There’s no question that it’s been a rough two weeks for the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns.
After losing its starting quarterback for the season and dropping two straight games, Louisiana finds themselves at 5-5 with just two games to go.
Now, Michael Desormeaux’s team has a prime opportunity to play spoiler for a Troy Trojans team that is riding a seven-game winning streak and has been red hot since starting 1-2.
The Cajuns will have to be able to not only establish a run game of their own, but slow down Kimani Vidal and the high-powered attack that Troy brings to the table.
TROY HAVING A SPECIAL RUN
Since having Jon Sumrall from Kentucky after the 2021 season, the Trojans are 20-4 and have captured a Sun Belt Conference Championship. Here in 2023, Sumrall’s group is very well on their way to another.
It’s incredible to see the work that the second-year coach has done in just a short amount of time, as he has completely changed the culture around the Troy program, his players have bought into what he’s doing, and it shows on game day.
CAJUNS STILL CHASING A BOWL
Sitting at 5-5 with two games to go, Louisiana still needs to find one win between this weekend’s game at Troy and the regular season finale when they Cajuns host ULM. There’s a possibility that Louisiana could make it at 5-7, but Desormeaux and his team would much rather take care of their business rather than have to depend on somebody else helping them out in the end.
“It’s time for our team to get over the hump,” Desormeaux said at his weekly media availability. “We’ve talked about it this year, we’ve been so close. Everybody’s tired of hearing it, I’m tired of saying it, and the team’s tired of talking about it.”
GO AND TAKE IT
”We’ve got to stop knocking on the door and waiting for somebody to let us in.”
The message this week from the Louisiana head coach was how this Cajuns football team needs to be assertive and go take what they’ve worked hard to achieve. After a season full of expectation and promise, 5-5 is certainly not where this group envisioned they’d be, but there’s still plenty for this team to accomplish under their second-year head coach.
The Cajuns have a great opportunity to go play a very talented Troy squad on the road while being nationally televised. Louisiana has the chance to prove to the Sun Belt and the nation that they can bounce back and fight through the toughest of adversity. Are they up for the challenge?
SERIES RECORD: Troy leads series 10-9
2022: Troy wins 23-17
2021: Louisiana wins 35-21
2019: Louisiana wins 53-3
2018: Troy wins 26-16
2015: Troy wins 41-17
Zeon Chriss: 102-153, 1,222 yards, 11 TDs, 5 INTs (out with injury)
Jacob Kibodi: 107 carries, 651 yards, 6 TDs
Peter Leblanc: 26 receptions, 399 yards, 4 TDs
K.C. Ossai: 62 tackles (34 solo), 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 1 blocked kick
Kenneth Almendares: 11-for-12, Long of 46, 37-38 XP
Gunnar Watson: 193-314, 2,659 yards, 21 TDs, 4 INTs
Kimani Vidal: 211 carries, 1,168 yards, 7 TDs
Jabre Barber: 50 receptions, 700 yards, 4 TDs
Jayden McDonald: 58 tackles (35 solo), .5 sacks
Scott Taylor Renfroe: 17-of-21, Long of 43, 33-33 XP
Louisiana and Troy will battle from Veterans Memorial Stadium at 2:30 p.m on Saturday. The game can be viewed on the NFL Network.