The University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns and the Texas State Bobcats both share identical 1-3 nonconference records, with each of their sole victories coming against an FCS opponent. While that record seems like a daunting task to overcome and still have a winning season, it’s nothing new to the Cajuns.
This time last season, UL Lafayette had the same 1-3 nonconference record just before they went 7-1 to finish the season 9-4 en route to their fourth straight victory in the New Orleans Bowl.
The Last Matchup
Senior UL Lafayette QB Terrence Broadway threw for 225 yards and rushed for another 113 as the Cajuns beat the Bobcats 34-10. Sophomore RB Elijah McGuire scored two TD’s, rushed for 64 yards and caught four passes for 85 yards. TXST RS Freshman WR Brice Gunter caught a 33-yard pass for the Bobcats only touchdown. The Cajuns own an overall 2-0 record against the Bobcats, beating them in each of the last two seasons.
Head Coach Mike Hudspeth
In the first four years under Mike Hudspeth, the Ragin’ Cajuns have enjoyed the best four year run in their football program’s history, winning 37 games in that time. They have dominated at home on Cajun Field under Hudspeth, going 19-4 since he arrived in Lafayette in 2011. They have also won four straight bowl games under Hudspeth, winning the New Orleans bowl the past four years.
Junior RB Elijah McGuire: The reigning Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the year, McGuire has continued his on-field success into the 2015 season for the Cajuns. Through four games, McGuire has averaged 103 yards per game, gaining 415 rushing yards on 72 carries (5.8 YPC). He is also known for being a threat as a pass catcher out of the backfield, with 13 catches for 114 yards and touchdown so far this season.
Senior LB Dominique Tovell: The linebackers are considered by many to be the best defensive unit on the Cajuns team and Tovell is the leader of that group. He is a three-year starter at middle linebacker and has a knack for stopping plays before they begin. He has 31 career TFL’s, including six already this season (five of those TFL’s came against one opponent, Kentucky). He also has 17 total tackles on the season and two sacks.
Junior QB Brooks Haack started the first three games for the Cajuns this year but he was pulled and Junior Jalen Nixon played against Louisiana Tech last week. Nixon went 17-33 for 166 yards, one touchdown and one interception in his first career start last week. Haack failed to throw one touchdown in his first three starts. They are a long way from the Terrence Broadway days in Lafayette but the Cajuns have always had a run-heavy offense that doesn’t ask much of their QB. Interesting quote here on the quarterback situation from Louisiana head coach Mike Hudspeth to the Shreveport Times after he switched QB’s against Akron, “Not that Brooks was just doing super poorly, it’s just we only had seven points,” said Hudspeth. “The quarterback’s job, just like a head coach’s job is to win games, the quarterback’s job is to put the ball in the end zone. It don’t matter how you’re playing, if you only have seven points, that’s only seven points.”