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2008 CFN Louisiana-Lafayette Preview
Louisiana-Lafayette RB Tyrell Fenroy
Louisiana-Lafayette RB Tyrell Fenroy
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 30, 2008


CollegeFootballNews.com 2008 Preview - Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns


Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

Preview 2008


By Pete Fiutak

Interested in blogging about Sun Belt football?  Let us know

Preview ULL's opening day opponent  2008 CFN Southern Miss Preview

- 2008 CFN Louisiana-Lafayette Preview | 2008 ULL Offense
- 2008 ULL Defense | 2008 ULL Depth Chart
- 2007 CFN UL Lafayette Preview | 2006 CFN UL Lafayette Preview 

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 ready.

It didn't happen.

Head coach: Rickey Bustle 
6th year: 26-44
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 18, Def. 23, ST 4
Lettermen Lost: 20
Ten 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 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
4-8
2008 Record: 0-0

Aug. 30 at Southern Miss
Sept. 6 OPEN DATE
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
Oct. 25 OPEN DATE
Nov. 1 FIU
Nov. 8 UTEP
Nov. 15 at Florida Atlantic
Nov. 22 at Troy
Nov. 29 OPEN DATE
Dec. 3 Middle Tennessee

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
6-6
2007 Record:
3-9

Sept. 1 at S Carolina L 28-14
Sept. 8 Ohio L 31-23
Sept. 15
McNeese St L 38-17
Sept. 22 Troy L 48-31
Sept. 29 at UCF L 37-19
Oct. 6
North Texas W 38-29
Oct. 13 at Arkansas St L 52-21
Oct. 20
Fla Atlantic L 39-32 OT
Nov. 3 at Tennessee L 59-7
Nov. 10 at Mid Tenn W 34-24
Nov. 17
at FIU W 38-28
Nov. 24 UL Monroe L 17-11

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 productive.

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.

The Schedule: 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: Senior RB 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: Senior LB Antwyne Zanders. 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 successful season: 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 success if ... 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.

Key game: 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 meetings.

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 176 (37%)