PREVIEW: A first look at the Cajuns

Over the next three days, we will take an up close look at this weekend's season opener with the ULL Ragin' Cajuns. Today, we feature the game's best matchups as well as the Player to Watch for the Cajuns. Tomorrow, we give you the breakdown by position for the Cajuns and Tigers before Friday's game preview.

QUICK FACTS:

 

Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

 

All-Time Series: 20-0-0

 

Stadium: Cajun Field (31,000)

 

Conference: Sun Belt

 

First Meeting: 1902, LSU 42, ULL 0

 

Last Meeting: 2002, LSU 48, ULL 0

 

Head Coach: Ricky Bustle, 72-43 at FSU and overall, 9 years

 

2005 in Review: 6-5, 5-2 Sun Belt

 

Final '05 Ranking: Not ranked

 

Off. / Def. Systems: Multiple / 4-3

 

Returning Starters: 16; 7 offense, 8 defense, punter

 

Last Bowl Appearance: 1970 Grantland Rice Bowl

 

Last Conference Championship: 1994, Big West

 

 

RETURNING LEADERS

 

Rushing: Tyrell Fenroy – 179 rushes, 1053 yards, 12 TD

 

Passing: Jerry Babb – 119-74-3, 859 yards, 3 TD

 

Receiving: Derrick Smith – 22 catches, 250 yards, 2 TD

 

Tackles: Mark Risher – 59 TT (20S, 39A)

 

 

2006 SCHEDULE

 

Date                 Opponent                   '05 Result

 

S-2                  at LSU                        ---

 

S-9                  at Texas A&M               ---

 

S-23                North Carolina A&T         ---

 

S-30                Eastern Michigan            ---

 

O-7                  at Houston                   ---

 

      O-18                at Florida Atlantic           L, 28-10

 

      O-28                Middle Tennessee           W, 13-10

 

            N-4                   at Troy                         W, 31-28 (ot)

 

    N-11                at North Texas               W, 31-28

 

            N-18                Florida International         W, 28-7          

 

  N-25                Arkansas State                L, 39-36

 

   D-2                  Louisiana-Monroe             W, 54-21

 

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Head to Head

 

 

 

ULL QB vs. LSU LB

Jerry Babb vs. Ali Highsmith

 

Quarterback Jerry Babb is no doubt the most versatile athlete of the field for the Ragin' Cajuns. A talented prep star at St. Thomas More High School, Babb played in eight games a year ago and finished third on the team in rushing offense with 400 yards on 65 carries and four touchdowns. Babb did complete 74 of 119 passes for 859 yards and three touchdowns, unfortunately those were the only three touchdowns thrown by any QB for the Cajuns last year. Highsmith grew into one of the SEC's most feared linebackers a year ago. Expect him to make things tough on Babb.

 

 

 

 

ULL RB vs. LSU DL

Tyrell Fenroy vs. Glenn Dorsey

The Ragin' Cajuns led the Sun Belt Conference last season in rushing offense and finished seventh in the nation on the ground. Tyrell Fenroy played a big part in that leading Cajuns ground attack with 1,053 yards on 179 carries and 12 touchdowns. But don't expect Fenroy, the best running back by far in the Sun Belt, to chew up yardage against this Tiger defense. Glenn Dorsey is poised to become LSU's nest great defensive tackle and he will be on the lookout for Fenroy on Saturday.

 

 

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Player to Watch:

 



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Mark Risher

 

LB, Junior * 6-1, 227

St. Thomas More HS * Lafayette, La.

 

Why it is important to stop him?

Junior linebacker Mark Risher leads all returning Ragin' Cajun tacklers from a year ago with 59 tackles. He isn't the tallest of linebackers, but has a wide frame 227-pound frame and is excellent against the run. Risher leads a Louisiana-Lafayette defense that returns eight starters from 2005's championship team.

 

Who has to stop him?

LSU has a talented group of fullbacks – mainly Jacob Hester and Shawn Jordan – that will pick up Risher in the backfield when the ULL linebacker comes on blitzes, that is if Risher can make it through LSU's thick midsection of the offensive line consisting of Will Arnold, Brett Helms and Brian Johnson. Also, LSU running backs Alley Broussard and Justin Vincent should also come in contact with Risher as well on the ground.

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