustle
6th year: 26-44
Off. 18, Def. 23, ST 4
Lettermen Lost: 20
Best ULL Players
1. RB Tyrell Fenroy, Sr.
2. LB Antwyne Zanders, Sr.
3. QB Michael Desormeaux, Sr.
4. C Chris Fisher, Jr.
5. PK Drew Edmiston, Sr.
6. WR Jason Chery, Sr.
7. LB Grant Fleming, Soph.
8. LB Brenton Burkhalter, Sr.
9. WR Derrick Smith, Sr.
10. OT OT Kyle Pirtle, Jr.
2008 Record: 0-0
Aug. 30 at Southern
Sept. 13 at Illinois
Sept. 20 Kent State
Sept. 27 at Kansas State
Oct. 4 at UL Monroe
Oct. 11 at North Texas
Oct. 18 Arkansas State
Nov. 1 FIU
Nov. 8 UTEP
Nov. 15 at Florida Atlantic
Nov. 22 at Troy
Dec. 3 Middle Tennessee
Sept. 1 at S Carolina
Sept. 8 Ohio
Sept. 29 at
UCF L 37-19
Arkansas St L 52-21
L 39-32 OT
Tennessee L 59-7
Mid Tenn W 34-24
It’s not too tough to set the bar high at a place that’s only won more
than seven games twice since 1973 and has never gone to a bowl. With
most of the key starters returning on both sides of the ball including
all the stars in the Sun Belt’s best rushing attack, the Ragin’ Cajuns
will be among the favorites.
The offense was fine, but the defense went into the tank, especially
against the run, and now this goes from being one of the league's hot
programs to a predicted also-ran.
The tremendous linebacking corps will take care of cleaning things up
against the run, but the line has to be better. The great running game
has to control more games, while the promise of throwing it on a regular
basis has to be more than just lip service.
45 letterwinners and 16 starters are back making this one of the
league's most experienced teams, and there's more than enough talent,
especially in key spots like the offensive backfield, the linebacking
corps, and the receiving corps, to be far better and far more
It might be a bit of a stretch to call this a sleeper team for the Sun
Belt title, but there's certainly enough all-around talent to catch
lightning in a bottle and be in the race. While the schedule doesn't
work out well, with road trips to Florida Atlantic and Troy late in the
year, this is a team to keep an eye on.
What to watch for on offense: More passing. It's not like Texas
Tech will take over, but the coaching staff placed more of an emphasis
on getting things moving through the air this off-season. The running
game will still be the main mode of transportation with a tandem of
Tyrell Fenroy and Deon Wallace to work with, but look for Michael
Desormeaux to try putting it up on a regular basis.
What to watch for on defense: The linebackers. The trio of
Antwyne Zanders, Brenton Burkhalter and Grant Fleming should be the best
in the Sun Belt and among the most dominant in team history. The run
defense was abysmal last season with the linebackers making way too many
plays down the field, but now they'll do far more attacking as they try
to force more mistakes and get to the ball quicker.
The team will be far better if … the punting game improves
in all areas. ULL's punting game was among the worst in America, netting
just 32.28 yards per kick, while the punt returners averaged just 5.67
yards per try. For a team with a running game like ULL has, and it's
need for field position at a premium, there has to be more production.
There might be some rough road games against Illinois, Kansas State
and Southern Miss in the non-conference schedule, but the Ragin' Cajuns
will have a fighting chance at home against UTEP in early November.
While there's a nicely timed off-week late in November before dealing
with Middle Tennessee, the other in-conference week off comes before a
home game against FIU in a game that might have been a win no matter
when it was played. The biggest problem is in mid-November going on the
road to face both Florida Atlantic and Troy.
Best Offensive Player:
Tyrell Fenroy. With a
1,000-yard season, he'll be only the seventh player in the history of
D-I college football to have four 1,000-yard rushing seasons, and along
the way he should blow past the ULL career rushing record needing just
64 yards. He'll be the Sun Belt's all-time leading rusher with 830
yards. One of the toughest players in the league for his size, the 5-9,
186-pounder will once again use his phenomenal quickness to get by.
Best Defensive Player:
While he's not big (6-0, 212 pounds) and has
had problems in the past with academic eligibility, he's going to be the
team's leader and should be the team's most consistent performers at his
spot on the outside. He's a tackling machine who doesn't miss any stops.
Key player to a
Senior DT Seth Adams. The Ragin' Cajuns don't have a ton of size up
front, so the 288-pounder will have to play big next to the 283-pound
LaQuincy Williams on the inside. While Adams has been a career reserve,
he'll be asked to grow into a steady interior pass rusher to start
providing more pressure than last year's tackles were able to.
The season will be a
... ULL gets to seven wins. There might not quite be enough in the bag
to win the Sun Belt title, but after winning six games in 2005 and 2006,
before last year's drop off, getting to seven wins is a must to show
more progress in the Rickey Bustle era. ULL hasn't won more than six
games since 1993.
Oct. 4 at UL Monroe. It's not just a rivalry game, it's the Sun Belt
opener for the Ragin' Cajuns and a chance to make an early statement on
the road. With trips to Florida Atlantic and Troy late in the year, an
early conference loss might be the end of any New Orleans Bowl dreams.
Adding a little more fuel to the fire, ULM has won five of the last six
2007 Fun Stats:
- Second half scoring: Opponents 191 - UL Lafayette 122
- Time of possession: Opponents 32:58 - UL Lafayette 27:02
- Third down conversions: Opponents 82 of 179 (46%) - UL Lafayette 65 of