Arizona will conclude its 2011 season this Saturday when the Wildcats play host to Louisiana-Lafayette at Arizona Stadium. Coming off a stunning win on the road over arch-rival Arizona State, UA will look to end the season on a high note with a win over the Ragin' Cajuns.
Louisiana-Lafayette doesn't bring the type of offensive firepower that Arizona has become accustomed to seeing this season. The Ragin' Cajuns currently rank 74th in the country in total offense – 377.6 yards per game – and 38th nationally in scoring offense with an average of 31.9 points per contest.
Junior Blaine Gautier leads the ULL attack, which boasts the 46th ranked passing offense in the nation. The Ragin' Cajuns are compiling 243.9 yards per contest through the air, while Gautier has been very efficient in the process. The junior has completed 62.7 percent of his passes while tossing 19 touchdowns compared to only five interceptions.
The signal-caller is also a threat with his legs as he has put together 443 yards on the ground – good for second on the squad -- on 102 carries.
Gautier generally likes to involve four of his targets consistently through the air. The Ragin' Cajuns' leading receiver is junior Javone Lawson, who has 49 receptions, 762 yards and six touchdowns. Lawson has the ability to stretch the field and can do a lot with the ball in his hands.
Tied with Lawson for the team-lead in receptions is Harry Peoples. Along with 49 receptions, the junior has compiled 598 yards and scored a touchdown through the air.
Sophomore Darryl Surgent is another player that can stretch the field as he leads the team with an average of 17.5 yards per reception. Surgent has caught 24 passes for 421 yards and six touchdowns and is a threat for a big gain every time he is targeted.
Senior tight end Ladarius Green stands at 6-foot-6, 236-pounds and has been a big part of the offense; especially in the red zone. Green has 40 receptions for 419 yards and a team-high seven touchdown receptions.
On the ground, ULL poses the 82nd rushing attack, averaging 133.7 yards per game on the ground. While the numbers may not strike fear into their opponents, the Ragin' Cajuns do have the ability to cause Arizona problems on the ground.
On top of Gautier's ability to run, Louisiana-Lafayette also has freshman Alonzo Harris to hand the ball off to. Harris has carried the ball 136 times for 593 yards and has scored seven rushing touchdowns. While the Ragin' Cajuns have found life rough on the ground at times in 2011, they have the weapons and system to give UA fits on Saturday if the Wildcats aren't on top of their game.
The ULL offensive line has had difficulty in both pass-protection and run-blocking. The Ragin' Cajuns have surrendered 24 sacks on the season and the team's rushing average is a mediocre 3.7 yards per carry. It's not the strength of the team and if it doesn't have an inspired performance Saturday, it will be a long day for the Louisiana-Lafayette offense.
Blitz: The Ragin' Cajuns offensive line is suspect and they do most of their damage through the air. If the Wildcats attack their backfield regularly, it will completely disrupt their offense.
Spy the quarterback: ULL's quarterback can run the option well when asked to. His ability to run is something Arizona must keep an eye on. Having a defender spy Gautier now and then should keep him in check.
Keep the receivers in front: The Ragin' Cajun wideouts contain a couple of playmakers that can go deep. Keeping those guys from getting over the top will severely limit their attack.
Stop ULL on first and second down: Louisiana-Lafayette converts its third downs at a rate of 37.3 percent. UA obviously puts itself in great shape if it prevents the Ragin' Cajuns from gaining first downs on their first two shots.
Watch the tight end: Green is a physically imposing player that can make a big impact on offense. If the Wildcats can limit his contributions, the offense will have trouble scoring.
Louisiana Lafayette Offensive Preview
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