Homecoming is always a special time. It’s a great opportunity for classmates to reconnect and reminisce, it’s a time for celebration, and it usually means great football.
Fans of the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns (2-2) are hoping for great football on the field as the red-hot South Alabama Jaguars (3-1) will pounce their way into Cajun Field Saturday afternoon for a Sun Belt West matchup.
It’s been evident through three games that this is not the same Louisiana team of the past four years, but it’s still a group with plenty of talent and well-formed coaching staff.
However, The Cajuns are one loss away from having a legitimate losing record for the first time since 2018 and they will have arguably their toughest test of the season on Saturday.
Louisiana has plenty of talent, there’s no question about it, but the chemistry and on-field cohesion has been a problem as well as consistency. Whether it’s changing the quarterback every third series or having self-inflicted wounds kill a drive, the Cajuns are struggling to string points together so far in 2022, barely averaging 28 points per game.
On defense, Louisiana is lacking a pass rush under first-year Defensive Coordinator Lamar Morgan. Last week against ULM, Chandler Rogers had all the time he wanted to go through his progressions and make smart decisions in the passing game, which can be a problem when facing a quarterback like Carter Bradley from South. Bradley can torch the Louisiana secondary up and down the field if they let him, so that’s a matchup to watch in this contest.
The Jaguars are off to a hot 3-1 start and are only a botched fake field goal away from upsetting UCLA at the Rose Bowl and starting 4-0. Kane Wommack has the culture in Mobile at an all-time high and it’s showing on the field.
Carter Bradley transferred in from the Air-Raid offense at Toledo and has grasped the Jags’ system very quickly, and with weapons like La’Damian Webb and Jalen Wayne, it’s hard to not have success. Webb is currently 27th nationally in rushing yards with 390 yards and five touchdowns. The Jaguars are also 43rd nationally in total offense.
Defensively, South Alabama is playing well, only allowing 85 rushing yards a game to their opponents. The Jags are led on defense by Jaden Voisin and Jalen Jordan while Keith Gallmon Jr battles an injury. South is big and physical up front and they have very talented players in the second and third levels that can give the Cajuns’ offense some fits.
This is a must-win game for the Cajuns, which is an interesting thing to think about only four games in. But a loss here puts Louisiana behind the eight ball in the Sun Belt West with back-to-back division losses and a 2-3 record. If the Cajuns want to stay alive in that race, they will need a win at Cajun Field Saturday afternoon for Homecoming.
“All Roads Lead to Vermillion and White”, but do those roads lead to a Cajuns win?