The Louisiana Ragin Cajuns hosted South Alabama last Saturday for Homecoming, and the game lived up to the hype. However, the Cajuns came out on the losing in for the third consecutive game after a game-winning field goal from Diego Guajardo as time expired for the Jaguars to win 20-17.
1) Running game was improved
The Cajuns were able to run the ball better than they have all season on Saturday night, rushing for 159 yards as a team. The offensive line played arguably their best game of the season, opening up holes for Chris Smith and Ben Wooldridge to run through for big gains, including Smith’s 55-yard run in the first quarter. However, Smith did have to leave the game with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
On the season, Louisiana is now gaining 3.8 yards per rush on the ground, including 5.6 yards per carry for Smith.
2) It’s time to run with Ben Wooldridge
Michael Desormeaux has been trying to figure out a way to play both Chandler Fields and Wooldridge, but it just isn’t working. Saturday night, Wooldridge led a 17-play drive that led to a touchdown in Fields’ absence and the offense flowed the best it has all season.
The Cajuns need to develop rhythm and identity, and it’s hard to do so without consistency at your most important position. It’s not a talent issue with Fields because he’s clearly talented, but the best move for the program right now is Ben Wooldridge.
3) Cajuns defense has kept them in games
Louisiana’s defense has done a good job of keeping games close and giving the offense the opportunity to win. KC Ossai, Jourdan Quibodeaux, and Kam Pedescleaux all have 32 tackles each on the season, the Cajuns are only allowing 21 points per game, and the team is +8 in turnover ratio.
There’s no doubt that Louisiana has a talented defense, but the way that they have been able to keep games close and do enough to win more times than not has been impressive to say the least.
Louisiana will look to snap their three-game losing skid in Huntington, West Virginia next Wednesday night as they take on Marshall in a nationally televised primetime matchup. Kickoff from Joan C. Edwards Stadium is set for 6:30 p.m.